Welcome to 2018! Hard to believe another year has already blown by. With a new year comes new opportunities, and I have compiled the three “C”s you may want to add to YOUR New Year’s to-do list:
1. Compile – The first financial move I like to make each New Year is compiling a summary of my finances. Things to include would be assets, debts, documents (statements, estate docs, life insurance docs, etc), and a budget. This exercise serves multiple purposes. It is going to jog your memory on forgotten things from the year, like maybe that HSA account you made an opening deposit in and forgot about the last eight months. It is also going to help keep you organized for when you file your taxes or want to make sure you have gathered all tax related documents for your CPA.
2. Consolidate – In 2017 I had the privilege of meeting and working with many new people. I am always surprised by how many people come in with a 401k from their last job, 3 IRAs, and a SEP IRA for their consulting work that is easing them into retirement. Are you trying to make your life difficult? Who wants that many monthly statements and that many website logins? Why not roll over the 401k and consolidate the three IRAs into one account? The SEP IRA you may want to leave alone for now until you are done making contributions. Let’s simplify the next year for you! It will save you time, energy, space, and sometimes even money if your existing accounts have annual account fees or higher management fees on the separated lower balances.
3. Contribute – This was just the third word I thought of that started with the letter C. Let’s be honest, this article wouldn’t be complete without reminding you to check those contributions if you are saving for retirement. 2017 is gone and so is a year of potential for you to compound interest. If your employer offers a retirement plan with a match, consider taking advantage of or increasing contributions to get that match. It is free money. If you don’t have a retirement plan that offers a match, you need to evaluate if it makes more sense to save on a pre-tax or post-tax basis and consider setting up either automated contributions or at least reminders to make contributions to that account!