As another year winds to a close, we wanted to present you with some New Years resolutions designed to improve your financial health in the coming year.
- Update your estate plan. Has there been a change in your family over the last year? A marriage, a new baby, a death in the family? If so, you need to update your estate plan, your insurance policies and your beneficiary designations.
- Update your internet passwords. Are you using the internet to pay bills, shop, or access your investment accounts? You will want to update your passwords and make them harder to guess.
- Review your investments. Have you reviewed your portfolio recently? Is it still aligned with your needs and goals? If not, make some changes.
- Get a personal “Risk Number.” Do you know how much risk you can take? Most people don’t really know. Resolve to get your personal “Risk Number“this year. If you don’t know yours, click here to figure it out.
- Get your portfolio’s “Risk Number.” Do you know how risky your investments are? Most people don’t know how much risk they are taking. Get your portfolio’s “Risk Number” and compare it to yours. If it’s not the same, you need to consult your financial advisor.
- Update your financial plan. If you don’t know where you’re going you probably won’t get there. What’s your financial plan? If you answered: “I don’t have one” resolve to get one this year.
- Set your financial goals. Do you know how much you need to save to retire? Here are some guidelines:
A 30-year-old can open a retirement account and make regular monthly contributions. By investing properly and aiming for a modest 6% per year rate of return:
- Saving just $200/month, by age 67 his account will have grown to nearly $350,000.
- By saving $500 per month the account will be worth over $850,000.
- Saving $1,000 per month will make our 30-year-old a millionaire by age 59.
If you have problems with any of these resolutions, you should definitely consider working with a financial advisor; someone who will be like a health coach for your personal finances. Resolve to find one this year.
Think of the Advisor as your Sherpa, as it were, whose job it is to guide you amid the extreme altitudes and treacherous passes in investing’s hazardous terrain. That is to say, an Advisor is not someone you hire to beat the market for you, but rather someone who can help you achieve your personal financial objectives as “a facilitator, mentor, and market strategist” for those who, on their own, struggle to achieve their goals.