Every year millions of people make resolutions for how they want to improve their lives in the upcoming year. This tradition dates back centuries: The Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. While you may be more committed to getting back to the gym rather than making promises to Roman god, have you made promises to yourself regarding your financial goals?
- Make security a priority. In 2018, make financial security a top priority. Financial Plans & Strategies has given clients many great ideas
underour security corner page. If you’ve not yet frozen your credit we encourage you to do so. We recommend a credit freeze for children as well as adults. Interested clients can access a short video or step-by-step article on how to freeze their credit.
- Set up an annual meeting to talk about finances. Annual meetings with your financial advisor are important times to talk about your goals and any changes in your financial situation. Some goals may be long-term (like retirement) while others may be short-term (like buying a home or car). Have any of your short or long-term goals changed? For example, do you now have a need for insurance or estate planning?
Another important topic to discuss is beneficiaries: Have any of your beneficiaries changed? Did you get married or divorced? Did one of your beneficiaries pass away? Did you have a new baby you want to name?
Don’t forget discussions surrounding work-related changes. Do you have a new job? Need help rolling over an old employer plan? Do you need help understanding your investment choices in a new plan? Are you taking advantage of employer matching plans and any health savings plans?
- Begin using personal finance software. Financial Plans & Strategies provides our clients with free access to FPS Live, which includes a secure document storage tool, as well as powerful budgeting and investment tools. Within FPS Live, you can see all your investments and money in one place. By tracking your finances and investments, you can spend and save more wisely. The Vault is also a great place to store tax documents, important photos, passport copies, and more.
- Review Your Savings. How are you doing in terms of saving? Have you reviewed your employer plan options to make sure the investments you chose match the new financial laws? For example, the 401k (under 50) maximum contribution is now $18,500. If you are 50 or older you can contribute up to $24,500.
Are you utilizing employer benefits like health savings plans? The HSA maximum has increased to $3,450 for an individual and $6,900 for a family.
Do you have a new baby or grandchild for whom you would like to start a 529 savings plan (the rules have changed)?
Are you doing everything you can to max out your individual retirement savings account? Have you made your 2017 IRA or Roth IRA contributions? If not, reach out to our office by April 17th to increase your automatic monthly retirement contributions or make a one-time contribution.
- Stay informed to learn about important financial topics and how they affect you. As we say in our core values, “a more educated client is a better client.” We publish timely and helpful financial advice on our blog every month. If you haven’t signed up for the blog yet, be sure to do so to remain an informed financial consumer!
The five financial goals above are easily achievable in 2018. If you need help defining, setting or achieving your financial goals, please contact our office at (317) 882-7675 or [email protected] While many of your new year resolutions may fall by the wayside, make sure your financial welfare is not one of them!