The New Year offers the chance for a fresh outlook on life and a new beginning. Setting financial New Year’s resolutions can help you kick off the year on a strong footing, relative to your personal goals, career objectives, family priorities, health and wellbeing, lifetime dreams, and more. SageVest Wealth Management offers our top ten 2019 financial New Year resolutions to help you enjoy a happy, healthy, and wealthy New Year.
Take Advantage Of A Strong Job Market
Our national unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in decades, making this the perfect time to negotiate a pay rise or look for a new job. Remember that benefits are a key element of any employment package. Carefully evaluate the total value of any compensation structure, including base pay, bonuses, stock incentives, vacation and insurance benefits (including health, life, and disability), and more.
Tax Tip: If you have any non-reimbursed business expenses, negotiate these into your compensation, as you can no longer deduct them under new tax laws.
Get Your Taxes Done Early Post Tax Reform
It’s always prudent to get your taxes done early, but this year it’s even more important, following recent tax reforms. Virtually everyone’s taxes will look different this year. Lower tax rates and higher standard deductions position many tax filers to benefit from lower taxes. If you stand to receive a refund, you’re better off receiving it early. You might even be able to reduce your 2019 tax withholdings as a result. Conversely, if you owe money, it’s better to know earlier rather than later, so that you can plan accordingly.
Know How You’re Invested
We celebrated the longest bull market in history in 2018, and then witnessed a precipitous bout of volatility at year-end. While we hope the bull market returns, no bull market lasts forever. You should always know how you’re invested, and this year might prove critical for knowing how to invest amidst volatility and how to be positioned, relative to your income needs, long-term objectives, and other considerations.
Say Goodbye To Debt
Interest rates have been steadily increasing. This doesn’t impact debt with fixed interest rates. However, if you have loans with variable rates (e.g., variable home equity loans), or rates that expire, it’s time to evaluate how higher interest rates might impact you financially. Better yet, consider saying good-bye to debt completely. Being debt free is a significant achievement that everyone should strive for, particularly as you approach retirement.
Enhance Your Quality Of Living
This might sound counter-intuitive as a financial New Year’s resolution, but enhancing your quality of life doesn’t always translate into spending more money. De-stressing is a huge factor toward life enjoyment, and financial worries are a prime contributor to stress. Getting your finances in order can help you live a healthier and happier life, today and in the future.
Make Sure You’re On Track Financially
Do you know if you’re saving enough toward your financial and life goals? Entering the New Year with clarity and a clear plan helps to make sure you’re on track financially If you don’t feel financially confident, it’s time to contact a fee-only, independent financial advisor for help. SageVest can develop a comprehensive, customized financial plan to help you take control of your finances.
Pay Yourself First
One of the best attitudes you can adopt towards securing your financial future is to pay yourself first. This means setting aside savings at the beginning of every month in support of your financial objectives. Make sure you’re maxing out your employer retirement plan, as well as saving additional money in a traditional savings or investment account. Automate savings where possible to help simplify your finances and ensure that savings occur naturally
Set A Rewarding Goal
While saving is important, so too is enjoying today while still balancing financial responsibility for your future. Most people work better toward an objective if they have a set goal and reward. Consider planning a year-end treat for yourself if you achieve your 2019 financial objectives. Just remember to budget for any reward you plan, so that you don’t negate all your hard work.
Tax reform might lower your taxes, but it might also lower charitable giving, as more taxpayers qualify for the standard deduction and can no longer gain tax benefits from their charitable contributions. If you’re charitably inclined, there are a number of charitable giving strategies that we can discuss to help you receive tax benefits post tax reform, while still supporting your favorite organizations.
Share With And Educate Others
Money is frequently considered a taboo or socially impolite topic, when in reality healthy financial discussions can help those you love and care about. One of your 2019 financial New Year’s resolutions should be to communicate openly and respectfully about money, especially with family members or those who might play a role in your future finances. Share financial wisdom with children and grandchildren too, to help teach them about money and encourage financial literacy for their future success.
SageVest Wealth Management provides comprehensive fee-only wealth management services spanning investments and financial planning. Please contact us to learn how we can help you plan for the New Year and a more financially confident tomorrow.