Start with your retirement savings. According to a recent Harris Poll, more than a third of investors wished they had put away more money this year. If you feel the same, an easy way to do this is to set-up an automatic investment program. In many cases, your payroll department will be able to direct a portion of your paycheck into an investment account of your choice. If for some reason they can’t, you can usually set-up an automatic deduction from your checking account. These automatic plans are great at keeping you disciplined and you can always change them later if you need to, but I think most of us will feel a sense of pride as we slowly add to our retirement. And if you already have an automatic investment program in place, now’s a good time to consider increasing your monthly contribution. It doesn’t have to be a big move, even small increases add up over time.
Also, if you recently changed jobs, consider rolling over your old 401(k) plan into an IRA or into your new employer’s 401(k). This way, you stay in control of your nest egg – just be sure to move the account carefully using the proper paperwork. You want to avoid taking an unintended withdrawal which could then trigger taxes.
Finally, if you had any life changes this year, like getting married or divorced, be sure the beneficiaries on all of your accounts are up to date. This way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your wishes will be carried out if something were to happen.
Making some of these adjustments now will help you to start off the new year on the right foot.
The information on this page is provided for educational purposes only and is not tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this section constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities or advisory products. The information provided is general and is not information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. You should not regard this information as a substitute for the exercise of your own judgment. Investing involves risk.