Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Here Are a Few Ideas for 2017

In the spirit of the holiday season, here is a list of early New Year’s resolutions and fun things to do in 2017!

  1. Remember, cash flow (income versus expenses) is the key to long-term financial success. If you are gainfully employed, you should save 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.
  1. Insurance is the foundation of sound financial planning. Home and auto insurance, umbrella liability coverage, health insurance, life insurance, disability 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.
  1. 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 you only have to remember one password for your password manager program.
  1. 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 children or grandchildren?
  1. Does a trusted person know where you keep your website usernames, passwords and answers to security questions? 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.

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