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Financial Traps to Avoid

Financial Traps to Avoid

March 04, 2024

March 2024

Financial Traps to Avoid


There’s a reason why even athletes, entertainers, and business people with seven-figure (and higher) incomes
suddenly find themselves filing for bankruptcy. Money mismanagement can eat through even the biggest
bankrolls. Here are some specific threats to financial stability that people can avoid to help effectively manage
their wealth.


No Budget
In 2022, a survey by Debt.com2 revealed that 90.24% of respondents believed everyone should have a budget
(though only 85.6% of the respondents said they used one). Half of the survey respondents said they’re living
paycheck to paycheck, which may help explain why they consider budgeting to be so important.
Budgeting does not have to mean skipping coffee and driving a jalopy for the rest of your life. It does mean paying
close attention to how much money comes in and where it all goes. Use your financial goals to guide you in
steering your money in the right direction.


Too Much Debt
If you have a lot of debt to pay off, a budget is even more important. It helps reduce the likelihood of relying on
more credit to fill the gaps. A budget also helps you to collect all those extra dollars and cents that you could put
toward paying more than the bare minimum on debt. When paying off debt, start with the higher-interest accounts
first and work your way through to save money.


No Protection
Insurance can be expensive, but going without insurance can be even more so. Renters, homeowners, auto,
health, disability, and life insurance policies are the main ones you should consider. If you have a business —
especially if it is your main or only source of income — getting business insurance can protect your livelihood in
the event of a mishap with a client or customer.


No Retirement Planning
A recent survey by Clever estimates that nearly 30% of Americans have nothing saved for retirement3. The survey
also revealed that retirees who have saved have, on average, only $191,659 saved for retirement, which is far
less than the $514,800 recommended by experts.
Because of this, Americans continue to hold stressful, low-paying jobs well into their retirement years. It is never
too early to start planning for retirement, no matter how small your contributions are. Remember to take
advantage of matched contributions from employers whenever possible.


Too Much Risk
There is no investment that is 100% without risk. If there were, the returns on that investment would be negligible.
Even so, taking on too much risk at the wrong time can lead to big financial problems. Taking on high levels of
risk is appropriate for young people who have more time to recover and is not advised for people nearing
retirement.

Shady Investments
Even worse is when risky investments turn out to be fraudulent or shady. In fact, the more risk-free an investment
sounds, the more you should do some digging. This holds true whether the business or individual you plan to
invest in is a stranger or your brother. People who miscalculate or fail to do enough research can cause you just
as much financial damage as fraudsters.


Poor Tax Management
No matter how much or how little money you make, tax management is a great way to help keep money in your
pockets. This is especially important after a large windfall, such as an inheritance. For instance, if you inherit an
Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and choose to cash out, you may lose a portion of this in taxes. Divorce is
another time of life when tax management is key.


Mismanaged Assets
Stocks are often traded frequently, making them active investments, but you still need to ensure your portfolio
stays balanced. Similarly, if you have a home, keeping up with repairs and improvements maintains and grows its
value. Unmanaged assets also pose a problem, such as when people allow large sums of money to sit in
accounts with low to no interest rates and high fees.


For some people, money management is a talent and financial literacy is almost an inborn skill. Many other
people, however, could use a little help making financial decisions. Contact [insert name here] to speak with
professionals who can help to steer your finances in the right direction.

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations
for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors
or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. This material was
prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.