3 New Year’s Resolutions to Get Your Retirement Plan Back on Track

3 New Year’s Resolutions to Get Your Retirement Plan Back on Track

It’s a new year, and for most people that means looking to the future and making resolutions. If you’re like the 64 percent of Americans who worry about retirement, you may want to think about what you can do in 2017 to make sure your retirement savings are on track.1

It can be easy to stray from your savings goals. Most people face a litany of costs such as supporting children, home repairs or medical bills. With these expenses weighing on you, it might seem impossible to stick to your retirement income plan.

It’s never too late, however, to re-examine the status of your savings. Below are a few New Year’s resolutions that can help you get your retirement income savings back on track:

Get in the habit of using a budget.

A budget can be a useful tool when you’re trying to plan for your retirement. Despite its usefulness, however, two-thirds of Americans still don’t use one.2 Saving for retirement is as much about what you earn as it is about what you spend. And without a budget it can be hard, if not impossible, to see where your money is going, which means you have no way of tracking your expenses to make sure you’re still on plan for your retirement income goals.

As you plan out your budget, it’s important to remember to pay yourself. Contributing to your savings should be a line item just like living expenses, car payments or mortgages.

Eliminate debt.

Debt can be a good thing or a bad thing. As with all tools, it just depends on how you use it, and just because you can borrow money doesn’t mean you should. Having a certain amount of debt has the potential to open lots of doors. The key is to keep it manageable.

Putting yourself in a situation in which debt payments become a substantial expense can spell disaster for your savings. This can be especially true with things like credit card debt. It might also be wise to consolidate your debt. If it’s done the right way, you may even be able to make your debt tax-deductible.

Protect yourself against catastrophic risk.

Even the most airtight plans are susceptible to unforeseen events. There’s no way to predict emergencies, and if you haven’t planned for the unknown, you may be putting your entire savings at risk.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take that can mitigate the impact of emergencies. There are many different types of insurance policies that can protect you from a wide range of unexpected circumstances, from long-term care to property damage, early death and even disability. And since it’s a new year, now might be the best time to review your coverage.

There are some events that insurance won’t cover, so it might be a good idea to try to build up a savings used expressly for emergencies. If you start an emergency fund, try to resist the urge to dip into it for other expenses.

Ready to get your retirement income planning back on track? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Lighthouse Financial Services to learn more. We welcome the opportunity to help you examine your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.

1http://www.gallup.com/poll/191174/americans-financial-worries-edge-2016.aspx
2http://www.gallup.com/poll/162872/one-three-americans-prepare-detailed-household-budget.aspx

 

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16292 – 2016/12/19

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