Andrew Rosen, Contributor
Dec. 29, 2021
2021 came in with a pandemic and seems to be leaving in the same Oh-my-gosh not again way. Regardless of Covid's mercurial ways, one constant is focusing on intelligent financial tips so that your retirement ahead is secure in wealth, health, and happiness.
So, to start the New Year off with healthy financial planning, here are the top ten suggestions for how to step forth with a good financial audit in 2022.
1. Invest Fully In Your Your 401(k)
The number one tip for financial planning is to max out your 401(k) . If you aren’t already fully leveraging your 401(k)-retirement savings, then at least increase your contribution by 1%. Once you see that a slight uptake in your contribution does not make a difference in your day-to-day living, you will most likely feel more confident in moving towards adding more to your savings over time. These incremental financial changes will significantly benefit your long-term retirement planning.
2. Leverage The New 2022 401(k) Limits
In 2022, you may contribute $20,500 to your 401(k) , which is $1,000 more than what was allowed in 2021 if you are under 50. Take advantage of this increase by adjusting your savings to meet this new investment limit.
3. There Is Still Time To Manage Your 2021 Taxes
You have until April 15, 2022, to submit your taxes. So even though it is a new tax year, there is still time to lower what you owe in 2021 taxes. One way to help save money while decreasing your taxes is by making an IRA contribution for 2022.
4. Review Your Allocations In Your Investments
The beginning of the year is a good time to audit your investments. Review how you allocate your money by determining if the amount invested meets your risk assessment. If you experienced unexpected financial expenditures, adjust your investment distributions to align with your real needs and future goals.
5. Invest Fully In Your Health Savings Account
HSA stands for health savings account. This is a tax-advantaged account that you can use for qualified medical expenses. You are allowed to put aside $7,300 a year for your family’s HSA, assuming your family is covered by your high deductible plan, so leverage these pre-tax savings by maxing out this savings account.
6. Consider Upcoming Expenses And Plan Accordingly
Planning is the best way to proceed when it comes to smart financing. Look ahead to determine what expenses are coming up in 2022 and create a plan. Things to consider are house projects, children’s activities, vacations, and donations to charity. Have a sense of the costs for each expense and allocate funds in advance, so you know how to invest the remainder of your possible savings.
7. Plan On Taking Time Off
Healthy living begins with the investment in your emotional wellbeing. To be successful at work, make sure you plan vacation time, even if it means time off at home enjoying a hobby. This much-needed time allows you to prioritize what is important in your life and how you will invest in these areas. These vacations are essential to our happiness, and planning forces you to take the time for yourself.
8. Examine Your Purpose In Life
Start the year by reviewing your personal, financial, and professional goals. An excellent way to do this exercise is to start with the 10-year benchmark. Think about what you seek to accomplish and where you want to be in ten years. The next consideration is what progress you need to make in three years to be on target for your ten-year objectives. Think about factors at work and home. Traction by Gino Wickman is an excellent source for helping guide you in this review.
9. Do The Dirty Work First
Ensure a fresh start by completing the unpleasant tasks upfront. Many people put off the things they don't like or don't want to think about. For example, make sure you have a living will and testament. Check your life insurance plans and other areas of insurance to make sure you are covered to mitigate risks. By tackling these unpleasant items early in the year, you free up the remainder of your time to focus on what makes you happy.
10. Review Security Needs
Being hacked is a real-life issue so having a security plan is essential to your financial wellbeing. So, do a security audit before you are hacked or have information stolen. Some necessary items to help protect your financial and personal information include a home shredder, password management systems like Lastpass or Dropbox, and an all-time favorite security program is Lifelock that monitors your financial activity along with that of your children and other family members.
Cheers To 2022
New year resolutions are easy to meet when you consider what is most important. Priorities for living well should always focus on wealth, health, and happiness. So, considering these top ten tips for a financial audit, you are already off to a successful 2022.
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