It’s time for a first-quarter review of your finances—and your health. Not where you need to be? Try these tips to get back on track.
By Jim Chapman, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement & Trust Managing Director
Now that the New Year is into full swing, and tax time is around the corner, you may be taking stock in those resolutions you made. Common resolutions to exercise and lose weight might come to mind first. But your health and wealth go hand in hand–now and when you retire. To make sure you are doing everything you can today to plan for a better tomorrow, consider these tips for making yourself healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Tip 1: Save as much as you can, as soon as you can
No matter what your age, you should be saving for your future. Start young and you can put the power of compounding on your side. Your money will grow faster over time as your earnings produce their own earnings. With the price of oil dropping, put the money you save into a retirement account.
Tip 2: Prepare and prevent
When planning for a healthy future, preparation and prevention play a key role.
Preparation means saving for retirement and making sure you have appropriate insurance.
Prevention means having routine tests, screenings, and health exams to catch any problems before they become serious and expensive health conditions.
Tip 3: Understand your retirement benefits
Learn as much as you can about your retirement savings plan. Don’t miss out on the company match your employer offers, and AVOID taking loans and withdrawals that can reduce the money you’ll have available in retirement.
If you have a pension plan, find out about projected benefit levels at various retirement ages and under various distribution options.
Also be sure to review your personal Social Security statement that is available online at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. The statement is an easy-to-read record of your earnings and a summary of the estimated Social Security benefits you may receive as a result of those earnings.
Another helpful tool is the Social Security Claiming Guide from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The guide can help you understand your options and when the best time might be to start collecting your Social Security benefit.
Tip 4: Insure you have a better future
Make sure you have the insurance you need to protect your health and financial future before and after you retire. As you approach retirement, learn everything you can about Medicare, supplemental health policies, and long-term care insurance. While you don’t want to waste money by having too much insurance, you also need to be careful you aren’t leaving yourself exposed to financial catastrophes.
Tip 5: All things in moderation
Moderation (and diversification) is good advice for many aspects of your life. Your investments should be appropriately diversified (not too risky, not too conservative, and typically not all in one basket). To determine an asset allocation strategy that’s right for you, take the interactive risk tolerance quiz by visiting wellsfargo.com/riskquiz.
Your diet should be diversified, too. Try to include all the food groups in your daily menu. Even with exercise, try to include weight training, aerobic workouts, and simply incorporating more activity into your daily routine.