Financial New year’s Resolutions with APO Financial

New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set goals for the year. But if you’re like most people, you know how hard it can be to keep them. That is why APO Financial has put together a comprehensive list of resolutions that can help increase your financial fitness and inspire you to stay committed through 2023.

Resolutions ordinarily concern health, career and establishing and keeping to better habits; however, retirement planning rarely makes the list. Taking time to ensure a secure and financially stable retirement is essential to enjoying a post-professional life. Setting clear and measurable retirement goals is integral to effective planning.

Looking for behaviors to foster that helps build a strong retirement? Here’s some tips to get the ball rolling.

Create a Budget

If you’re like most Americans, you work hard to earn money so that you can achieve your goals and enjoy life.

The best way to do this is by saving and investing during your working years. If you stick with it, it should lead to a rising net worth over time, enabling you to achieve many of life’s most important goals. Creating your own budget and net worth statement can help you build your road map and stay on track. Here are steps that can help:

  • Pay yourself first by determining how much you’ll need to cover living expenses and save 10% of the amount remaining for savings.
  • Calculating your personal net worth annually.
  • Invest your living expense money conservatively.
  • Prepare for emergencies by having up to 6 months worth of essential living expenses.

Optimize your Portfolio

Market timing is important, but it’s difficult and can be counter-productive. Research shows that the best way to get better investment results is to create a plan that will help you stay disciplined in all kinds of markets. Here are some ideas to help you stay focused on optimizing your portfolio:

  • Focus on your investment mix.
  • Diversify across and within asset classes.
  • Monitor and rebalance your portfolio as needed.
  • Place tax-efficient investments.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Life is full of risks, and there’s no getting around that. You could get hit with a lawsuit, or you could lose your job and not be able to find another one. You could get sick and not have enough money to pay for treatment. Or maybe you’ll get into an accident and need surgery—surgery that’s going to cost a lot more than you can afford.

You can’t predict when these things will happen, but you do know that they will happen. So what do you do? Get insurance! Insurance helps protect against unforeseen events that don’t happen often, but are expensive to manage yourself when they do. The following guidelines can help you prepare for life’s unexpected moments:

  • Have health insurance in place to protect you against large medical expenses.
  • Purchase life insurance if you have dependents.
  • Protect your earning power by having long-term disability insurance.
  • Create a disaster plan for your safety and peace of mind.

Protect your Estate

Estate planning is a lot like insurance. You don’t think about it until something happens to make you realize you need it. But just as with car insurance, no one wants to think about the possibility of needing their estate protected.

But the truth is that if you have assets, they need some kind of protection. Without proper beneficiary designations, a will and other basic steps, the fate of your assets or minor children may be decided by attorneys and tax agencies. Taxes and attorneys’ fees can eat away at these assets, and delay the distribution of assets just when your heirs need them most. Protect your estate and your loved ones with these tips:

  • Review your beneficiaries, especially for retirement accounts and life insurance.
  • Keep your will up to date.
  • Coordinate asset titling with the rest of your estate plan.
  • Have durable power of attorney for healthcare in place.

Know When to Amend Your Strategy

Reevaluating and adjusting your plan does not mean you made mistakes. Why? Planning for retirement simply isn’t a one-and-done task. If you’re establishing retirement goals at a young age, you may consider taking a riskier, more aggressive approach to help grow your savings and investments. As you get older, you may find occasion to use the money you’ve invested, so it makes sense to re-evaluate your approach and avoid risk. 

Meeting with your trusted Fiduciary advisors periodically is a great way to rebalance your account allocations so you can stay on course to meet your goals.

Final Thoughts

Retirement goals are milestones that guide you toward retirement. While the ideal amount to save for retirement depends on your age and goals, it’s never too early (or late) to get planning.

It’s important to remember that change won’t happen overnight. The first step is always the hardest, but once you get going, you’ll see how easy it is to achieve your financial goals. By taking one step at a time and checking off each resolution over time will naturally become a habit. You’ll be amazed by how much progress you make on your journey this year!

Looking to get started with your financial New Year’s Resolution? APO Financial can help. As Fiduciaries, we work to help protect you against many of the risks you may face as you get older, such as losing a spouse or becoming incapacitated. We’ll help you look at the money you’ve saved and create a way to distribute and/or invest it so that you have the most money to live on year by year while paying the lowest amount of taxes possible. Our goal is to ensure you never run out of money, no matter how long you live.

Contact us today to set up a complimentary strategy session.

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