A new year is almost here. The holiday season is upon us, and that means New Year’s isn’t far behind. If you’re like millions of Americans, you may be thinking of resolutions for 2019. Perhaps you want to improve your diet or exercise more frequently. Maybe you want to further your education or advance your career skills. Or maybe you want to get your finances under control and put your retirement planning back on track.
No matter your goals, it’s important to pick a resolution that’s actually sustainable. Nearly 80 percent of those who adopt resolutions abandon their goals by February.1 Often it’s because the goal is too difficult or overly ambitious.
If you’d like to focus on financial matters, below are three resolutions to consider in 2019. They should be relatively easy to keep, and they may help you improve your financial stability and increase your savings for retirement. A financial professional can help you analyze your goals and needs and develop a strategy.
Use a budget.
Almost 60 percent of Americans don’t use a budget.2 Are you among that group? If so, you may be missing out on a valuable financial tool. A budget can help you analyze your spending and make more informed purchasing decisions. It can also show you whether you’re on track to hit your savings goals.
There are plenty of apps and websites available that you can use to maintain your budget. However, a spreadsheet is also effective. List your income, fixed expenses and discretionary expenses. Be sure to include savings as a mandatory, fixed expense. If your income doesn’t cover all your expenses, it may be time to make some changes to your spending and your financial habits.
Increase your retirement savings.
In 2019 you can contribute as much as $19,000 to your employer’s 401(k). That number increases to $25,000 if you’re age 50 or older. You can also contribute up to $5,000 to an IRA, plus an additional $1,000 if you’re at least 50 years old.3
While you may not be able to hit those maximum contribution limits, you can probably increase your contributions a bit from your 2018 levels. Even a modest increase can have a big impact. Try raising your contributions by 1 percent. If that doesn’t impact your budget significantly, you could increase your contributions again. The more you can put into your tax-deferred accounts, the greater your likelihood of reaching your retirement savings goals.
Reassess your risk exposure.
Nothing can derail a retirement strategy like an unexpected financial emergency. You could face a costly home repair or expensive medical bills. You might face temporary unemployment. A market downturn could threaten your savings.
You can’t predict every possible threat, but you can take steps to shield yourself from risk. Insurance is an effective risk protection tool. Life insurance protects your family from your unexpected death. Disability insurance is an important tool to secure your income in case you ever face a serious injury or illness. If you’re approaching retirement, you may also want to consider long-term care protection.
Ready to achieve your 2019 financial resolutions? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Northern Plains Insurance and Financial. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
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