CPA Michelle Staebell of the New York State Society of CPAs discussed the importance of having a financial plan and the ingredients to putting a solid one together Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“It’s very important for setting financial goals,” Staebell said of financial planning. “You want to avoid financial setbacks in your life. You want to plan for unexpected life changes, and you want to really avoid debt and credit problems, if you can.”

Staebell said the best way to avoid any financial setbacks is to have a budget. “A monthly budget is easy,” she said. “You just track all your money coming in, your expenses going out, and there should be some money left over. That money can be used for saving and investments, and it really helps you determine your short-term goals, and also your long-term financial goals.”

Accounting for unexpected life-changes is part of a solid financial plan. “Some good ideas are to get insurance, maybe some life insurance, maybe some long-term disability insurance or some other kinds of long-term insurances for the just-in-case,” said Staebell, who added retirement planning is another important component. “You should always have that in-mind. You can look at options that your employer might offer for retirement, but usually that’s not enough. You want to be setting some of your own money aside for retirement as well.”
 
Staebell added do your best to avoid credit debt. “Try to pay your bills on-time and in-full. Buy things that you can only afford. Having that budget will tell you what you can afford and what you can’t afford.”
 
For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here.