14 New Year’s Resolutions Financial Planners Are Making for 2020
You already know you need to spend less and save more—here’s what you need to do it like a pro.
“I will exercise daily and eat more fruits and vegetables”
One of the best things you can do to take care of your finances is to take care of yourself. Medical and other costs associated with lifestyle illnesses can quickly eat up huge chunks of cash, jeopardizing your finances not just now but in the future, Colton says. This is why she says she’s going to prioritize her health this next year. “With retirement on the horizon and knowing healthcare costs can become unpredictable as we age, I want to take active steps in 2020 to keep my health a priority by eating well and staying active,” she says.
“I am scheduling next year’s meetings with my financial planner now”
It’s true: Even finance experts need an outside eye to give advice and help them manage their finances, Colton says. “I’m going to schedule routine meetings with my financial advisor for the upcoming year, now, so they’re set on the calendar,” she says. “For 2020, I’ll spend the time during regular meetings with my financial advisor to seek guidance about my specific life priorities that include downsizing, ensuring I’m on track for my retirement goals, and contributing toward my parents’ care. I’ll also suggest to my daughters to do the same and talk with an advisor about the unique financial needs of 20-somethings.”
“I’m going to pay off my student loans”
Rachel Kowalczyk, a director and senior wealth advisor Mariner Wealth Advisors, is one of the 44 million Americans with student loan debt—something that’s becoming more and more common and college prices skyrocket. But this represents a huge financial burden, especially for young adults just starting their careers, like Kowalczyk, of whom over one-third have student debt. “In 2020, I plan to pay off the remainder of my student loans,” she says. “I will calculate what I need to do and then adjust my automatic monthly payments in order to finally be free from student debt!” If you or your child is looking at going to college, make sure you know these 10 tips for paying for college without loans.
“I will save up first instead of buying things on credit”
Living on credit has become such a way of life in America that many people assume that if they’re doing something expensive, like remodeling a bathroom or buying a car, that they will have to use credit. (Not to mention all the lesser things we automatically use credit for, like eating out or buying clothing.) But you don’t and it’s time all of us stop falling into that common credit card trap, says Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi. “Historically, I would just buy something when I wanted it, and pay it off over time,” she says. “This year I will budget for these purchases in advance and make sure my wants are only addressed after my needs.”
“I will get my six months worth of expenses in savings”
Having enough money in savings to cover six months of expenses is standard (and good) financial advice. After all, it’s only a matter of time before you get hit with a job loss, a serious illness, or other life crisis. Still, just like the rest of us, not every financial pro has their emergency account all funded. So this year, Ben Watson, a CPA and personal finance expert with DollarSprout, is resolving to get his savings together. “To make sure I really do it, I’m going to set up an auto-payment from my checking to my emergency fund until I have at least six months of expenses covered,” he says. Starting from scratch? Steal these 17 habits of people who are great at saving money.