Now is also a good time to make strategic decisions regarding education savings accounts, healthcare enrollment, gifts for family and friends and retirement contributions. These are expenses that are likely to come up throughout the year.
Reviewing Your Financial Plan
First off, if you don’t have a financial plan, now is a great time to start one. According to Gallup, only 30 percent of Americans have a long-term financial plan. Fortunately, it’s easy to set one up. Meet with a financial planner in your area to get started.
If you do have a financial plan, make sure to review it regularly. These plans are not “set it and forget it.” Ideally, you should review your plan once a year to make sure that you are on track with your goals. Here are a few key elements to include in your financial plan:
- Your budget. How realistic was your budget? Do you need to make changes to account for additional expenses in the new year?
- Retirement accounts and investments. Are your investments helping you reach your goals? Your financial advisor in New Jersey can determine if you need to rebalance your portfolio to accommodate your goals.
- Taxes. Will your tax situation change next year based on your income? For instance, if you plan on earning more, you’ll have a higher tax burden to account for.
- Potential risks. Does your plan have gaps that can put your finances at risk? If something unexpected happens, such as a job loss or illness, will you have enough put away to cover these expenses?
Setting Realistic Goals
Many people look toward a new year with high hopes and aspirations. Maybe they want to travel more, open a business or pay for a college education. No matter what you hope to achieve, it’s important to set realistic goals and include them in your plan.
Keep in mind that it takes time to reach goals. You have to start slow and work with the resources you have. A financial advisor can help you set realistic goals that will work within your budget, as well as creative ways for how to get there.
Meet with Your Financial Planner in New Jersey
It doesn’t take much to create a financial plan, but you do have to keep up with it. Make it a goal to meet with your advisor at least once a year to review your plan. And if anything major comes up, let your financial advisor know so that they can adjust things accordingly. This way, you can make the most of your budget while putting money toward your retirement.