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Be Better Prepared Financially in the New Year

Be Better Prepared Financially in the New Year

Tuesday, December 28, 2021/Categories: Community News, Saving & Planning

Heading into 2022, consumers are facing inflation, and possible tax code changes, not to mention a pandemic that won’t quit (it has to get better, right?!) Now more than ever, it’s important to be financially fit and well prepared for the future. If the last two years have shown us anything, it’s that things can change quickly (and drastically) and the more prepared financially you are, the better you can weather any storm. We’re going to highlight a number of areas that you can focus on improving in your portfolio now and into 2022 and beyond.

First Things First: Check Your Spending

You can do all the things subsequently listed below and still fail if you don’t first check your spending. It’s the easiest and hardest answer rolled into one. Whatever your goals are for the future, sticking to a budget is the key to success. While it would be impossible to anticipate every expense throughout the year, a big-picture budget can map out where your money goes and help plan for many of life’s expenses, such as a major home repair or car repair. Whether you use a good, old-fashioned spreadsheet, or download a state-of-art new app, track your spending and plan for purchases. 

Plan for the Unexpected

Estate planning is the often-overlooked step in planning for your financial future. No one wants to talk death, but creating a will is an element of estate planning that ensures your finances are taken care of even in the event of death. This is particularly important for those who have dependents, as a will is often a formal way to name your child’s guardian. After all, your dependants are your most valuable asset. Learn more about estate planning at Andover Bank.

Plan for the Expected

We’re all working toward retirement, right? Are you saving enough? Consider bumping up your retirement investment by 1% in 2022 and be sure to compare your current savings with the retirement benchmark for your age range. If you’re not yet hitting the mark with your retirement savings, consider ways to adjust your spending and your budget to accommodate. Get tips and tools for retirement savings on Andover Bank’s retirement resources webpage.  

Plan for College

If you have dependents then paying for college has most certainly crossed your mind, considering the average cost to obtain a Bachelor’s degree comes in around $50,000 in total. If you haven’t already, consider a 529 Plan to start saving for college. 529 plans can also be used to pay for K-12 private education, community college, technical training, and even student loan debt repayment, so it's never too early to start saving. Andover Bank also provides tips and tools to save for college on its website.

Plan for a New Career

Are you happy with your current job and salary? Now maybe the perfect time to have a conversation with your employer about a raise, promotion, or other benefits. As the current job market experiences the “Great Resignation,” employers are motivated to retain valuable employees and if you find that’s not the case with your employer, it may be time to enter the job market and look for other options or consider starting your own business in 2022. Learn more about what it takes to start your own business.

Plan for Emergencies

In order to stay out of debt, it is essential to build and keep an emergency savings fund. The start of a new year is an excellent time to create a plan for emergency savings. It’s recommended that individuals keep at least 6 months worth of an emergency fund. This money can be used to cushion the blow of an unexpected job change, take care of repairs following a storm or cover any other necessary expense that could not have been foreseen.

With a new year, traditionally comes thoughts of resolutions, planning for the future, and with that, high hopes and expectations. Take advantage of the year-end and start to plan and create the life you’ve been dreaming of. There are tools and resources available to you. Andover Bank’s Learning Center is a great place to start. Make 2022 your fresh start and put your finances in order for good.

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