5 Financial Tips for Your New Year’s Resolution List
Filed under: Financial Planning
New Year’s is a time to set goals and chart a new course. Many people take advantage of the new year as a time to implement new habits and pursue new goals. Perhaps you’ve decided that 2018 is the year you’ll get your financial house in order. Perhaps you’ve fallen behind on your savings or feel that you may be too exposed to risk. The new year might be the right time to analyze your current situation and make changes.
Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take that can have a big impact on your family’s financial picture. Below are five such steps. If you haven’t taken the following actions, 2018 may be the year to do so.
Raise your 401(k) contribution rate.
A 401(k) plan can be a powerful retirement savings vehicle. It offers tax-deferred growth, which means you don’t pay taxes on your gains as long as the funds stay in the account. This could help your money grow at a faster rate than it would in a taxable account.
Many employers offer 401(k) matching contributions. For example, some employers will match their employees’ 401(k) contributions dollar-for-dollar up to a certain threshold, such as 3 percent of salary. These matching dollars are a great way to increase your savings level.
If you want to improve your preparedness for retirement, increasing your 401(k) contribution levels is a great way to start. You don’t have to make a big increase all at once. Instead, simply resolve to increase your contribution by 1 percentage point at the start of each year. Over time, you’ll see a sizable increase in your savings level.
Tackle your household debt.
Debt is a fact of life for many Americans, and in some cases, it can be a useful financial tool. You may use debt to pay for your home, car, education and more. But do you really know how much you’re paying to service debt? And do you know how much of your payments are going toward interest?
Take time at the beginning of the year to add up your monthly debt payments. Also, document the interest rate associated with each debt. If debt is consuming a large portion of your budget, 2018 may be the year to get serious about eliminating it.
Consolidate old retirement accounts.
Did you leave your 401(k) behind at your last job? Do you have multiple IRAs that you’ve opened over the years? It’s not unusual for people to have several different accounts with retirement assets. It may be difficult to implement a unified, cohesive investment strategy if your savings are spread among multiple accounts.
Obtain statements for all your retirement accounts and see what you can consolidate. You likely can’t do anything with your 401(k) for your existing employer, and you can’t mix pretax dollars with post-tax accounts like Roth IRAs. However, you can consolidate traditional IRAs and 401(k) balances from former employers. By doing so, you may be able to implement and better manage an investment strategy that’s aligned with your goals.
Take a fresh look at your risk tolerance and allocation.
Speaking of your investment strategy, this could be a good time to reassess your allocation and whether it still reflects your goals. As you get older, your risk tolerance could change. Make sure your investment strategy adjusts with your changing preferences. A financial professional can help you analyze your goals and current portfolio, and then implement changes.
Review your insurance needs and protection.
Finally, make sure your family is fully protected in the event that you die or become disabled. This is especially important if you are the breadwinner of the family. If you pass away, would your family have enough assets to maintain their standard of living? What if you became unable to work because of disability? Insurance can help fund that gap. Work with your financial professional to determine whether your coverage is adequate.
Ready to stabilize your financial future? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Ambrose Financial and Insurance Services. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.
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