The turn of the new year is the most popular time to make resolutions and set goals for what we want to accomplish in the year ahead. What better time to think more in depth about your financial health and take action to improve your financial well-being.
Here are some valuable steps you can take to make sure you’re closer to where you want to be financially by this time next year.
Make a plan. Create a list of three to five goals you want to accomplish this year and turn them into specific, attainable goals with deadlines.
Spend wisely. Be proactive and assess where you’re currently spending. Make small tweaks to save a bit more. The following are some apps you can use to help on this front: mvelopes, Penny and Mint. These apps can link your accounts, track all of your credit card purchases and cash withdrawals and then categorize them into types of spending. We’re here to help, so let’s talk about this during your next visit.
Be strategic. Effective tax planning demands a meticulous review of your tax return to determine the best actions to take this year to reduce your tax burden now and possibly in future years. Plan now to minimize the tax impact at your demise so that the most is passed onto the ones you love. Bring your latest tax return to your next appointment and let us offer a fresh approach to reducing your tax burden.
Maximize your retirement plans. Invest in yourself first by taking advantage of employee-sponsored retirement savings plans. If you are already utilizing these programs, increase your contributions by a small percentage. Many changes can affect your investment accounts over the course of the year, so monitor them closely and rebalance as necessary.
Ensure your well-being. According to the Social Security Administration, 56 million Americans, or 1-in-5, live with disabilities. Plan for the unexpected and protect your loved ones by obtaining coverage in case of debilitating illness or injury. Long-term disability insurance can give you peace of mind knowing your family will continue to be provided for in case of accident or illness.
Reduce your debt. Whether it is debt from student loans, credit cards or a personal loan, it is important to have a plan in place to pay down your debt load as quickly as possible. Begin by paying off debt with the highest interest rates first; continue making minimum payments on all of your liabilities.
Earn extra income. There are only so many areas to cut spending, so start thinking about ways to bring in some extra income. Use it to pay off debt, save more, or spend on the things you love. Even a small amount of extra cash each month can help you meet your financial goals much faster.
Improve your credit rating. Your credit score can have a huge impact on the options available to you in regard to future large purchases and on your insurance rates. Make it a priority to analyze your credit report at least once a year to make sure everything is accurate. Take the steps to improve your score as necessary.
Insure to Ensure. Ensuring your loved ones’ future financial security is necessary no matter where you are in life. Life insurance can protect and provide financial relief for your family if you’re suddenly not around to provide financial security.
Pass it on. Financial gifts can lay a foundation for your loved ones, whether you're helping fund a child's future education, or giving an adult child a leg up to follow their dreams. There are many considerations one must make when choosing when and how to transfer wealth. Let’s discuss the options available to you.
Secure your future. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 70% of people turning 65 will need some form of long-term care. Unfortunately, costs associated can add up quickly and can negatively impact your retirement and other savings. Let’s discuss your family health history, current and future assets and projected retirement age to determine if long-term care insurance makes sense for you.
Solidify your financial plans. If you don’t have an estate plan, now’s the time to create one. If you already have one, review your plan to make sure it continues to meet your needs. As time passes, things in life change, and estate plans need to be updated. Life changes can alter your estate wishes and should be addressed in your estate documents.
Take this opportunity to resolve that 2017 will be an optimal year and set the course for your desired financial destination. During your annual review, let’s discuss your personal goals and investment objectives so that we can bring your dreams into sharp focus.
Happy New Year!