If you were a runner who was in training you would have certain goals with regard to the times you are able to achieve. When you know how fast you want to run a particular distance you have to check your watch along the way to see if you are on pace.
The same thing is true when you are planning ahead for the future on a financial level. As you traverse your career path you need to know exactly where you stand at each mile marker as it were so that you can verify the fact that you are indeed on course.
Should you find that you are falling short of your incremental goals adjustments may be necessary.
To get an idea of exactly where you stand you may want to create a net worth statement. In a general sense a net worth statement is a balance sheet upon which you enter your assets and your liabilities. When you lay everything out logically and do the math you gain an understanding of where you stand.
One thing to keep in mind in addition to financial planning as it applies to your near-term goals and your ultimate retirement would be the estate planning element. If you find that your assets exceed the amount of the estate tax exclusion you are going to want to discuss tax efficiency strategies with a good estate planning lawyer.
The estate tax on the federal level can significantly reduce your wealth, and here in New Jersey we also have a state level estate tax as well as an inheritance tax. These levies can erode your financial legacy significantly, so you do not want to go forward without the benefit of professional advice.
The Augulis Law Firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.