The end of the year is coming quickly, less than 2 weeks and 2018 will be here. Here are 4 things every person should do before the end of the year.
Create a Financial Plan
Every person should have a financial plan. Planning isn’t only for the ultra wealthy, it is for everyone. A good solid financial plan will help you to accomplish your financial goals. Going through the process of creating a financial plan will help you to prioritize the goals that mean the most, bring perspective to what it will take to achieve your financial goals, and help you with tax planning. That means, a good financial plan will help you to save on taxes, set money aside for emergencies, help you to live within your means, accomplish financial goals by saving smart, bring peace of mind to financial matters, and look out to see what the future might hold. The best part of this is that you can create your own free financial plan by going to www.cannoncap.com and clicking on the Financial Plan Learn More. Once there you can go through the quick on-boarding process and receive full access to the financial planning software. That sounds like time and effort well spent.
We hear this all the time, pay yourself first and then everyone else. If you are not participating in your employer sponsored retirement plan, you are doing it wrong. There are incentives associated with retirement plans, they come from the company you work for, the IRS, or both. If your company offers a match and you aren’t taking advantage of this, you are missing out on “free money”. If your company doesn’t have a match, take advantage of the tax incentives provided by the IRS. If you are not participating START NOW! Suze Orman shows us the benefit of starting early, she said, that if you can save $100/month starting at 25, you can retire with over $1,000,000 at age 65. She says that if you wait until you are 35 doing the same thing, you would end up with $300,000. So, start saving and start saving now, it is your future, it is your retirement. If you are already saving, kudos to you, can you save a little more this upcoming year?
Update your Budget for 2018
The end of the year is a great time to look back and see where your money went. You can do this by reviewing your budget for 2017. If you didn’t have a budget in 2017, you can go through all of your 2017 transactions, or remember that financial plan I told you about? One of the tools that it has is an aggregator. This allows you to link up your spending accounts (credit and debit cards, checking, and savings) and it will categorize your transactions for you so you can review. The beauty of this is that, if you want it to, it will create a budget based on your historical spending and then you can go in and edit it. All of that in 10 minutes. Who knew that budgeting could be so easy?
Pull your Free Credit Report
This might be one of the best things that you can do, but is most likely one of the most overlooked. Pulling your credit report is smart and proactive. In today’s world it seems there is some major security breech every 6 months, with smaller ones happening daily. This is becoming a way of life, and we are all responsible to monitor our own credit report or hire a service to do it for us. The bright side of these security breaches is they will often offer free credit monitoring for a year. If you have not checked your credit report lately, please do so by pulling your free annual report from each of the credit agencies. Also, if you haven’t taken advantage of the free Equifax credit monitoring, we would encourage you to do so.
We wish you all a safe and happy Holiday Season. May your time be spent with those you cherish most.
-Cannon Capital Management, Inc.