By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
A new year is an opportunity to resolve to do better — and that includes in your financial life as well. Did you save enough last year? Max out your retirement plan? Review your estate plan?
Well, it’s never too late.
Here are some tips from experts on what you can resolve to do in 2017 to build wealth and secure your retirement.
Create a budget. “Everyone should have a budget. You should know your fixed expenses and discretionary expenses. You should have a savings goal and pay yourself first. There are two types of people who save for retirement. The first is someone who saves first and spends what is left. They tend to have a successful retirement. The other is someone who spends first and saves what is left. They tend to not reach their retirement goals.” — Michael J. Silver, CFP, Baron Silver Stevens Financial Advisors, Boca Raton
Save enough for retirement. “We believe you need to save 15 percent of your gross income to be well prepared for retirement. Whatever you are putting aside now, bump up your savings by one or two percent of your salary to make sure you can reach your goals. If you’ve already maxed out your workplace plan, save more in a Roth or Traditional IRA.” — Mari Adam, CFP, Adam Financial Associates, Boca Raton
Establish Florida residency. “Florida residents who recently moved to the state should establish residency by opening checking and savings bank accounts, applying for a Florida driver’s license and registering to vote, since Florida does not have a state death tax.”
— Kent Ellert, President and CEO, Florida Community Bank, Winter Park
Create an estate plan. “Although it’s very possible that estate and gift taxes may get repealed after President-elect Trump takes office, this is no reason to hold off creating or updating certain parts of your estate plan. At a minimum, you should have your will and revocable trust drafted to ensure that your assets pass to the people you want them to go to upon your death. You should also have your attorney draft a living will, healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney, so that you can appoint the appropriate advocate to make health and financial decisions on your behalf.” — Shomari D. Hearn, CFP, Palisades Hudson Financial Group, Fort Lauderdale
Bank safely online. “The password you create for online banking should be unique from any other account so that if your other accounts are hacked, your finances have a chance of being protected. Don’t use information such as family and pet names that can be found in social media. Studies have shown that a phrase or sentence make the strongest passwords, so use a favorite song lyric or quote.”— Mary Harris, Senior Vice President, BankUnited, Miami Lakes