Financial Security 2019

As the end of the year draws near, it seems right to take a pause and be grateful for all the blessings that 2018 has bestowed. For me, one of those blessings is the completion of the 25th year owning Charter Accounting & Tax.

As I look back over the past quarter of a century, I have many fond memories of the families I have encountered during this entrepreneurial journey. I have a few clients that have been with me the whole way, and now I work with some client’s children and grandchildren as well.

There is no greater blessing than to be able to spend your days doing work you love and working with people you enjoy! I thank you all for your loyalty and friendship!

2019 quickly approaches and offers the opportunity to hit the reset button on many areas of our life-including our finances. Just like the gyms are full of everyone starting strong on their New Year fitness goals, I encourage you to start the year strong building your financial wellbeing.

Life is not about Money, but financial security and confidence make all aspects of our life easier to handle. Just like we cannot turn around an unhealthy lifestyle and lose that extra 20 pounds (or more!?!) overnight, if your financial situation feels out of control there are small steps you can take right away to start taking control.

Here are some of my favorite year end suggestions:

Review your tax withholding – having too much or too little withheld from your monthly income can have big effect on your monthly budget. If you are having too much withheld, you are essentially giving a no interest loan to the IRS. Finding extra money this way may be the answer to increasing your monthly saving goal. If you are withholding too little, you may get an unwelcome surprise April 15th. Having to pay a large amount of tax with your tax return often puts a big wrinkle in the savings and investing plan for the entire next year.

Check your credit score – your credit score affects more than just your ability to get a mortgage. Many auto insurance companies also take into account your credit worthiness as part of their rating model. This means even your car insurance costs more if you have let your credit get messy. Any purchase you need to make on credit, such as a new appliance or a car, costs more if you need to use financing.

Search for better savings rates – if you are doing a god job setting money aside the next step is to make sure the money you have saved is working for you. Most traditional banks are paying less than 1% which is not even keeping up with inflation. That makes it feel like the old method of saving in your mattress is not such a bad idea.

Do some financial planning – if you already have an advisor, check in with them. If you don’t or would like a second opinion, I am available to help you make sure your current plan fits your current situation. Life changes like buying or selling a new home, having a new baby, or sending your kids to college (and how to pay for it) all affect your plan. If you don’t really have a plan – don’t worry- now is better than never looking at it! Every family’s financial situation is as unique as their finger print. Keeping abreast of whether your plan is working is an ongoing process.

One thing I have learned over the past 25 years working with thousands of clients is that money is a topic that affects each person differently. Often it feels like something that is easier to deal with later, but the happiest people I encounter are the ones that have a plan or road map for their finances – that sense of financial security and confidence is really priceless.

As we welcome 2019- I wish you all the financial security and confidence you can have!!