Being caught in the rain is never fun. I grew up in Aberdeen, Washington where it rains over 80 inches a year, and I spent the majority of my adolescents with the bottom of my jeans soaking wet. I never understood how Gene Kelly could be so happy singing and dancing in the rain. Nevertheless, over the years I’ve come to realize that the only way to live in the rain is to always carry a good umbrella. The same can be said for life’s rainstorms. During difficult times it’s good to have an umbrella or more specifically an umbrella insurance policy. Continue reading
Making—and breaking—New Year’s Resolutions is a time honored tradition every January. We’ve all made them and we all know how depressing it can feel to hit February and realize we are never going to learn Mandarin, take a spin class or finish our 6-year-old’s baby book. Research shows almost 90% of resolutions will fail by January 31st of this year but here are three worth making—and keeping! Continue reading
This time of year, a lot of us start making New Year’s resolutions. We want to get in shape, quit smoking, spend more time with our families, etc. As 2015 quickly approaches, it’s important to consider making resolutions that will keep you financially fit as well. Here are a few resolutions to help you kick those bad habits that may be holding you back from reaching your financial goals:
Talk to a financial advisor. Do you avoid getting a financial checkup the same way you dodge your yearly health exam or long-overdue dentist appointment? Just like visits to your doctor, regular appointments with your financial advisor are crucial to successfully managing your financial health. A financial advisor can help you rein in your spending, ramp up your savings, plan for retirement, navigate the investment market, and safeguard your assets. Not currently working with a financial advisor? Consider hiring one in 2015!
Create a budget. With the help of a financial advisor, it’s easy to set up a budget for the year to come. With a working budget you can get an overview of your larger financial picture, as well as tackle any potential problem areas in more manageable pieces. Once you have your budget in place, address one thing at a time. Start by reviewing your bank balances, paying a bill that has been sitting on your desk for weeks, or making a quick call to one of your financial institutions to address any nagging issues.
Get out of debt. Now that you have a budget in place, you should be able to start working your way out of debt. Start reducing your debt right away by getting rid of credit cards with the highest interest rates first. Consider consolidating debt to a low or no-interest credit card to help you pay down debt even faster. Another way to get out of debt is to reduce the amount you spend every month. By downsizing your expenses, you’ll be able to afford to put more money towards paying off your debt.
Save for retirement. With other financial matters on the front burner year after year, it’s easy to let your retirement savings slip. And there is always the fear you won’t have enough money to retire. Make sure 10-15% of your income goes right into your retirement savings. Does your company offer a 401(k) plan? Sign up and contribute the maximum amount, especially if your company has a 401(k) match program. An IRA is another retirement savings option. Contact your financial advisor to find out what type of account is right for you.
Manage your investments. Managing your finances is a balancing act, and it’s all too easy to get out of sync. Make sure you think about your long-term goals when investing, and not just the current market trends. A balanced and diversified portfolio is always best, and your financial advisor can help you get there.
When it comes to financial resolutions, it can be difficult to face your fears. But don’t put off getting your finances in order another year. Contact a financial advisor for help, and get started today!