Live within your means
We all want to live the best lives possible, but unless you make millions of dollars a year (good for you if you do) constantly upgrading your wardrobe, car, cottage and house can come at a high price. The price may be having to delay your retirement or dramatically reduce your standard of living. The latter can be especially painful if you’ve become accustomed to an extravagant lifestyle.
Know what you want
As the old saying goes, "if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there." Knowing what you want out of life is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Too many people don’t know what they want to achieve over the short, medium, or long term. Being aware of your personal and financial goals will keep you focused on achieving them and will help you live a happier and richer life!
Have a financial plan
Knowing your goals is only the first part. How you are going to achieve those goals is also a critical part of the equation. Many roads will get you to your financial destination; some are long and bumpy while others are shorter and smoother. It’s well worth the effort to develop a financial plan to guide you through your journey most efficiently.
Have a roadmap
The best plan in the world will be of little value if you don’t follow it. A financial roadmap ensures that you stay on top of the critical tasks needed to get everything done. This includes reminders to update valuable documents like your wills and powers of attorney.
Plan your taxes properly
If you think of your net worth as a bucket, taxes are akin to holes that will drain it. Although it may be impossible to "plug" them all, you can definitely stop a few or reduce their size by using the many tools available.
Ensuring that you have the proper asset allocation is critically important to retiring in style. Many investors in 2008/2009 learned that lesson the hard way. To invest prudently you’ll need to know the level of risk you are willing to tolerate so that when markets become volatile, you won’t be surprised.