2017 marks the 13th anniversary of the formation of Legacy Trust.  As we begin this year I wanted to offer that number in quick financial/life tips and ideas to hopefully provoke some thoughts and actions.

  1. Increase your 401k contribution percentage (even if that increase is by one percent, it can certainly add up over time).
  2. Increase your Health Savings Account contributions (dollars go in tax-free, giving you as they say “more bang for your buck” on future medical expenses).
  3. Increase/begin automatic contributions from your paycheck to a separate savings account (treat that savings as an expense that you pay each month).
  4. Follow a strict budget for one month (and track your feelings/changing perspectives around this enlightening process).
  5. Review the credit cards you use. Do your airline miles really add up to much in savings? How about those hotel points you are accumulating? I suggest also looking for a cash rewards card that automatically funds an investment account.
  6. Identify a source of frustration in your life. Turn it upside down and look at it as an opportunity to learn and change.
  7. Call your cable company and negotiate for a lower monthly rate (or even better, cancel the service all together and just use Netflix and/or Hulu).
  8. Budget for unexpected expenses and set aside funds from each paycheck to build an emergency fund.
  9. Review the beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement accounts.
  10. Make certain you are on track for retirement (based on your current savings patterns and a reasonable rate of return). A regular check-up with a trusted advisor should be a must.
  11. Review your estate plan to see if it is still in line with your wishes and circumstances.
  12. Make a list of questions you would like to ask your financial advisor.
  13. Find a mentor (or mentor someone). Just like the tips listed above (many of which you have heard before), people need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. Mentors help direct your focus on the answers you already know but have chosen to ignore or forget. Albeit intentional or unintentional.

Make 2017 a great year by committing to being as intentional and focused as you can. That’s our plan as we mark the New Year and our 13th anniversary.  Perhaps this will be your lucky year as well!