What are your resolutions for 2023? Is it starting a new business venture, spending more quality time with your loved ones, paying off debt, or hiring a financial advisor in Flagstaff or Phoenix to take on the heavy lifting of comprehensive financial planning? Whatever your answer, we are here to help you realistically define your financial goals for the new year and set a clear plan of action.
We have been providing custom wealth management solutions for individuals and families for over 30 years!
Here are some quick stats of those who make New Year’s resolutions:
- After one week, 75% are successful in maintaining the resolution
- After two weeks, the number drops to 71%
- After one month, the number decreases to 64%
- After six months, 46% are still successful in keeping it
People who do not set a resolution (who have similar goals), only 4% are successful after six months. This shows that defining and setting new year’s resolutions can be vital for success.
In terms of your finances, our advisors have some helpful tips to help you pursue financial freedom and reduce or eliminate financial stress. Applying new financial-related habits and behaviors, along with a comprehensive financial plan, can help you work towards important financial goals for 2023.
END OF YEAR FINANCIAL CHECKLIST
There is no pressure to complete this year-end checklist before December 31! Many of these tax-saving and financial planning opportunities can be checked off before the 2023 tax deadline.
1. Review 2022 spending
Review your spending habits over the past year to get a better understanding of where your money has gone. This will also give you a better sense of where you may want to cut back on certain expenses that may be more discretionary in nature (e.g., visiting Starbucks every day). There may be a real opportunity for you to not only reduce your costs but also increase your savings rate. This type of review should provide you with clarity on how you need to change your spending as well as savings habits.
To look beyond the hustle and bustle of daily life and improve your future financial decisions, reach out to a financial advisor in Phoenix or Flagstaff for professional support at AFS.
2. Increase retirement contributions
Contribute as much to your retirement accounts up to the annual limits as possible. You can contribute for the prior year through April 15th of the new year (or the due date for taxes should it change).
3. Maximize tax-free benefits
Do you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Savings Account (FSA), or 529 college savings account? If so, the end of 2022 marks an opportunity to possibly reduce tax liability by maximizing your contributions.
Although you can contribute to an HSA for the previous year until taxes are due, both 529 savings accounts and FSAs have limited contribution windows. FSAs have an open enrollment period for contributions, and any funds for your 529 must be contributed by year’s end.
4. Review insurance plans and premiums
Review your current insurance policies to help ensure your coverage is up to date and the premiums reflect your needs, even if nothing significant has happened in your life over the year. Just like a routine medical checkup, an annual insurance review can help nurture your family’s financial livelihood.
5. Review your estate plan and beneficiaries
The dynamics of families and relationships can shift occasionally based on life events such as marriage, divorce, having children or grandchildren, and even a loved one passing. Your estate plan should be updated at least once a year to reflect any significant family-related changes to ensure your plan, and associated documents are up to date.
It can be in your best interest to review your estate plan and beneficiaries annually, even if you don’t make adjustments.
6. Donate to charity
Philanthropy can be personally fulfilling as well as assist you in limiting your tax liabilities. Participating in the community and giving to your favorite charity can feel rewarding on many levels. If you intend to donate funds, clothes, or goods, do so before the year ends, so you can include your donations in this year’s tax write-offs for charitable contributions.
If you are retired and have required RMDs (minimum distributions) for an IRA or 401(k), you can choose to donate all or a portion of your RMD directly to a qualified charitable organization of your choice to avoid income taxes: it’s a win-win!
SETTING FINANCIAL GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR
In efforts to set new financial goals, keep them realistic. Small and steady steps are most effective to implement change over time, which can add up in your favor. Let’s keep these steps simple!
1. Adjust your budget for mindful spending
Make clear decisions on areas to reduce spending and stick to them. Also, avoid impulse buying whenever possible to stay on track with your budget.
2. Set goals
Set a combination of near and distant goals with target dates. Achievable goals reward you with quicker satisfaction from your efforts.
3. Increase your monthly savings
Pay yourself first and have any savings amounts automatically deducted from paychecks or deposits into specific and separate accounts. This enables easy-to-track progress, reducing the temptation to divert funds toward your immediate wants or needs.
4. Build an emergency fund
An emergency fund should serve as a financial safety net covering at least three to six months of expenses in an account that you can easily access. Temporary hardship or unexpected costs won’t make you dive into savings unintended for such circumstances.
5. Use diversification to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket
Discuss diversifying your assets into the right savings accounts and investments for you are your family. It’s vital to choose the best investments for inflation that match your risk tolerance, time horizon, financial situation, and financial goals.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
If you’ve lived without reliable financial support from a professional, it can feel challenging to enable new habits alone. Remember the statistics above in relation to setting resolutions: you need them in order to actualize your goals.
If you are in need of tax planning strategies from a financial advisory firm in Flagstaff, Mesa, and Phoenix, Arizona, call us or schedule a conversation today to discuss your financial goals for 2023!
Ascendant is neither a law firm, nor a certified public accounting firm, and no portion of the commentary content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.