If you're like most Americans, you probably didn't make a new year's resolution to get started with long-term financial planning.
A staggering 84 percent of respondents to a New Year's Resolution Survey from Allianz Life Insurance said that financial planning was not among their 2014 resolutions at all—the highest percentage ever to reveal that in the survey's history.
What held them back? Well, 30 percent said they don't believe they make enough money to "worry" about financial planning. That's bizarre. Shouldn't having less money increase your need to manage what you have effectively?
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Regardless of your situation, I hope you'll engage in the planning process this year—and the sooner you get started, the better.
The advice my firm is giving our clients in 2014 features many themes often repeated over our 25-year history, along with some new information reflecting what's happening now. Here are eight key elements:
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If you don't have a comprehensive long-term financial plan for yourself and your family, get one from an independent, objective, fee-based financial planner. I can't think of a better new year's resolution.
— By Ric Edelman, Special to CNBC.com. Ric Edelman, a registered investment advisor, is chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services and CEO, president and a director of the Edelman Financial Group.