When’s the last time you focused on your financial wellness? Most everyone has a basic understanding of their financial situation, but when it comes to bettering it, the steps can sometimes seem overwhelming. The path toward financial success doesn’t have to consist of leaps and substantial changes.
Each week of 2024, we’ll share one simple task on our radio show, Rethink Your Money™, that you can do to improve your finance — and then we’ll add it to this list. By the time 2025 rolls around, you’ll have made 52 small adjustments to improve your financial well-being and be equipped with best practices for the future.
Let’s make 2024 the year of setting the stage for living your best financial life.
Set up your phone’s legacy contact.
Your phone holds a wealth of important data, such as contact information, notes and emails. In order for friends or family members to access your cell phone data after your passing, you’ll first need to assign a legacy contact. View the related article linked below for instructions on how to set up a legacy contact for your iPhone or Android — the process should only take a couple of minutes!
Go on a “money date.”
If you’re married or have a partner with whom you share finances, chances are good you’re long overdue for a money date. A money date is simply a scheduled conversation to discuss how your money fits into your goals, values and priorities (both shared and individual). Make sure you plan your money date with enough time to prepare beforehand in order to get the most out of your conversation.
Increase your contribution rate by 1%.
Increasing your retirement contribution rate by 1% may not seem like enough to make an impact, but it is. You most likely won’t notice the 1% in your daily life, but that small adjustment can grow exponentially. If you increase your contribution by 1% annually for the next 30 years, you could end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional retirement savings.
Review your asset location.
Much like real estate, location is a crucial factor of your savings. The tax treatment of the accounts you have money saved in is just as important as the amount you have saved. Consider reviewing the tax benefits of each type of account you’re currently funding and whether they’re the most tax-efficient options.
Check your asset allocation.
What percentage of your assets are in stocks, bonds and cash? Your asset allocation should reflect your risk tolerance based on when you want to retire. After retirement, you may want to adjust your allocations to reflect your spending needs.
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Get a second opinion from a fiduciary advisor.
There will be 8,760 hours in 2024, and you’ll spend about 2,400 of them working and earning money. Why not spend just one or two of those hours double checking that your finances are handled properly? Meet with an independent, experienced registered investment advisor and get a second opinion on your financial plan to confirm it’s set up for success.
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Meet your employer’s match.
Don’t leave free money on the table. Confirm what your employer’s match is and exactly how much you need to contribute to your 401(k) to receive it all. There’s no other place where you can earn a guaranteed 100% return on your investment.
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No matter what stage of your financial journey you’re in, it’s always the right time to give your financials a second look. We’ll be updating this article each week with a new step to improve your financial wellness, so stay tuned for more insights!
Interested in more practical financial planning advice? Listen live every weekend to our Rethink Your Money™ radio show, hosted by Wealth Manager John Hagensen, for additional commentary on small financial habits that can make a big impact. Find your local station to tune in to the next episode.