2019 Financial Resolutions
Jan. 2, 2019 Article

2019 Financial Resolutions

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Question 1: There seem to be thousands of “2019 Financial Resolutions” online. What are three or four items I can resolve to do, from a financial planning perspective, that no one else is talking about?

Answer: Great question! The internet can be a good place to self-educate on financial topics or watch cat videos, but the counter point to that is sometimes there’s an overwhelming amount of information to take in. Increasing savings, paying down debt, and putting more towards retirement are all great financial resolutions for 2019, but they are also covered on 30 other sites right now. To think a little differently, here are our top three alternative topics we recommend addressing in the new year that tend to get commonly overlooked.

  1. Sift, Store & Secure: If you had to find copies of your last three years of tax returns in under 30 minutes, could you? Or would it take the better half of a day sorting through file cabinets or frantically calling your accountant and waiting for a response? One of the best ways to get a jump start on the new year is to organize your important documents and store them all in one central, secure location. A scanner can be bought for less than $100 and there are several online services that can store your documents securely for easy search and access down the road. Clients of Mariner Wealth Advisors, for example, have the ability to save their documents via a secure online vault that also allows them to access balances and transaction data on all their accounts in real time.

  2. Pay it Forward: While not for everyone, many people find that giving to charity around the holidays or prior to the end of the year is a good way to give back to the community or those in need. Instead of making that a year-end activity though, why not make it a year-round practice? What better way to make it a habit than to get a start on it with the beginning of a new year? Many charities allow individuals to set up monthly charitable contributions that are automatically taken from their bank account or, if you want to support multiple charities, a donor advised fund allows you to make charitable contributions now, then have some input on where they go later. If giving money isn’t a good fit for you, volunteering is also a great way to give back. It turns out that in doing so, the volunteer may actually receive some benefits as well. A University of California, Berkeley study found that for people age 55 and over, volunteering for two or more charities led to a 44 percent decline in mortality rates over a five-year period.1

  3. Help from a Pro: Sometimes in life, it’s important to know when to call in a professional. Just because I watch a YouTube video on replacing shingles doesn’t mean I have any business renting a ladder and climbing onto my roof. The same applies to your financial picture. Whether you’re just starting out, nearing retirement, or somewhere in between, having an unbiased, outside consultant review your entire financial picture can be helpful to make sure you’re not missing important things. Resolve to find an advisor who will work as your advocate, adheres to a fiduciary standard, and is upfront about what their costs are. Like anything in life, advice is worth exactly what you pay for it. There are a variety of resources available online, but a good place to start is reaching out to Mariner Wealth Advisors to see if our services could be a help to you.

Best of luck in the new year!

 

1https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-giving-is-good-for-your-health/

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