2019 Financial Resolutions
The beginning of a new year is the most popular time to set goals and make plans, and everyone’s resolution list should include a few financial ones. Here are some resolutions for 2019, or at least some things to think about for the upcoming year.
1. Create an emergency savings.
Life is full of unexpected emergencies. Having extra cash on hand in a savings account can help keep a serious illness, repair or other sudden need from derailing your finances. Prepare for unpredictable expenses by putting aside three to six months of expenses in an easily accessible cash-equivalent account.
2. Make a monthly budget and try to stick to it.
Budgets may sound like a lot of unnecessary work, especially if you’re financially comfortable. But if you’re not tracking your spending, you may be surprised by how quickly it adds up, and which expenses are costing you the most. As 2019 begins, set a budget and work on sticking to it for three months. Track your performance and revise the budget, as needed. Don’t aim for perfection; instead, work for incremental improvement. Read “7 Simple Budgeting Tips“.
3. Save more for the future.
Creating a disciplined savings strategy is an important way to stay on track for your retirement and other goals. Keep separate “buckets” of savings for short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, and leverage tax-advantaged accounts where possible. Another good way you can save more for the future is by paying down high-interest debt. Make paying down debt a top priority this year.
4. Make retirement plan contributions regularly.
Even if you’re diligently saving, you may be among the 71% of Americans who haven’t put aside enough money for retirement. One key change you can make is to take advantage of time in the market. You reap the benefits of dollar cost averaging when you contribute per pay period to the News Corp 401(k) Savings Plan. Tax-managed retirement accounts like the News Corp 401(k) Savings Plan are one of the most powerful ways to save for a more comfortable retirement, because they allow you to control your tax liabilities today.
Log onto netbenefits.com to review and increase your contributions now. And take full advantage of the employer match – if you contribute 6%, News Corp provides an employer contribution of 5.5%. And don’t forget to elect the “Annual Increase Program” which allows you to establish regular annual increases to your retirement plan by electing an increase date and increase percentage
5. Create a powerful legacy.
A rich life involves more than financial success and a comfortable lifestyle. Whether you want to leave something to your loved ones or support causes you care about, take time to address the legacy you’d like to leave.
6. Review estate planning, legal documents and beneficiaries.
Your core legal documents need regular reviews to ensure they keep up with any changes in your life. If a few years have passed since you looked at your documents, dust them off and make sure they still represent your wishes.As life changes, periodically review and update your account beneficiaries. Because beneficiary provisions are independent of your will or other estate provisions, keeping them current is critical. You can review your News Corp beneficiaries online at netbenefits.com for your 401(k)/HSA and The Benefits Center website for life insurance.
7. Stay healthy.
Healthcare is a major expense for most Americans. Take steps to protect your well-being by ensuring a healthy lifestyle and prioritizing preventive care. Mountains of research prove the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.
8. Protect your credit and identity.
Identity theft and financial fraud are serious threats that can compromise your financial well-being. Protect yourself by reviewing financial statements and bills carefully for unauthorized activity. Regularly update your passwords for all financial accounts and always shred any sensitive documents before you dispose of them. Review this cybersecurity article from Fidelity on how to protect your identity and accounts.
9. Review tax strategies for potential savings.
Every dollar you save in taxes is one you can reinvest in your current lifestyle or future goals. However, recent tax-law updates mean your tax burden might have changed. Have a good financial adviser to discuss tax strategies that might help reduce your tax liabilities. Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions of your adviser. After all, you’re paying him/her to be the expert.
10. Involve your spouse and family.
Fostering financial wisdom is a powerful way to help your family build a solid, financially stable life. Include your family in conversations about your goals and priorities and have them attend meetings with your financial adviser. Keep records in one spot (including passwords), so in the event of a catastrophe, the necessary parties can find the information they need.
Through Met Life, News Corp offers workshops and access to financial professionals to help you map out a plan that addresses your individual needs and circumstances.
11. Identify your goals for 2019.
Identify exactly what you hope to accomplish in the coming year, both financially and personally. Write down your goals – whether you want to earn more money, take a trip or spend more time with your family. People who set goals for themselves and create strategies to pursue them are much more likely to see success.
12. Keep your financial resolutions.
Statistics show that only 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. To help you achieve your resolutions, make your goals simple, specific and actionable.Instead of saying: ‘I will save more for the future in 2019,’ say: ‘I will contribute $4,500 to my retirement accounts by Dec. 31, 2019,’ or ‘I will pay off $2,000 of credit card debt by April 15.’” In other words, the more specific your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.