New Years Resolutions: 5 Retirement Planning Ideas for 2015


It’s a whole new year for a whole new retirement planning attitude.

Ringing in the new year with a host of resolutions? Then you’re in good company. Or maybe you gave up on the idea of making sweeping changes years ago, in favor of taking things as they come.

However you approach it, every turn of the calendar brings with it an opportunity to set goals and start meeting them. January 1 has already passed, but there’s nothing wrong with picking January 20 or February 4 as the date when you’ll get started.

Here are 5 resolutions, if you will, or goals, if you won’t, to think about for 2015:

1. Deal with Taxes Sooner Instead of Later

April is tax season, but waiting until the last minute only adds to stress, even if your taxes are the same this year as the year before, and the year before that. If you’re in your pre-retirement years, this is the perfect time to meet with a financial planner to learn how to improve your tax situation.

Maybe you can direct more of your pre-tax dollars into retirement savings, such as a 401(k). If you’re already retired, Eleanor Blayney, financial planner, tells USA Today that you’re in a unique situation where you can control your adjusted gross income and tweak where your retirement income disbursements come from.


2. Get and/or Stay Healthy

What does health have to do with your finances? A lot! Your health affects every part of your life. The most obvious of these is how much you’ll spend on health care, medications, and health insurance, now and in the years to come.

Commit to getting healthy, or staying that way, in 2015. If you smoke, stop. It’s not as simple as that, but your doctor can help. Chances are she’ll be thrilled to help. Get out there and be active. Even when the weather is terrible, there’s something you can do to get your heart rate up, maybe without leaving the house.

 3. Review and Refine Your Yearly Budget

January 1 is the classic time to think about your yearly budget. But you don’t have to stop at changing the spreadsheet date and creating new monthly columns for the same old things. Every year presents you with the opportunity to improve on the years before.

Really take a look at what you’ve accomplished using your previous budgets. Can you spend less in some areas and save more? Are you getting the best interest rates? Now is the time to find out and do something about it.


4. Take the Guesswork Out of Saving

You can save money toward your retirement on your own terms and as you see fit. Or you can make saving happen automatically. Automatic is a lot simpler. And you’ll adjust to the new situation the same as you would if you took on a new vehicle payment or if your insurance rates were to go up.

When you take 100 percent control over how much you save and when, you have more opportunity to make poor choices. When you decide in advance and arrange for saving to happen automatically, as automatic deposits or contributions, you’ll never be faced with deciding whether you want to wait until a little later.

Every year begins with a fresh, clean slate with new possibilities. But you can create your own starting point any time you like. As long as you pick a day to begin and stick to it, that’s what really matters.

This year, think about not just where you are, but where you want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years. Retirees live longer, healthier lives than ever before. Plan for it now, and you’ll be more likely to have the good health and healthy finances to enjoy it.

5. Commit to a Plan

Retirement planning is too often a “should do” instead of a “to do.”  Taking stock and planning your future may nag you, but most people are too concerned about what is going on with their finances this month to worry about years from now.  However, you will have to worry less about the now if you take the time to plan for your future.  Take small steps:

  • Start by taking stock of existing assets
  • Consider what your expenses will be in the future
  • Figure out how much more money you might need.

An online retirement calculator can help you with this process or set up a meeting with a financial advisor.


NewRetirement Planner

Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable

NewRetirement Planner

Take financial wellness into your own hands and do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable.

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