Financial Four: It's Time Again for Financial Bracketology

Experts Rank Top Fiscal Priorities

Date: March 19, 2014

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

DENVER—March Madness is in full swing as millions of Americans scramble to prioritize their tournament brackets. With the Financial Four, people also have a way to prioritize their financial goals.

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) are partnering on the third annual Financial Four (www.financialfour.org), an interactive bracket of 32 concepts that helps users identify the financial areas that are most important to them. Expert financial planners and advisors also used the bracket to weigh in on what they recommend people should be thinking about as their top financial priorities in 2014.

“Considering all of the things you need to accomplish to keep your financial life in order can be overwhelming,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “The Financial Four provides clarity and gives people a visual way to rank and arrange their financial responsibilities. There aren’t any upsets in this bracket.”

Experts identify their Financial Four

Is it establishing an emergency savings or using credit responsibly? Is it more important to have open communication about finances with family members or calculate how much you need for retirement? Financial advisors-turned-bracketologists logged on to www.financialfour.org and ranked their top priorities for Americans to focus on this year. Based on their voting results, here is the 2014 Financial Four:

  1. Live Within Your Means. By nearly 2-to-1, this was the top choice among financial planners and advisors. Spending less than you earn and living within your income allowance is the best way to ensure you meet your financial goals.
  2. Pay Yourself First. Every time you receive a paycheck, save a certain percentage of your income before spending money on anything else. You may choose to have your bank automatically deduct a certain amount of money from your account each month.
  3. Rein in Debt. Your goal: to have less than 15 percent to 20 percent of your income earmarked for debt paymentsexcluding mortgage debt. If you pay more than this, you’re in the danger zone and possibly in over your head with debt.
  4. Maintain Adequate Insurance. Ensure your financial security by having adequate insurance coverage in place for health, disability, long-term care, auto, homeowners’ and renters’ to protect yourself and your assets.

What is your Financial Four? Complete your own bracket at www.financialfour.org. And prioritizing your financial goals is just the first step. For resources, tools and encouragement on successfully managing your finances, visit www.smartaboutmoney.org.

About the Financial Four

The Financial Four, a joint project of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA), is designed to help people identify their top financial priorities. The interactive bracket allows users to rank each topic until they advance their selections to the top choice. To complete the bracket online, visit www.financialfour.org.

About the Financial Planning Association

Since 2000, the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) has been the principal professional organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) professionals, educators, financial services professionals and students who seek advancement in a growing, dynamic profession. More than 23,000 FPA members adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve. Through a collaborative effort to provide members with One ConnectionTM to tools and resources for professional education, business success, advocacy and community, FPA has become an indispensable force in the advancement of today’s CFP® professional. Learn more about FPA at OneFPA.org.

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Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]