When I was in my mid-20’s, I went back to school, graduated and started a writing career a year later. A year after that, I moved to the beach. It was at that point that I started saving for retirement again. I had invested previously, and I had always tried to save and even save for retirement. However, this is when things all came together, I was settled and could save. Let me tell you how I, David Loughnan, approached financial planning in terms of saving for my retirement.

If when thinking about financial planning, you think that you want to hire a financial planner, great. That is what many people do, and that is a good step. I skipped that part, although I have always had a huge interest in investing, doing tons of my own research. I think what I chose to do through you will find interesting and a little comical.

Okay, the first part is nothing out of the ordinary. I started a new brokerage account. The next part is nothing out of the ordinary either. I started a separate brokerage account for an aggressive diversified ETF portfolio, the first account being for individual securities. The third part was ordinary as well, as I started a new bank account that wasn’t regional and provided me easy access to my new city. I did all of this over a period of time and set up a rather interesting system.

First, realize that is four accounts, two with a liquid saving and two with investments. I say four accounts because I include my checking account in my savings plan. Everything saved is for retirement by the way, ultimately, but you have to set things up the way that works for you. I’m going to continue to tell you how my system works for me.

The bank I use has a keep the change savings account system that you can use. The ETF investment account provides the same option. What the keep the change concept means is that it rounds up your purchases. So say you make a purchase for $4.33. It would allocate 67 cents to your investment account or savings account, in my case, both.

So the first interesting thing about my financial plan is that I fund the ETF account and the bank savings account using the same method. It is automatic, and that money adds up over time. But wait, there’s more. I have to round up twice, so do you know what I do? I round up twice like this: That purchase of $4.33 rounds up to $5.00, rounds up to $6.00. What that does is it essentially buries 33 extra cents in my checking account, too, savings for their accounts funded in one fell swoop.

That makes every purchase I make a lot more expensive than it is, making me think twice about spending money. I fund three accounts that way. The buried money in my checking is just an ever-growing emergency fund. The savings account is for home improvements or just continuously saving up liquid cash for other reasons and retirement, starting a family first hopefully.

And the ETF account is a diversified portfolio of funds to mitigate investment risk for retirement. Plus, I just liked the idea of having an ETF portfolio on top of a stock portfolio. As for my stock account, that is where I shine the most. I love investing, manage my diversified portfolio of dividend stocks and make my purchases every Monday. That is my approach to financial planning and saving for retirement.

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