By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
As the calendar flips from December to January, many begin making resolutions and goals to usher in the new year. While many focus on important areas to improve on in 2019 such as fitness or time management, it is also important to make sure your money management is on track to help you accomplish your resolutions for 2019 and beyond.
Have you thought about how your management of your finances in 2019 will affect your short term and long-term goals? Have you considered strategies that would help lead you to be best prepared for the future? Whether you have a detailed financial plan ready to go for the new year or have yet to think about it all, here are three things to keep in mind as you move on into 2019.
(1) Manage with Logic, Not Emotion
Humans are naturally emotional beings and often make decisions based off those emotions. As headlines appear that are nerve-wracking or insist that you change your plan, the best thing you can do to avoid the impulse to plan around those headlines is to already have a plan in place. Take the time to calculate what you need to set aside to live comfortably in retirement and to pay your bills now, and then make a financial plan based off these numbers and devoid of the emotion of the moment.
Emotions can make decision-making dangerous for anyone. Avoid the pitfalls of emotional spending by taking the time to have a plan already in place.
(2) If You Need Help, Get Help
Financial planning can be a complex endeavor and whether it’s because you do not have the time, or the knowledge, or just the patience to put together a plan right now, you still have options. One option is to meet with a fee-only financial planner. Make sure that you carefully vet your planner, though, and avoid any advisor who attempts to sell you anything on commission. One good resource to use for vetting potential planners is by checking to see if they are certified through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
(3) Plan Your Legacy
You may see the New Year as a time to think of beginnings, not ends, but just as it is important to make a budget for how to spend your money before you need to actually spend it, it is also important to make sure to plan your estate before it is actually needed because by then it could be too late. The best thing you can do is meet with your family and estate-planning attorney to discuss questions you have regarding your estate.
How can you take care of your heirs while ensuring other causes you care about are also benefited? Is your will up-to-date? Does it dispose of your assets in an efficient manner? If you have minor children, have you named guardians for them? Should you consider a living trust to avoid probate? Are you distributing assets in the most tax-efficient way?
These questions and more can be answered by your family and estate-planning attorney. Reach out to your trusted advisors today to start your plans!