A large majority of Americans make New Year’s resolutions for themselves, and they can entail anything from buying a house, getting in shape, or getting a grip on their financial lives. If your resolution is the latter, there are key financial moves everyone can make to make sure you kick off retirement on the right foot.
Take advantage of catch-up contributions
Older workers can make up for lost time by adding catch-up contributions to their 401(k) or an IRA. At age 50, people can contribute an extra $1,000 to an IRA or an extra $6,000 to their 401K, and get an additional tax break.
Reduce your debt
It’ll be easier to save money for retirement and to live comfortably once you get there if you reduce your debt now. While there are multiple ways to approach debt repayment, starting with the account with the lowest balance can help increase your momentum. When people attack the smallest first, they start to feel good about it and build confidence.
Build an emergency fund
One way to eliminate stock market worries is to build an emergency fund. So that if something happens, you’re not tapping into your retirement fund. Should the market tumble right as you retire, you may be able to ride out the downturn by using money from the emergency fund.
Make an appointment with a planner
Meeting with a financial professional is another smart strategy to help you meet your retirement savings goals for 2017. It’s so important that we get the right kind of guidance, small tweaks can lead to large gains. Professional advice may be just what you need to pinpoint exactly how to make this year the one in which your retirement savings plan falls into place.
Learn the Social Security rules
Retirees as young as 62 can begin receiving Social Security benefits, but you’ll get more by waiting until your full retirement age or even delaying the start of benefits until age 70. The ideal time to start benefits will depend on several factors including your health and marital status. However, don’t wait until you’re in your 60s to figure it out. Consider not just yourself, but the impact on your spouse.