Podcast Episode 234: Financial Items to Prioritize in the New Year

Today’s Wisdom:

The new year means another opportunity to start fresh and reset your goals. To help you take positive steps towards retirement success, we’re going to share a few areas of your finances that should be a priority to begin the year.

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What You’ll Learn:

As the calendar turns over to 2022, we’re all inclined to re-examine our lives and find areas of improvement. That commonly means returning the gym or cooking healthier food, but it also leads us to setting new financial goals.

The new year is always a great time to sit down with you advisor and take a look through a few key items that can benefit from an evaluation. On this episode of the Money Wisdom podcast, Joel will share a short checklist of things we work with clients on to start the year.

The first thing to put on your list for the new year is to check your tax withholdings. This is especially true if you’re someone that overwitheld or underwithheld last year. Since it’s nearly impossible to drill it down to a $0 tax bill in April, we suggest a range of $1,000 either way. If you got a refund higher than that or had to pay more than that amount, sit down and make adjustments to how much is being withheld from your paycheck. It’s great to receive a refund each year, but that’s money that could be put to use in a way that benefits you much more.

The next place we suggest focusing on is your retirement account contributions. Anytime you can increase the amount you’re saving, it’s going to be a positive for your long-term success. So if you received a pay raise for the new year, try putting the majority of that into your retirement accounts. Of course, there are situations where this isn’t always applicable, but you won’t find anyone that will tell you they wish they saved less.

Speaking of taxes, January is not too early to begin pulling together tax documents. Gathering that information now can relieve you of stress later on and can also keep you from overlooking something when you’re in a hurry. It used to be that you would receive a paper tax form from all of your different accounts but now most of that is done electronically. That makes it easy to forget a document or two and that won’t be fun to deal with later on.

And finally, the new year is a great time for an overall retirement check-up. We encourage people to look out 5-10 years or more, and a few of the important questions you need to have the answer for include:

  • Are you going to run out of money in retirement?
  • What rate of return do you need to make sure you don’t run out of money in retirement?
  • If you’ve saved more than you need, what do you want to happen to your money if you don’t spend it all?
  • How do you minimize taxes over the course of your lifetime?

Our Money Map review process will take care of these things and more so reach out and get in touch to get that process started.

[0:41] – New year update

[3:32] – Fact of the week

[4:23] – Tax withholdings

[7:49] – Retirement account contributions

[8:55] – Start gathering tax info

[11:31] – An overall retirement checkup

[14:14] – How we can help with these

Thanks for listening to this episode. We’ll be back again next week for another show.

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Final Thoughts:

“People are very, very motivated at the beginning of the year, which is why the gym parking lots are all very full.”

– Joel Johnson

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