New Year’s Resolutions, Health and Wealth

by Ray Bridgeman

Any New Year’s resolution should be based on health and wealth. The old saying money can’t buy you happiness might be true, but the more you have doesn’t distract from it. With people living longer into retirement, it is more important than ever to keep up with the healthy side of life along with the money side.   

 There are key things to keep in mind on the money side and things that affect major life changes, weddings, births, divorce, and unfortunately, deaths. I say this with experience in all these areas. Just as important as regular health check-ups are the annual and sometimes biannual wealth check-up with your financial professional.   

With every life change: Have you updated your Will?  Your beneficiaries on accounts? How necessary is this? Well, if it isn’t your first marriage, it is, unfortunately, a more than common story, when someone ends up injured or even passes away, the new spouse finds out that the “Ex” is protected because you didn’t take time to update things.  Just got married, especially if I’m in the younger stage of life; now is the time to make decisions about protecting each other, like life insurance. The younger you are, the more affordable those options are, not to mention if you are planning a family, pregnancy can delay that coverage. Act now.  

Ok, in a market like today, everything seems to be making money.  What happens when things go down? More and more people are planning for their future on their own but what goes up always comes down. Are you prepared for that? How do you know to protect your downside if you’re not working with someone? 

You want to retire one day, buy a house, pay off debt. Playing the zero percent credit card games can only go so far.  A financial professional can work with you one on one and change your budget as your life changes. There are many financial tools and strategies that can get you there.  

The sober subject is, have you thought about what you want your loved ones to do when you pass? Please write it down with an appropriate professional, so they don’t have to deal with it. They are going through enough dealing with the loss, don’t have them try and figure out what your wishes are.  

Are you a business owner?  Looking to provide for your employees?  Never too late to set up some sort of retirement tool for them. Carry on your legacy?  What happens to the business when you die?  Plan it out with a professional. 

This may be controversial to all those financial talking heads out there who say sock it away for retirement.  Saving for retirement is important, but don’t put off what you want to do today until tomorrow.  Is there a trip you want to take, a vacation home you want to buy, a bottle of wine you’re saving? Do it, drink it – today is a special occasion. Being alive is special! If you have prepared financially, you will be fine.  To quote Alanis Morissette, “Won the lottery and died the next day,” don’t be that person! 

Now super important, stop putting off those medical check-ups. We hear all the time excuses like coverage, money, time. No excuse, get the check-up. There are so many new advancements with medicine, and you can’t get cured if you don’t get checked! Don’t forget, make your financial check-up appointment today as well to start the New Year off healthy and a little more wealthier.

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