The end of the year is the perfect time for reflection. If this year didn’t add up to all you’d hoped it would be and you want to start off on a better foot in the New Year, there are at least four goals you can’t afford to miss on your list.
Start by looking at your biggest debt, which is probably your home. Even if you know that it’s not feasible for pay off that mortgage totally in 2020, having a future date in mind when you do think that goal is achievable gives you something clear to work towards. If you’re nearing retirement age, factor in how this might influence your retirement spending, too. Can you target a payoff date early on in your retirement?
The next phase should be setting up a six month emergency fund. This is money you can tap into during a worst case scenario like a critical home repair or a sudden medical bill. Most people in the U.S. have no emergency savings fund at all.
The third phase to accomplishing your financial goals in 2020 is creating a full plan for how to look at your big financial picture. If you’re concerned about running out of money in retirement or whether you’ll need long-term care, the best time to put a place in motion for these issues in well in advance of an emergency situation.
If you are a few years away or even a decade away from retirement, expand your debt payoff plan from beyond just your home. Think about car payments, student loan debt, and credit card debt. All of these can create big expenses when you’re on a fixed income in retirement and don’t want to dip into your emergency fund or your overall savings to pay for regular costs.
Need help fitting your financial plan with your estate plan? Now is a great time to schedule a chance to speak with a dedicated estate planning lawyer about your options.