(StatePoint) Many Americans will start the New Year with specific goals or resolutions in mind. While resolutions are often broken where your finances are concerned, they don’t have to be.
Use these tips to tackle 2019 with greater financial confidence.
• Set a specific goal. Setting goals for the year may actually boost your confidence about achieving them. In fact, those who set a financial goal for themselves in 2017 were more likely to feel that their finances had improved over the course of the year, compared to those with no financial goal, according to research from Lincoln Financial Group. Whether it’s saving more for retirement or paying off a debt, setting a goal is a great place to start.
• Make a plan. Having a financial plan in place can help you prepare for life’s surprises and face them with confidence. A financial plan doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should cover everything that’s important to you at this specific stage of your life. A financial advisor can provide an objective voice to help you stay focused on your goals while balancing your risk preferences and time horizon. They can also provide education to help determine if and when to fine-tune your plan. If you already have a relationship with an advisor, the New Year is a great opportunity to schedule time to review your plan and make any necessary adjustments.
• Consider sources of protected lifetime income. Eighty-two percent of pre-retirees are concerned about what will happen to their investments if the market drops. Build peace of mind into your retirement income plan by incorporating different sources of lifetime income in addition to Social Security. Do you have a pension? Have you considered incorporating an annuity as a portion of your plan?
“Diversifying your portfolio to include a source of protected lifetime income, like an annuity with optional benefits, can help to safeguard savings and provide for predictable income in your retirement,” says John Kennedy, head of Retirement Solutions Distribution, Lincoln Financial Group.
• Strategize taxes. Recent changes in tax laws have some concerned about how taxes will impact their finances and retirement income this year. Discuss tax-smart strategies with your advisor to help increase your income and keep you on the right track.
To make 2019 a financial success, stay focused on your goals and don’t work without a plan. Also, consider consulting a professional who can provide financial and tax advice, and can help you strategize ways to be successful.