Cetera News, Investment News, Retirement

Five Tips for Financial Planning in 2021

As we finish one of the most challenging years in the history of our lifetime and we wrap up the holiday season with all its spending; now is a great time to take a moment and take stock of our financial goals.

A cup that reads "Let the Adventure Begin"To do that, Jason Andrew, Financial Advisor and 15-year financial services veteran shares his top five tips to plan for the year ahead.

1.) A Look Back
Now is a great time to evaluate how you’re doing in terms of the financial goals you set at the beginning of the year, because it isn’t too late to start saving. If you haven’t hit your annual maximums for IRA* savings, you can still make contributions through the April 15 tax-filing deadline for the previous calendar year.

2.) Planning for 2021 and Beyond
Now also is a great time to start thinking about next year’s goals. What is it you’re trying to accomplish in the next 12 to 24 months? Are you saving for a house? Going on a much-deserved vacation? Completing some projects around the house? Alternatively, what are your long-term goals? How much will you need for retirement? Better yet, how do you make your money last during retirement? Distribution planning is key to making your resource and legacy have a lasting impact.

3.) Don’t Be Afraid of Market Lows
While this past year may have created a sense of unease in the market, know that in general when we enter a market downturn, this is a great time to begin looking for investments that are on-sale or trading below market value. It also is a good time to remember to stay consistent with your saving, especially if you’re putting aside a set amount each month. This strategy is called dollar cost averaging**, and when the market is down, your monthly contribution is likely going to go further in purchasing more shares in the investment you’ve chosen.

4.) Gifts That Don’t Require Wrapping
Holidays and birthdays can be a time of excess when we spend more than we should or get way too many things we just don’t need. Instead, consider giving the gift of education to the young people in your life by setting up, or contributing to, a 529 college savings plan***. These plans can be used to pay for expenses associated with higher education, as well as the kindergarten through 12th grade tuition of the beneficiary, tax-free.

5.) Thinking of Others
A wonderful way to support your community is through charitable giving. A great way to do this is through gifting highly appreciated stock or using your required minimum distribution to send directly to the charity of your choice.

To determine what strategies will work best towards reaching your goals, contact Jason and he’ll be sure to develop a customized plan to meet your needs.


*Distributions from traditional IRAs and employer sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% IRS tax penalty.
**Dollar-cost averaging will not guarantee a profit or protect you from loss, but may reduce your average cost per share in a fluctuating market.
***Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This information is found in the issuer’s official statement and should be read carefully before investing. Investors should also consider whether the investor’s or beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits available only from that state’s 529 Plan. Any state-based benefit should be one of many appropriately weighted factors in making an investment decision. The investor should consult their financial or tax advisor before investing in any state’s 529 Plan.