by Ann Zuraw | Featured Contributor
HSA—Check if you are eligible for a Health Savings account. An HSA is a medical savings retirement account and can be started with pretax money and withdrawn to pay medical expenses without taxes.
Asset Allocation—Review your overall investment portfolio. What percentage do you have in stocks, bonds, or cash and how did it change over the year? Do you need to rebalance?
Protect yourself with an emergency fund to plan for the unexpected – An expensive car repair, having to replace your air conditioner, or a leaky faucet is stressful enough.
- Not having to worry about the expense b/c you have an emergency fund can really lower stress and allow you not to put off repairs which can cause even more damage
Prioritize your personal need for spending vs. saving– Start tracking your expenses and group them into two categories: fixed and discretionary. Everyone’s income and expenses are different – there are no two budgets the same. You have to find what works for you and what your comfort level is – decide a minimum amount to keep in checking/minimum for savings/ and look to invest the rest.
Your risk tolerance—learn what it is and understand what it means for your investments.
- Everyone has a different tolerance for risk – figure out your own.
- Know your limits – how much are you willing to lose before pulling back on your investment.
- Find a strategy and stick with it over the time horizon
- Diversify, diversify, diversify!
Never Give Up and keep trying even if you fail at times. Success is not going to happen if you do not try.
Estimate your realistic profit and cash flow for the upcoming year. Do this both for your business and for your personal life.
What concrete steps are you taking to achieve all your financial goals? Are your goals Identified, Implemented or Ignored?
Your investment style—What is your personal style and preference? Regarding both managing your business and how your retirement account is invested? Where are you investing your assets and what are the gaps?
Estate Planning – The new tax code means significant changes for estate planning for passing on assets to the next generation. Talk to your financial or trusted advisors today about what it means for you.
Attitude—there are no “stupid” questions. Have a positive attitude about your ability to handle money and ask for help when you need it. You deserve it.
Realistic goals—Don’t overwhelm yourself and get frustrated by trying to solve everything at once. You need to take baby steps, establish your targets with a clear head, and can get started on this today.
Ann Zuraw, Founder, and Fearless Leader/President of Zuraw Financial Advisors, a financial planning and investment management firm based in Greensboro, North Carolina serving families in all stages of life.
“Never Give Up, and it is Never Too Late to Learn.” —this is Ann Zuraw’s (AZ) mantra.
Our goal at ZFA is to encourage women to take responsibility for their finances. As a Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA ®, Certified Financial Planner, CFP ® and MBA- and entrepreneur, Ann built www.ZurawFinancialAdvisors.com as a Registered Investment Advisor with assets under management of $190 million.
Ann served for 25 years as the only female on the board of her family’s real estate company. She witnessed firsthand the difficulties of running and expanding a business, along with the hardships of balancing family dynamics through economic ups and downs. At ZFA we believe that everyone can and should understand their finances and investment opportunities whether you have $5000 or $5 million.
Ann utilizes her blog www.ChicksChatandChange.com to educate women about improving their financial life whether dealing with aging parents, kids, partners or just controlling their spending.
Born in New Orleans and currently living in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ann lived in NYC, San Francisco & Oakland, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My family includes 3 young adult kids who like it or not are always learning about money and—2 English Bulldogs who refuse to listen…