By Jennifer Osgood, Partner/Financial Advisor at Wagner Wealth Management
It’s always a good time to get your finances in shape, but thebeginning of a new year certainly offers a great starting point.
Here are a few important areas to consider:
Fully fund your emergency account and beyond: What can be counted on is the unexpected. Maintain three to six months of expenses in a liquid, easily accessible emergency fund for those unforeseen events. From a job loss to unanticipated repairs, you want to be covered when life happens. To meet those initial savings goals and beyond, set up an automatic sweep into a savings or investment account. Make it effortless to save, and you’ll not only meet your goals, you could also end up spending less when you see less cash readily available in your checking account.
Save for retirement: Take advantage of your company’s 401k match, or, if you are self-employed, open an I401k. Focusing on saving in tax-deferred retirement accounts is the perfect place to start getting into financial shape. Even small increases in savings can lead to significant savings by allowing compound interest the time to work.
Start saving for college with a 529 plan: Whether for your own education or for a child or grandchild, opening a 529 plan is a great first step toward saving for educational expenses. The money grows federally tax-free if used on qualified expenses, and, as an extra incentive, most 529 plans offer a state tax deduction or other benefit. They are not just for the traditional four-year college anymore; they can also be used for K-12 private education, community college, technical training and even student loan debt repayment, so it’s never too early to start saving.
Designate a power of attorney: Just like a will, designating a power of attorney is another important estate planning document. It is perhaps even more powerful, as this designation allows another individual to act entirely on your behalf. It is recommended that all adults at least 18 years old set up a power of attorney to make financial, legal and sometimes health decisions on their behalf in case of an accident or other unexpected incident.
Hire a professional:If your financial situation has recently become more complex — maybe you’ve become self-employed, recently undergone a divorce or received a large inheritance — it may be time to hire a professional who can help guide you. From a financial advisor to a tax professional to an estate attorney, when life gets too complex, it’s a good idea to seek out an expert.
Wagner Wealth Management has offices in Greenville, Anderson and Oconee counties. Call us at 864-236-4706 or visit www.wagnerwealthmanagement.com to learn more about our firm. Securities offered through Arkadios Capital. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Wealth Management Advisors, LLC. Arkadios Capital and Wealth Management Advisors, LLC, are not affiliated through any ownership.