With the New Year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to make resolutions before the calendar flips to January 1. Every year, many people base their resolutions on things like faith, family, and personal wellness. But financial stability tends to trail far behind. For instance, in 2015, only 29% reported financial considerations in their New Year’s resolutions. AAFMAA is hoping to change that this year by providing the top 4 financial resolutions to make for 2018:
Does the bulk of your annual income come from one source? Is there one slice of the pie that dominates your other income sources? It’s a good idea to diversify your income streams as much as possible so you aren’t dependent on one particular source as your sole income.
Create a game a plan to grow other income streams so that you increase your overall income and decrease your reliance on one main source. This resolution is all about establishing financial security so you’re prepared if something happens to your primary income stream.
Organizing your finances may be a task that gets put on the back burner, especially when you’re juggling multiple priorities. There are plenty of online tools that make it easy to get organized and stay organized. Our preferred tool is the AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust Financial Dashboard, which allows you to consolidate your financial accounts in one secure location and start developing your personal financial plan with helpful calculators and educational resources. If you haven’t set up your Financial Dashboard yet, request yours now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are a few other good tools:
• Mint: Mint shows you your balances, lets you pay your bills, track your investments, and more—all in one place.
• Shoeboxed: Shoeboxed helps you digitize and organize all of your receipts; plus, it archives all documentation and is completely searchable.
• Buxfer: If you share costs with family members or a significant other, Buxfer allows you to split expenses neatly, create budgets, and bill reminders.
Another helpful tip for staying organized is to designate your financial documents as short-term or long-term. Short-term documents could include files from the past year, such as bills, statements, tax receipts, health records, etc. Long-term files could include income tax records, inheritance papers, legal papers, reports from trusts, birth certificates, Social Security cards, stocks and bonds, mutual funds statements, etc. Use a filing system that you think works best for you and stick to it!
Although most people don’t do this, it’s good practice to review your insurance policies annually. What better time to make this happen than with the change of the New Year? Review your auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, life insurance, business and even umbrella policies. The umbrella policy is particularly important to focus on because, as your net worth increases, your liabilities could also increase. Check for lapses in any of your coverage and make sure you aren’t overpaying something that might be more affordable somewhere else.
Beyond insurance policies, take a look at your will or estate plans. Your beneficiaries or assets may have changed, so update these plans to ensure your legal documents reflect your current intentions.
Meet with your AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust Relationship Manager to review your retirement plan. With a complete understanding of where you stand with your retirement savings, it’s possible you’ll find opportunities to improve. Review how much you have saved, how much you’re adding each year, and whether you’ll end up with enough savings if you continue your present course. U.S. News recommends boosting retirement savings in the New Year, if possible.
Your financial stability impacts both your physical well-being and the emotional well-being of your family. As you set your resolutions for the New Year, keep in mind these four important financial resolutions and checkpoints.
*Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America conducted an eNation online survey, the Allianz Life New Year’s Resolution Survey, November 2015, through Ipsos with 1,006 respondents.