January 3, 2017 • General Planning
Financial Resolutions for 2017
The beginning of a new year can be a great time to evaluate whether you’re on track to achieve your goals and whether there have been any significant changes in your financial circumstances over the past year. Issues that might be looked at include:
Spending and saving. Did you save – in retirement plans or otherwise – the amounts you wanted last year? What amounts do you need to save this year? Will 2017’s savings come from higher income, limiting spending or both? Do you have a good handle on your spending?
Did your balance sheet change significantly in 2016? Did your net assets (assets less liabilities) increase? Why? Will this occur again in 2017? Are there any new liabilities you may have to fund? Do you have sufficient safe, liquid assets as an emergency reserve?
Should you be rebalancing your investments? With stocks up 12% in 2016 it may be that stocks now have too large a weight in your portfolio. This especially could be true if you liquidated some of your fixed income in 2016 to fund spending.
Will you max out on contributions to tax-advantaged accounts in 2017? These accounts include retirement (401(k) and IRA) accounts, college savings plans and health savings accounts.
Are your insurance coverages – life, health, disability and property – appropriate?
Are your assets properly titled? Did you have any significant personal changes (marriage, death of a relative, etc.) in your life in 2016? Appropriate titling/ownership can have a significant impact on estate and other taxes and the need to go through probate.