The new year is a great time for people to turn the page. Maybe they’re going to start that new exercise program—and this time they’re going to stick to it. Other resolutions touch on traveling to a faraway, exotic location or, simply to spend more time with family.
One type of resolution that too often gets neglected is the one that impacts your nest egg. To make 2017 the year you reach your goals, consider implementing the following five financial resolutions:
Make a budget
When’s the last time you sat down and made a financial budget, taking a cold, hard look at what you have coming into your accounts versus what’s going out, and discovered where that hard-earned money is going? Particularly as you transition from a steady paycheck into retirement, evaluating and setting a budget is an essential building block to maintaining a comfortable lifestyle throughout retirement.
Max out savings
Spend less, and save more! Common goals at the top of everyone’s financial list. The contributions you make will be the cornerstone for your retirement income. Take advantage of tax-deferred and tax-free savings accounts, particularly if your company provides a plan with employer match. The contribution limits remain unchanged for 2017 at $5,500 for IRAs ($6,500 for age 50+) and $18,000 for 401(k) ($24,000 for age 50+).
Create an estate plan
According to the 2016 Estate Planning Awareness Survey, nearly half of Americans believe estate planning is only for the ultra-wealthy. That false belief creates problems for far too many people at or near retirement. By getting an estate in order, you can address everything from designating a guardian for children to developing a plan on how to transfer assets from one generation to the next. Also, any fee charged by an estate-planning professional can be dwarfed by the taxes and fees you’ll save by avoiding probate court.
Find a fiduciary
When you look to develop your financial resolutions, make sure you engage with a fiduciary to guide you through your financial decisions. Beginning in April 2017, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will go into effect. This ruling requires that all retirement advisors, including brokers and insurance agents, put their client’s best interest ahead of their own profits when discussing qualified retirement assets. At Lang Capital, we have proactively elected to serve as fiduciaries in all capacities for our clients ahead of this evolving legislation.
Cut emotion from investments
Too often we see nest eggs get crushed when investors make choices based on emotions rather than through a calculated plan based on their goals, their risk tolerance, and where they are regarding retirement. By carving out a diversified plan with a financial professional, and then sticking to it, your financial needs and goals will drive your plan, rather than kneejerk reactions or emotional attachment to individual holdings.
Jumpstart your 2017 by committing to these five financial resolutions, and making a list of your own financial goals! If you’re ready to turn the page on your financial future, call at (803) 547-7853 for our Charlotte office or (843) 757-9400 for our Hilton Head office, and we’ll help develop a plan that will help you realize your retirement dreams.