Seven Steps to Get Financially Fit in 2016

After an incredible fishing season in 2015, many of us haven’t had much time to review our financial plans and get organized for next year. January is a great time to take advantage of the off-season and get your retirement savings and investment strategies aligned. As April 15th looms, it’s important to get started planning and coordinating with your financial advisor and CPA. To get your finances on track for 2016, follow these steps.

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1. See if You’re On Track for Retirement

The new year is a good time to make sure you’re saving enough for retirement. Be sure to maximize your contributions to both your 401(k) and IRAs before the April 15th, 2016 deadline.

For 2016, Traditional and Roth IRAs allow individuals younger than 50 to contribute $5,500 and individuals 50 and older to contribute $6,500. But for many investors, IRA and 401(k) contributions are not enough to fund a comfortable retirement. Discuss with you advisor whether you’re on track to retire on time and if you need to adjust your savings.

2. Consider Consolidating Your Investment Accounts

While you’re addressing your retirement accounts, you may want to rollover 401(k) accounts from former employers into an IRA. Most 401(k) plans have limited investment options and high fees that add up over time. By consolidating your 401(k) assets into an IRA, you can organize your financial life as well as take advantage of more investment options and the possibility of lower fees.

3. Make Sure Your Portfolio is Risk Appropriate

How much risk is in your portfolio? Studies show that 4 out of 5 investors have more risk in their portfolio than they realize. This can lead to larger losses when the market goes down. To find out whether your portfolio is risk appropriate, take our free risk assessment here.

4. Set a Budget and Pay Off Debts

Now that holiday spending is behind us, it’s a good time to pay off debts and make a budget for the new year. Whether your goals are to travel, buy new fishing equipment, or save for retirement, setting a budget can help you get closer to those goals. It’s important to consider debt within your overall financial plan and pay off any debts that carry high interest rates.

5. Review Your Insurance Policies

If you haven’t reviewed your insurance policies in the last year, January is a good time to make sure your loved ones are protected in the event of your death. It’s also important to ensure you have adequate disability insurance to protect your income in the event of an illness or injury. If you’ve had any major life changes, like the birth of a child or significant income changes in the past year, your insurance needs may have changed.

6. Start a 529 Plan

If there are children in your family, starting a 529 savings plan can be an excellent way to jumpstart their college savings. It’s easy to set up a plan and each individual can save up to $14,000 per year, per child. In some cases, you may be able to pre-fund up to $70,000 as a one-time payment.

7. Start Planning Your 2016 Fishing Trips

The winter weather can limit our fishing days, but it’s a great time to start planning next season’s adventures. Keep in touch with Sportfishing Financial Group on our blog and on Facebook for highlights of this great season and stay in touch regarding our upcoming 2016 fishing trips!

At Sportfishing Financial Group, we are happy to help answer your questions and offer advice. Do you need help getting your finances on track for the new year? Call our office at 949-481-1807 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..