As the holiday season approaches and a new year gears ahead of us, here are financial planning tips that can help you take your 2017 financial planning to the next level and put you on the right path to a more financially secure future.
Tip # 1- Maximize Your Retirement Savings.
There are three secrets to maximizing retirement savings.
The first is to put savings on autopilot—automatic monthly withdrawals from a checking account, paying down a mortgage.
The second secret is to fully utilize tax-advantaged retirement vehicles.
The third secret— forget that you have this money!
Tip # 2 – Reallocate Your Investments.
With the elevated values of equities we are currently seeing, it is a good time to lighten the equity load and add to the bond allocation.
Tip # 3 – Don’t Forget Your Estate Plan.
There are personal savings, employee benefits, and life insurance proceeds that may be available to provide for the needs of the family. But are these funds structured properly? Often they are not. The client’s will, personal asset titling, and beneficiary designations all need to be reviewed to ensure that family needs will be matched by both the amount of funds available and how the funds are made available.
Tip # 4 – Invest For The Long Term.
Success in investments is a marathon and not a sprint. Develop an investment strategy and stick with it no matter what the conditions in the market. Success in the stock market is largely about showing up and sticking to a long term plan.
Tip # 5– Manage Your Debt To Stay Out Of Debt.
Without a strategic debt management plan, you will likely continue to accrue debt which puts you further behind and makes it harder to escape. Debt management includes strategically paying down the most expensive debt first, like credit card debt, then personal loans, then student loans, and then housing debt. However, debt management is also just as much about avoiding future debt and looking for areas to cut back spending or at least, spend smarter.
Tip # 6 – Talk with Loved Ones about Money.
Take some time to build a shared vision of what your future looks like. For parents, take time to teach your children about money. Children learn about money whether we deliberately teach them or not, so be conscious about what money messages your children are getting. Even a simple conversation can go a long way.
Tip # 7 – Review Insurance Coverages.
Review your insurance coverages on a regular basis to ensure that the amounts of coverage are still consistent with your original needs and intent.