This year could be the year to get your finances on track to meet your goals. While that may seem daunting at first, there are some practical steps to take to get ahead of your debt, create a sizable savings, and plan for the future.
Set Your Goals: Think about your long-term goals: Common examples may include: having a secure retirement, investing in college savings accounts, or owning your home. Long-term goals are a great way to keep you on mental track, and are useful to have as you make day-to-day choices about your finances.
Make Use of Tools Available: Create a budget for your known expenses, and a payment schedule. Many payments can be automated with your bank, so that you can anticipate when they will deduct, and in some cases, get additional discounts for using paperless billing. From there, you can start allocating extra payments on debt. For those concerned about day-to-day spending, a free app for your phone can keep track of your accounts, and you can categorize your spending to make sure that you are staying within your budget in all categories. You can also use apps to monitor investment accounts on a regular basis.
Pay Off Debt: Concentrate on paying down high interest or variable-interest debt. As you work on paying your debt, take a hard look at how this debt was accumulated, it could mean you are living beyond your means and can educate you when you make future purchase decisions. For example, leasing a new car every few years can add up over time – would it make more sense to buy a car more affordable to you and pay in cash at sale or take out a small loan for a short amount of time?
Max Out Your 401k and IRA Contributions: Go for the company match and consider adding another percentage point. For 2018 you will be able to contribute up to $18,500 in a company-sponsored retirement plan. Remember, you can also make additional 2017 IRA contributions until April 17, 2018. Both Traditional and Roth IRAs offer important tax advantages for your retirement funds. Talk to a Western Fraternal Life agent about investing in a deferred annuity if you are interested in guaranteed income for retirement.
Make your Will and Review Your Estate Planning: Talk to your attorney about custody of your children, property, and who will take care of you should you be incapacitated. Organize your documents and online passwords and make sure your family knows where to find them.
Review Your Insurance and Investment Programs: Meet with your Western agent and review your certificates. Are beneficiaries up to date? Is your coverage adequate? Is your investment strategy effective?
Taking these simple steps will make 2018 a truly Happy New Year! For more information about achieving your financial goals, contact your Western Fraternal Life agent or call 877-935-2467 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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