Start the new year right by reviewing and revamping your financial plan!
Instead of hauling out those familiar New Year’s resolutions about keeping a journal or drinking more water, how about focusing on your financial well-being? As we step into the year 2024, its essential to focus on financial resolutions that will help you achieve your long-term financial goals.
Here’s a few resolutions that can help ensure your long-term financial confidence.
- Update your beneficiaries
- If you don’t correctly document your beneficiary designations, who gets what may be determined by federal or state law, or by the default plan document used in your retirement accounts. When did you last update your designations? Have life changes (divorce, remarriage, births, deaths, state of residence) occurred since then?
- Update your beneficiary listings on wills, life insurance, annuities, IRAs, 401(k)s, qualified plans and anything else that’d affect your heirs. If you’ve named a trust, have any relevant tax laws changed? Have you provided for the possibility that your primary beneficiary may die before you? Does your plan address the simultaneous death of you and your spouse? An estate attorney can help walk you through these various scenarios.
- Evaluate your retirement progress
- What changes are needed given your current lifestyle and the market environment? Don’t fixate solely on your assets’ value – instead, drill down into what types of securities you hold, your expected cash flows, your contingency plans, your assumed rate of return, inflation rates and how long you’re planning for. Retirement plans have many moving parts that must be monitored on an ongoing basis.
- Prioritize your retirement savings. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your investments have to grow. Make sure you’re taking advantage of any employer-sponsored retirement plans and, if possible, consider maximizing your contributions to your retirement accounts.
- Digitize your record keeping
- You likely receive emails, letters reports and updates from multiple accounts. Consider going paperless and centralizing important files in one place to reduce frustration and ensure easy access when needed. Your advisor may have access to secure storage tools that can help.
- Create a budget & stick to it
- Whatever your financial goals may be, a budget is a necessary tool to help you reach those goals. A budget will help you understand your income, expenses, and how much money you can allocate towards your financial goals each month. This will allow you to make informed decisions about where you can cut back on spending and where you can save more.
- Check in with you advisor
- Your advisor can offer specialized tools, impartiality and experience earned by dealing with many market cycles and client situations. Communicate openly about what’s happening in your life today and what may happen in the future. It’s difficult to manage what they aren’t aware of, so err on the side of over-communicating and establish a regular check-in schedule for the year ahead.
These suggestions are a helpful starting point, but no two long-term plans are identical – so reach out to your advisor for more specific guidance about progressing toward your goals in 2024.
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing materials are accurate or complete. This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Gainspoletti Financial Services and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.