David Lerner Associates: Review 2013 Financial Resolutions
Review Financial Resolutions
Establish a Budget
Many people bristle at the mere mention of the “B” word: budget. But budgeting is the first step in
gaining control of your finances—and it usually isn’t as difficult or painful as most people think.
Reduce your Debt
Excessive debt is one of the biggest obstacles to financial security and independence, as well as to saving for a
financially secure retirement. So begin planning now to pay down your outstanding debt as soon as possible.
Control your Credit Card Spending
Credit cards are the biggest debt challenge for many Americans. If they are a big temptation for
you, cancel them and only use cash and debit cards to pay for all future purchases.
Build an Emergency Fund
Some financial advisors recommend saving anywhere from three to six months of living expenses
or more. The money should generally be kept in a liquid savings account (like a bank account or
money market fund) that can be accessed easily to cover unexpected large expenses.
Increase Retirement Plan Contributions
If you are saving money regularly in a qualified retirement plan, congratulations! Your next challenge is to increase your
contributions—ideally, until you’ve reached the annual contribution limit for your plan. See if you are on track to meet
your retirement goals with an online retirement calculator. David Lerner Associates offers a free, comprehensive
calculator at www.davidlerner.com/retirement-calculator.aspx.
Think about Long-Term
You may want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance to cover major healthcare and nursing home
costs after you retire. This will depend on such factors as your age, how much you’re saving for retirement,
and whether you will have retiree healthcare coverage from your employer.
Check Your Credit
You can get one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax,
Experian and TransUnion) by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. By ordering a free credit report from each
bureau every four months, you can carefully monitor your credit all throughout the year.
Protect yourself from Identity Theft
Identity thieves can wreck havoc on your financial life in no time. Be extremely careful not to inadvertently
share personal information like your Social Security number or online banking logins or passwords with identity
thieves, especially if you receive suspicious emails asking for this.
Save or Invest your Income Tax Refund
Or use it to pay down debt. Decisions like these may prove to be more financially beneficial over
the long term than spending the money now.
Prioritize your Long-Term Saving and
Many Americans today must choose between saving for retirement and for their children’s college educations.
Many experts say that retirement saving should usually be the priority, since other sources of financing (like
loans, scholarships and grants) may be available to help pay for college.
Review your Insurance Coverages
Sit down with your insurance agent and take a close look at your life, health, disability, homeowner’s and
automobile insurance policies to make sure that you have adequate coverage in each of these areas, based
on your assets, income and number of family dependents.
Waste Less Money
It can be easy to get into wasteful spending patterns without even realizing it. Daily stops for expensive cups of
coffee, expensive cable packages for TV channels you never watch, and ATM fees are examples of seemingly
small amounts of wasted money that can add up.
Strive for the Proper
While not necessarily a financial step, this may be the most important step to achieving happiness and
fulfillment in 2013. Sit down with your family now and talk about what kind of work-life balance will allow
everyone to enjoy the new year to the fullest.
Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
Being completely involved in future planning can lead to the omission of something that brings sparkle and interest to
life—spontaneity and fun. You have worked hard for that money, so don't be afraid to set some of it aside for doing
things you enjoy.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is
not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments
offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (DLA). This material does not constitute
an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considering
in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
Member FINRA & SIPC