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Six New Year's Resolutions to Improve your Financial Health

Photo of author, Chelsea Clegg, CFP®.
Chelsea Clegg, CFP®
Associate Financial Strategist

It has been proven that writing down a goal greatly increases your odds of accomplishing that goal, by as much as 42% in some cases (source: Huffington Post). With the holidays in full swing, it’s that time of year when many of us begin thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and the goals we wish to achieve in the coming year.

But for 2018, I challenge you to consider a different direction for your resolutions – a direction that is arguably just as important as your health-related goals (stop smoking, eat healthier, lose weight, etc.). I encourage you to focus your 2018 resolutions on your financial health.

Below is a list of resolutions that you should make this year, and every year, to improve your financial health and financial security:

  1. Review your credit reports using the four credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Innovis, and Experian). According to Annual Credit Report, by federal law, you are entitled to receive one credit report from each credit reporting company every 12 months. This is one of the best ways to detect identity theft.
  2. Review allocation of your accounts, including your company-sponsored retirement plan. Is your current allocation appropriate given your age, risk tolerance and economic conditions?
  3. Review your budget to determine capacity for additional savings into retirement and brokerage accounts. Tip: Set your retirement plan contribution to auto-escalate by 1% each year (but be sure to not exceed the limits set by your plan).
  4. Review beneficiaries on all accounts, including your company-sponsored retirement plan. In the event of your passing, will assets be distributed according to your wishes?
  5. Review estate documents such as powers of attorney, wills, and living wills.
  6. Review homeowners, automobile, and life insurance policies to determine the appropriate amount needed.

For additional help, download our Credit Bureau Check-up document.
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