Today is the last day of 2012. Tonight you will pop the champagne cork and pull out the glasses to toast “out with the old and in with the new.” Whether you are dressed in your finest sequins and rhinestones or your best suit or you are comfy cozy watching the ball drop from the comfort of your living room, you just can’t help to think about new beginnings.  Tonight we shed the old and begin anew! 

When you focus your attention on your finances, consider these three important areas in 2013:

Saving:  What percentage of your income are you saving now?  Are you maxed out on your retirement savings in your 401(k) or company plan?  With a world of finance that is constantly changing, at least you can be in control of something and that is the amount of money you are saving.  Bump it up as much as you can – you may be able to do that right now on your retirement plan website.  If you aren’t able to save significantly more, at least bump your contributions up slightly in 2013.  Do you need to manage your cash flow better to do that?  Try easy budgeting programs such as the app or Money Center.

Investments: Earning 1–2% higher consistently year after year on your funds can make a huge difference in your account balance and your ability to retire when you want to.  A 30 year old investor with $50,000 in their 401(k) earning 5% would have about $275K at 65 but if they simply earned 6% instead of 5%, their account balance would be over $100K larger.  Look for ways to earn a little higher return – reducing fees and tweaking your investment mix.  To review your investment mix to see what your returns would have been historically, you can use this calculator – click here.

Taxes: At the time of this writing, we were facing the distinct possibility of going “off the fiscal cliff” but whether or not that is resolved by the time this is posted, becoming more knowledgeable about ways to reduce your personal income taxes will be very beneficial to everyone.  The writing is on the wall that taxes will increase or allowable deductions will be reduced or both!  Watch this blog for updates and tips on how to reduce your taxes in 2013.

Do you have any specific financial concerns in 2013?  Let us know and we’ll address them in the blog.  Simply write a comment or post on our Facebook page and we’ll answer your questions or address your topic of interest.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!