In the spirit of the holiday season, here is a list of early New Year’s resolutions and fun things to do in 2018!
- Remember, cash flow (income versus expenses) is the key to long-term financial success. If you are gainfully employed, you should be saving 15% to 25% of your income. If you are retired or not fully employed and are drawing on your investment portfolio, your total annual withdrawals should be 3% to 5% of your portfolio value or less. If your savings rate is low or withdrawal rate is high, review steps to increase your employment income or reduce your expenses.
- Insurance is the foundation of sound financial planning. Home and auto insurance, umbrella liability coverage, health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term-care insurance all require regular review and updating. Funding a health savings account (HSA) warrants consideration. If you own or are considering long-term-care insurance, pay particular attention to and understand the inflation protection options.
- Are you maximizing your internet safety and protection by using different passwords, using long and complicated passwords, and changing your passwords at least once a year? We highly recommend that you use a password manager program such as Dashlane, Lastpass, or RoboForm so you can have many different and complicated passwords but only have to remember one password—the one for your password manager program.
- Do your children or grandchildren have employment income that could be used for a Roth IRA contribution? If applicable, have you funded 529 college savings plans for the calendar year for your children or grandchildren?
- Does a trusted person know where your website user name, passwords, and answers to security questions are kept? Do your family members know where to locate important personal financial papers and how to contact your professional advisors in case of an emergency?
Have a safe and happy holiday season. Take good care of yourself.
Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year in 2018!