With just weeks left in 2018, it’s time to start thinking about end of year financial goals and start looking ahead to the new year. Financial professional Dale McCarty, President of Retirement Designers Financial Group, who has some advice on some smart steps to take, before year's end!
1. As we come to the end of the year, is there anything you might recommend for people to do to help make the most of their savings?
-First, we would to try and find out the cause of why they don’t have as much put aside as they would like. It could be from several potential areas: a) Too much credit card debt b) Too much spending on items that we want vs items that we really need. c) No budget plan or idea of when expenses are due. Once we can identify a possible cause, we can put together a strategy to help reach their financial goals.
-Try and make realistic savings goals. Saving is a marathon and not a sprint!
-Once you cut out unnecessary expenses, start increasing your contributions to your retirement plans or savings accounts. If you do not have one set up, open an account with your employer or bank.
-Many companies have a match policy that will match a certain percentage of what you contribute to your 401k or retirement plan. If you have yet to max out your 401k contributions, consider putting your end of year bonus into retirement savings.
2. Are there target goal amounts to set aside for savings? Or does it depend on your situation?
-It depends on where you are in what stage of life. Typically, people should possibly adjust their savings target at different stages in life.
-For instance, saving in your 20s & 30s will be different than saving when you’re 50-60 years old, getting closer to retirement age.
-If you’re in your 20s and 30s, it could mean growing & saving for your assets. In your 40s and 50s, it means talking to a financial professional about where to put your money to optimize your return and meet your goals.
-But, it’s important, that no matter the age, you have a savings cushion fund in case of unexpected expenses. You can start saving any time. Something is better than nothing.
3. What are some tips as we look forward to the new year?
-Start with looking back at how 2018 was – did you have a budget? Did it work? What expenses will you have in the New Year?
-Review your financial goals for the year. Do you want to do a better job managing your money? Should you consider a part-time job for more income?
-Do you have a plan in place to prepare for a catastrophic health situation?
-You want to try and check your tax withholding to make sure you’re on track.
-Consider working with a financial professional to help you decide what to do with your retirement and traditional savings.