Ten ways to make 2017 a financial success
–by Jeff Bucher
PUBLICATION DATE: Dec 2016
As the end of 2016 approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how to make 2017 a success for you and your loved ones.
Here are 10 financial resolutions to help make 2017 healthy, happy, and successful:
1. Create emergency savings
Life is full of unexpected emergencies, and some extra cash can help a serious illness, home repair, or other sudden financial need from derailing your finances. Prepare for unpredictable expenses by putting aside six to eight months of expenses in an easily accessible cash-equivalent account.
2. Make a monthly budget and stick to it
Budgets may sound like a lot of unnecessary work, especially if you’re financially comfortable, but it’s quite easy to let your spending go off the rails if you’re not tracking it in some way. Set a budget and work on sticking to it for a couple of months. Don’t aim for perfection; instead, try for incremental improvement.
3. Make retirement plan contributions regularly (instead of all at once)
We believe that “time in the market” is critical to long-term investing success. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make your annual contributions, give your money more time to grow by making automatic contributions to your accounts every month.
4. Maximize your retirement plan contributions
Tax-managed retirement accounts are one of the most powerful ways to save for a more comfortable retirement. Make the most of them by contributing as much as you can each tax year. We usually recommend maxing out employer-sponsored plans first to take advantage of any matching contributions your employer may offer. Give us a call if you need help understanding your retirement account options.
5. Pay down high-interest debt
High-interest debt can make it very hard to get ahead financially. If you’re carrying a lot of debt, make paying it down a priority. Contact us for help managing expenses and getting on top of your debt.
6. Review your estate planning and legal documents
Your core legal documents should be regularly reviewed to make sure that they keep up with your life. If it’s been a few years since you took a look at your documents, dust them off and make sure that they still represent your wishes.
7. Review the beneficiaries of your financial accounts and insurance policies
When is the last time you updated your beneficiaries? Since beneficiary provisions are independent of your will or other estate provisions, it’s critical to keep them current. Contact us for assistance with gathering account documents and making needed updates.
8. Stay on top of your health
Healthcare is a major expense for most Americans, especially when serious illness strikes. Take steps to protect your health (and your wallet) by building a healthy lifestyle and being proactive about preventative care.
9. Protect your credit and identity
Identity theft and financial fraud are serious threats that can compromise your financial wellbeing. Protect yourself by reviewing financial statements and bills carefully for unauthorized activity. There are many websites where you can check your credit report for free.
10. Involve your loved ones in your finances
If you (or your spouse) don’t get involved in the family finances, it’s time to start. Work together to make financial decisions and make sure that each of you understands the overall game plan for your finances. At minimum, make sure that your loved ones know how to access financial accounts and understand your wishes.
If you have questions about your future or would like some support in keeping your financial resolutions, give us a call at 419/872-0204. Together, let’s make 2017 a success.
Jeff Bucher is the President and co- founder of Citizen Advisory Group, a comprehensive financial planning company in Perrysburg.
You can contact him at 419/872-0204
email at email@example.com
visit at: 770 Commerce Dr., Perrysburg;
or visit the website at: citizenadvisory.com.
Investment Advisory Services offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Adviser. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability.
AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC and Citizen Advisory Group are independent entities.