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Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Dollar sign“When it comes to New Year’s resolution, those vowing to get in fiscal shape actually do pretty well, research shows.”

According to a 2015 Fidelity survey, 29% of people who made money-related resolutions at the start of 2014 actually achieved their goals — while 74% got at least halfway there. In addition, half believed they were better off financially, Forbes explains.

NewsMax highlighted five tips the article offered for the New Year in its review of “Forbes.com: 5 Money Resolutions to Make in 2016:”

Begin your budget. You should know where your money is going, even though many folks don’t like the results when they see how much money they’re wasting.

Bolster your rainy day cushion. Nearly 30% of people in the U.S. have no emergency savings, according to a Bankrate survey — and many of those who do have these savings don’t have enough. Financial experts recommend having enough cash in the bank to cover three to six months of living expenses.

Make a plan for tackling debt. Researchers have found that you are more likely to pay down your overall debt when you start by tackling the smallest balances first. Those small victories keep you motivated to keep moving forward.

Get your retirement number. Can you believe that less than half of U.S. workers know how much they’ll need to save to live comfortably in retirement? Aim to save eight times your salary before you retire to meet basic income needs — shooting for twice your salary by age 40, four times your salary by 50, and six times your salary by age 60.

Find out your credit score. Those numbers matter — a lot. A good credit score means you’ll pay less interest on loans for a mortgage, a car, or college. Here what can help boost your digits: pay bills on time, keep your overall credit card balance to less than 30% of your total available credit, and don’t close your oldest accounts because it will shorten your credit history.

This is a good opportunity to review your financial portfolio and determine whether your asset allocation is still appropriate. It’s normal to have some anxiety, especially after a year as volatile as 2015. During times of volatility, try to keep focused on long-term goals.

In addition to reviewing your investment options, you should review your retirement strategy and your estate planning. It’s never fun to talk about estate planning, but it’s important. Many people think a will is a “set it and forget it” type of thing. Not so.

It’s actually very important to review wills and other estate planning documents periodically with your attorney and identify any changes related to your health, finances, and relationships. A new marriage, additional children or grandchildren, or a death of a beneficiary may lead to a need for changes in how you want to distribute your assets when you are gone.

Reference: NewsMax (December 30, 2015) “Forbes.com: 5 Money Resolutions to Make in 2016”

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