goals

It's Not Too Late for These Resolutions

financial book

What were your new years resolutions at the beginning of 2018? Was it to study a new language, take up a musical instrument or visit the gym more often? All these are worthy goals, of course, but did you include some financial resolutions?  

Here are some ideas to think about:

  • Increase contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. For 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 (or $24,500 if you’re 50 or older) to your 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b), for employees of public schools and some nonprofit groups, or a 457(b) plan, for employees of local governments. It’s usually a good idea to contribute as much as you can afford to your employer’s plan, as your contributions may lower your taxable income, while your earnings can grow tax-deferred. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered.
     
  • Try to “max out” on your IRA. Even if you have a 401(k) or similar plan, you can probably still invest in an IRA. For 2018, you can contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older. (Income restrictions apply to Roth IRAs.) Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible, depending on your income, and your earnings can grow tax-deferred. Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, but earnings can grow tax-free, provided you don’t start taking withdrawals until you are 59-1/2 and you’ve have had your account at least five years. You can put virtually any investment in an IRA, so it can expand your options beyond those offered in your 401(k) or similar plan.
     
  • Build an emergency fund. Try to build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money held in a low-risk, liquid account. This fund can help you avoid dipping into your long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace or a major car repair.
     
  • Control your debts. It’s never easy, but do what you can to keep your debts under control. The less you have to spend on debt payments, the more you can invest for your future.
     
  • Don’t overreact to changes in the financial markets. We’ve had a long run of rising stock prices – but it won’t last forever. If we experience a sharp market downturn in 2018, don’t overreact by taking a “time out” from investing. Market drops are a normal feature of the investment landscape, and you may ultimately gain an advantage by buying new shares when their prices are down.
     
  • Review your goals and risk tolerance. At least once in 2018, take some time to review your short- and long-term financial goals and try to determine, possibly with the help of a financial professional, if your investment portfolio is still appropriate for these goals. At the same time,
    you’ll want to re-evaluate your risk tolerance to ensure you’re not taking too much risk – or possibly too little risk – with your investments.

    Do your best to stick with these resolutions throughout the coming year. At a minimum, they  can help you improve your investment habits – and they may improve your financial picture far beyond 2018.

In the New...

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I love Summer… with birds chirping, trees beginning to dress themselves in green and the smell of crisp morning air and feel of a warm sun, it’s a NEW SEASON!

I know most people talk a lot about seasonal cleaning but I want to focus us today on the NEWNESS of the season and not the DIRT OF THE PAST SEASON.  This is a perfect time to re-evaluate so many areas in your life and I’m going to help coach you on the way to seeing a new spring in your step and newness in a few areas of your life. Here’s a quick list of 4 things I want you to break down over the next 4 weeks and begin to experience NEWNESS!

1.     RELATIONSHIPS and specifically that with your significant other.   Whether married, dating, soon to be hitched you MUST set a focus to see success in this area. Take a moment to write down 3 things you feel are lacking or need improvement in the area of your relationship.  Then write down 3 commitments YOU will make, in the next 4 weeks, to see this improved.  We can only control OUR actions and if you will make a commitment to change I believe you will see great change in this NEW Season.

2.     YOUR HEALTH and more specifically what you are feeding yourself.   Food = Fuel, nothing more and nothing less.   We make food so many things… a reward, a stress reliever, and even a means of occupying our time.  I want you to sit down this week and meal plan… If you’ve never done this before GOOGLE is a great place to find some quick recipes and even pre-done meal plans for healthy eating.   Though exercise is an important part of a healthy living plan 80% of your success in maintaining a healthy weight and improving your overall health starts with your eating.   Plan, Prepare and Improve your Health in this NEW Season.

3.     NEW EXPERIENCES are so important to keep life fresh and interesting.   Summer is a great time to begin a new hobby, create a new routine and travel.   Whether it’s diving into an adult coloring book, going horse-back riding or a day trip to a museum mix it up.   These are the activities that give us time to de-stress and explore new avenues for enjoyment in life.    It is crucial as CEO’s that we keep ourselves in environments that
re-charge and challenge us in ways differing from our business life.   Make plans now by month end that you are doing something NEW!

4.     NEW MONEY feels and smells just as good at this time of year, LOL!   Why not get with your financial adviser or research on your own a high yield savings account online and commit to growing your income.   Is there an opportunity to do a short one time gig and bring in a nice penny to stash for a rainy day.   Think out of the box and do something NEW to grow your income in a new way this season.   As CEO’s we must consistently re-evaluate our income strategy and include new passive and active ways to stabilize our income cycles and future financial planning.

Don’t wait on the next season, take time today to journal how you are going to experience each new season in a new way in these 4 areas.   Here’s to a new season and a new you!

~ Coach Jenn