"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." Mark Twain
Here we are - a New Year. Some also say a New Decade.
What 'Financial' Resolutions have you made? Can't think of any? Here are a few tips.
1. Review and Rebalance your Investments and 401(k)
If you have been putting it off for a while to "wait & see", your account is probably seriously out of balance. Sit down with an advisor to review your goals and make your your fund mix matches what your needs are.
2. Increase Contributions to Your 401(k)
Are you putting between 10% and 15% into your 401(k) at work? If not, then at least raise the amount you are putting in. Gradually work yourself up to that level. You will need the nest egg for income later.
3. Pay Off Credit Cards and Other Debt
If you are having trouble with #2, get these paid off and free up some money for yourself.
4. Set Up a Budget and Stick To It
There are a number of places you can find good basic worksheets for setting up a budget. It should be simple. Just make sure all of your money has a place to go - either savings or expenses. Here is a site with some downloadable sheets. http://www.betterbudgeting.com/
5. Contribute to a Roth IRA and Convert Pre-Tax Retirement Savings
You can put up to $5000 into a Roth ($6000 if you are 50 and older). You can still make 2009 contributions up until April 15. The Roth IRA of course grows tax free and allows you to make withdrawals at retirement which are also tax free.
There are no income restrictions for the Roth this year and if you choose to convert any money from your Traditional Pre-Tax IRA to the Roth, you may spread the taxes out over the next 2 years.
You can contact me through my website, http://www.helpmy401k.us/. You may also follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/deanvoelker. I also host a weekly internet radio program at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/401kcoach.