Change The Way Your Money Works For You: 9 Financial Resolutions To Make 2018 Your Best Money Year Yet
Now that 2018 is upon us, there’s no time like the present to begin making financial growth plans for the new year.
According to a study conducted by Fidelity Investments, 76 percent of Americans predict they will be better off financially in 2018. However, the top 3 financial resolutions remain the same from previous years: Save more, pay down debt and spend less. Senior Vice President of Retirement at Fidelity, Ken Hevert, says: “Now is not the time to take one’s foot off the pedal, because good financial times can represent the best opportunities to help achieve your goals – and establish saving and investing habits that can get one through good times and bad. Even if you don’t feel a burning need to create a financial resolution, you can still resolve to identify financial areas needing improvement and make some smart financial moves [in 2018].”
To that end, below are 9 financial resolutions to help you grow your wealth in 2018. Enjoy!
- Set realistic, reachable financial goals.
Although it may seem slightly ironic that our first resolution or goal is to have goals, this is where most people fail at the onset. Set your benchmarks now to ensure steady financial growth and independence in 2018. No matter where you are in your life or career, setting realistic financial goals now can have immeasurable benefits.
- Prepare for changes in the tax laws.
Changes in the tax codes for 2018 have already taken effect – on December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It cuts income tax rates, doubles the standard deduction, and eliminates personal exemptions. If you haven’t already done so, read about how this new tax plan affects you, and talk to us, your financial advisor, and/or your tax advisor about how to strategize any important changes to your 2018 financial, estate, and tax plans.
- Review your investment portfolio.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take a detailed look at your investments. Take a moment to see which investments are performing well, which are not, and where you may be able to reinvest and diversify.
- Get your budget under control.
Spending within your means in imperative to long-term financial stability. Examine your income and expenses for 2017, so you know your starting point. Then, throughout 2018 pull year-to-date reports so you can identify and correct problem areas. Analyzing your expenses regularly helps you identify when money is being spent frivolously or on items that have less importance to your long-term goals.
- Look for creative ways to increase income.
If you own or operate a business, are there new strategies you can implement to reach untapped markets or otherwise increase revenue? If you work as an employee, are you due for a raise this year? Do you own any intellectual property you’re not currently exploiting for royalties? Do you have a hobby that could be turned for-profit? Brainstorm, and use your imagination to find additional ways to increase your personal income.
- Deal firmly with debt.
Debt is dead weight and the interest charges can be a burden on an otherwise good financial plan. Bite the bullet, and find out if a debt reduction or elimination plan in 2018 is right for you.
- Review your life insurance coverage.
Your policy may be out of date and not have features now commonly available. Worse yet, you may be underinsured if your family’s financial needs have changed. Put your coverage under the microscope to build an action plan. Once you’ve decided on changes with your insurance advisor, coordinate the beneficiary designation with us, so it aligns with your estate plans.
- Review your retirement plan.
If you have a 401(k) or an IRA, how is it performing? Is it time to increase your contributions? Should you roll over to a different plan? If you don’t have a retirement strategy, start now, and get to it. No matter your age or the size of your estate, it’s never too early to start planning and saving for retirement. We’re here to help if you have questions.
- Plan for your heirs.
If you don’t have a trust, consider working with us to establish one in 2018. If it’s been more than three years since your trust was last looked at, it could be time for a checkup. Are there any life changes (e.g., marriage or divorce) that need to be considered and incorporated into your plan? A trust prepared by a qualified estate planning attorney can protect your heirs and legacy from the IRS, creditors, and court interference.
We are here to support you in your commitment to set solid financial goals and to assist you in crafting a successful estate plan in 2018. From our family to yours, Happy New Year. We look forward to helping you achieve your financial goals for the 2018 year and the years to come.
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