The recent stock market volatility can cause some people increased anxiety. The fact is that the stock market moves up and down, sometimes drastically and this is normal and expected. However, there are things you can do within your control to help keep you on track for your financial goals.
Here is a short to-do list to make sure you are on track.
- Gather your tax documents and prep your 2019 tax return. Do not put this off to April.
- Are you saving enough for retirement? Target at least 10% of your gross income for retirement savings if you are under age 40. Over age 40? you might need to save more depending on how much you have saved so far.
- Get a raise recently? Increase your retirement savings by 1%, it’s easy and you won’t even notice the difference in your paycheck.
- Did you max out your Traditional IRA or Roth IRA for 2019? You have until 4/15/2020 to do this.
- Self-employed? Make sure to contribute to your Solo 401k or SEP-IRA for 2019 by 4/15/2020.
- Did you max out your 401k for 2019? Look to see if your company allows after-tax contributions (most of the larger companies do). If so, you can contribute up to $57,000 to your 401k.
- Married, divorced, new child? Review your beneficiary elections for your retirement accounts and insurance policies.
- Holiday expenses paid off? Now’s a great time to set a spending budget for the year.
- Bombarded with requests from charities? Set a charitable budget for the year: identifying which charities to support and how much to give. Then when asked to donate you can say that you have a charitable plan set for 2020.
- Lastly, do you know how much risk you are taking in your investment portfolio? It may be time to look under the hood and rebalance or reallocate your stock/bond mix. Remember, fluctuations in the market are normal but understanding what to expect from your stock/bond mix can put your mind and stress levels at ease.
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