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Your Financial Life
By Catherine Collinson / Dec 1, 2016

Four Essential To-Dos for the New Year

ta_blog_1024x438_new_yearsNew Year’s resolutions are something most of us feel compelled to make. They generally involve some sort of deprivation and, speaking from personal experience, are likely to be broken before Groundhog Day.

Rather than making hard-to-keep resolutions, consider these four essential to-dos that can help make for a great New Year – and build the foundation for a long, healthy, and financially secure future.

  1. Set professional, volunteer, and financial goals. Take time to look introspectively. Who and what is most important to you? What do you want to accomplish in your career and life? How do you want to invest your time? What will bring the greatest joy and happiness to you and your family? With these priorities in mind, you’ll be well-positioned to turn your ideas into action and ensure your aspirations fit within your budget. According to a survey by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, nine in 10 American workers have not used an online calculator to estimate a retirement savings goal. If you’re one of them, now is a great time to start.
  2. Review retirement savings and investments. Are you starting a family? Nearing retirement? Make sure your investments reflect your current lifestyle, goals, and time horizon. It’s important to ensure you’re saving enough and that your savings portfolio is still well-balanced and in line with your risk tolerance and years to retirement. If you need help, consider reaching out to your employer’s retirement plan provider or a financial advisor. Based on the outcome of that review, you may need to make changes.
  3. Reevaluate insurance needs. Did you have a baby? Get married? Buy a house? Certain life events may make it necessary to add more insurance coverage. Assess your levels of insurance or protection through your employer, by working with an advisor, or directly with an insurance company.
  4. Update your resume. Your earning power, employability, and even your future retirement can be affected by simply updating your resume and Linkedin® profile. In fact, Linkedin members with updated profiles are discovered up to 18 times more in member and recruiter searches. In addition to responding quickly to new job opportunities or employment changes, having an updated resume and profile can help you identify where you may need to update job skills or even hobbies that can be turned into real income in retirement (e.g., teaching guitar, substitute teacher, etc.) As early in the year as possible, spend a few hours updating your resume, so it’s fresh and sparkling with your most recent accomplishments. You’ll want it to be handy when opportunity knocks. 

Take time to think about what is important to you, and make it a lifelong habit. Success isn’t merely about setting goals, but maintaining them. I wish you the very best in 2017.

 

Catherine Collinson serves as president of Transamerica Institute® and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies®. She is a retirement and market trends expert and champion for Americans at risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement. Catherine oversees all research, publications and outreach initiatives, including the Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. She also serves as the executive director of The Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement

Transamerica Institute® is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching, and educating the public about retirement, health coverage, and other relevant financial issues facing Americans today. Transamerica Institute comprises two divisions: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® and Transamerica Center for Health Studies®. Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. For more information about the Institute, please refer to www.transamericainstitute.org

 

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