Financial Four: It's Time Again for Financial Bracketology

Financial Planning Experts Rank Top Priorities

Date: March 17, 2015
Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, pdg@nefe.org

DENVER—Millions of Americans are scrambling this week to strategize and chart their tournament brackets. With the Financial Four, people also have a way to chart their financial goals.

The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) are partnering on the fourth 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 throughout 2015.

“Identifying and managing priorities is the key to keeping your financial life in order. The Financial Four takes the madness out of ranking your financial responsibilities,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “There aren’t any upsets in this bracket.”

“We are pleased to partner with NEFE to help the American public understand where their immediate financial priorities should be right now,” says FPA Executive Director/CEO Lauren M. Schadle, CAE. “FPA members are financial planners who work with their clients to help them plan for their financial futures. Their insights will help people make prudent financial decisions now and in the future.”

Experts identify their Financial Four

Is the priority establishing an emergency savings or using credit responsibly? Is it more important to have open and regular 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 2015 Financial Four:

  1. Start Saving Early. The top goal among financial planners and advisors is ensuring that time is on your side when it comes to saving. It’s never too early to start putting money toward your goals and the sooner you begin, the more stable your financial security will be. Remember, with the power of compound interest even small amounts can make a big difference.
  2. Use Credit Responsibly. A close second in the rankings from financial planners and advisors is to stay within your means when it comes to credit. Try to limit credit usage to one account. Above all, always pay bills on time and pay more than the minimum payment due.
  3. Live Within Your Means. Spending less than you earn and living within your income is the surefire way to meet your financial goals. Take the time to understand your financial values and the difference between needs vs. wants.
  4. Ensure Job Security. Take the steps necessary to make certain your employer knows they cannot succeed without you. Make yourself indispensable at work by investing in continuing education and training opportunities.

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
    pdg@nefe.org

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    pas@nefe.org