003-globes We all have a unique set of personal risks and challenges that we must consider when developing a financial goal. That being said, there are major challenges that affect us all and are important to keep in mind when planning for the future.

Challenge #1: Our Nation's Debt

Our nation's debt is increasing at an alarming rate. I urge you all to visit USDebtClock.org to see how quickly these numbers are rising. These high debts can cause great damage to our economy.

Challenge #2: Our Entitlement Programs - Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

Baby boomers make up the largest segment of our population and now that they are beginning to retire it is going to put a major strain on many of our social programs. How do you think we will pay for this deficit? Will benefits be reduced or taxes be raised - maybe both?

Challenge #3: Student Loan Debt

Student Loan debt has reached an all time high and more and more people are beginning to default on these loans. Unfortunately, many students cannot afford to go to college without these loans due to the exponential rise in tuition costs. Recent graduates are struggling to pay back their loans in a timely manner and are not able to contribute to the overall economy like the young adults of the previous generation.

Challenge #4: States & Cities Are Broke

State budgets are in turmoil as they struggle to pay health and pension benefits that were promised to retirees. Many of these states are being forced to make unfortunate cuts to avoid bankruptcy.

Challenge #5: Health Care Costs In Retirement

Medical inflation and long term care costs are often overlooked when planning for retirement. Many retirees are underestimating their future health care costs when it should be one of the main concerns when planning for the future.

These Challenges Create Risky Results

Because of the challenges listed above, we have to beware of the future. Consider these risks:

1) Inflation

2) Market Volatility

3) Higher Taxes

4) Outliving Your Money