Successful New Year's Resolutions…
At this time of year, many people attempt to set and follow New Year’s resolutions. At some point, almost everyone has set a resolution, such as weight loss, a new workout routine, a new diet or something similar. We all start with great intentions, but slowly decline in our efforts throughout the year; and rarely do these resolutions develop into habits. Why? It's difficult, painful and downright no fun. To make personal sacrifices for such activities gets tiresome, and the majority of people get distracted with something else and that resolution tends to fade into non-existence. It’s never intentional. We don’t typically “throw in the towel;” we get distracted with more important things and simply move on. Getting your finances in order can be similar. You may start with good intentions, but the priority tends to slide as the year moves on and you get preoccupied.
Here's how to beat the system. Like having a workout partner, we recommend a financial accountability partner. Take one day for a financial checkup to determine whether you are on track for retirement. Are you saving enough? Are your investments allocated correctly? Once you have your financial checkup and have a plan, automate
the important things. For example, if you automate your monthly savings, when you forget about it, it’s OK. Take your beginning-of-the-year good intentions and put them on “auto-pilot.”
You have probably heard that you should “pay yourself first,” but most of us seem to never have enough money left over to save. We understand that, and we all do it. It’s human nature. You work very hard, and it’s very important to "capture" your earnings for rainy days and retirement. By automating your savings and other financial processes, the savings happen behind the scenes and take no effort beyond your initial setup. This will leave you with peace of mind and confidence about your financial future.
A few important items you can automate are:
- Monthly savings
- Semi-annual or annual rebalancing of your investment portfolios
- 401(k) plans