I can't really help myself. It is the "most wonderful time of the year". That time when financial advisors and writers give advice about what to do in the upcoming year. So with that in mind, here are some resolutions to consider.
Let's not try to conquer the world. But here are a couple of pretty easy ones you could take a "whack" at.
Stop Paying Your Free-loading Uncle. If you get a tax refund this year, you gave Uncle Sam a interest free loan during 2018. Would you give anyone else (that isn't family) an interest free loan? Adjust your withholding to get a smaller refund, or in a perfect world so that you owe a couple hundred bucks when you file.
Figure Out Your Digital Accounts (and document them too). Most of us couldn't operate anymore without our on-line bill pay and other financial apps. But, could someone take over for you if you couldn't handle your affairs? If the answer to that question is "no", now is the time to either document or teach someone how to take over your on-line financial activities.
Review Your Estate Documents. Make sure your estate documents still reflect your wishes. Also, if you've moved after you retired from the military, make sure the documents are compliant in your new state. Be especially diligent if you've had a major life change like a marriage, divorce or arrival of kids or grandkids.
Check Your Insurance Policies. Your old clunker is one year older. It might not make sense to continue to carry insurance for damage to the vehicle. Review your deductibles too. If you've established an emergency account, you should be able to absorb paying for $1,000 worth of damage to your vehicle or house. Raise your deductibles to $1,000 and add the premium savings to your emergency account.
Update Your Employer Plan Contributions. The maximum contribution to a 401(k) or TSP is now $19,000 per year. If possible, increase your contribution to hit the max. If you're on active duty and not contributing the max, increase your contribution by 1%. You got a 2%+ raise, so you shouldn't even miss the money you're contributing.
None of these changes will make you an instant millionaire. But none of them will take you all that long either. If you can get two or three of them done this year, you'll be well on your way to a better financial future.
If you found this article useful, you might enjoy these blog posts:
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC ), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC website or incorporated herein, and C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience, educational, and informational purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC . To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the C.L. Sheldon & Company, LLC ’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. DISCLAIMER OF TAX ADVICE: Any discussion contained herein cannot be considered to be tax advice. Actual tax advice would require a detailed and careful analysis of the facts and applicable law, which we expect would be time consuming and costly. We have not made and have not been asked to make that type of analysis in connection with any advice given in this blog post. As a result, we are required to advise you that any Federal tax advice rendered in this blog is not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by the IRS. In the event you would like us to perform the type of analysis that is necessary for us to provide an opinion, that does not require the above disclaimer, as always, please feel free to contact us.