“No matter how dirty your past is, your future is still spotless.” – Drake
Not to make you feel guilty, but for every seven years you delay saving and investing for the future, you cut in half the income you would enjoy at the end of your life. So, let’s make 2014 the year we get on the right financial course, shall we?
Here are some suggestions to get started…
1) Set realistic goals. First, ask the right questions, and stay the course until you’ve found the answers. Goals that are shared are ten times more likely to be acted on. Don’t wait until you have everything set up, to seek out accountability.
2) Make those goals concrete, and then document them. Set your savings goals as a specific annual percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI). It’s a great idea to save at least 10% of your AGI in tax-free retirement accounts and another 5% toward retirement in taxable investments. If you are behind on your savings, you may want to save even more in order to catch up.
3) Craft the best strategy to implement your goals, including prioritizing the appropriate retirement vehicles. Start by investing just enough to get the entire match from a company’s 401(k) plan (if you have one), and then fund your Roth IRA accounts next. After these two, make certain you have enough non-retirement savings and use what I call your “Private Reserve Strategy”.
4) And this is a BIG deal — automate your plan. Automating putting money in an employer-defined contribution plan is easy. Automating a taxable savings plan is just as painless. Most banks or brokers offer an automatic money link between an investment account and a checking account. They should also offer a monthly automatic transfer between the two accounts.
Going into further detail would actually entail sitting down and creating a true, full financial plan–which is impossible over email (but very do-able, in person).
But I will say one last thing: the most critical component of wealth management in the new year will be AGI minimization. With the new linkage between income and healthcare — and all of the related subsidies and reporting requirements, it’s never been more important to monitor what number upon which the IRS is basing their picture of you. Let us help you do it right.
I do hope all this helps. IF you want more help, click on the link above to get your free report on reducing your taxes for 2014.