Forming healthy financial habits in the new year

By: Michael Slabic, CLU®, ChFC®

According to a 2012 study by the University of Scranton[1], 45 percent of people usually make New Year’s resolutions, but only eight percent achieve them. The most successful resolutions include specific and clear goals rather than simple I will do better statements.

The same is true for financial resolutions. It’s important to create realistic goals that fit your needs, and actionable steps to help visualize the path to economic security.

As 2013 comes to a close, we are presented with the perfect opportunity to make resolutions for your financial plan that will adapt to changing needs and help you get the most out of 2014.

Choose a guide wisely

I was drawn to becoming a financial advisor because it enabled me to help people create a better future for themselves. Whether personal, business or estate planning, everyone could use a navigator on the road to financial security. You wouldn’t set out on a road trip without GPS and the same should be true for your wealth-building journey.

The fluctuations of the stock market and other factors caused a lot of economic movement in 2013. Meeting with a financial representative now can help determine if your personal goals were met this year and set new ones for 2014.

An end-of-year review of your plan can help:

  • Take stock of the economic climate – How did the 2013 economic climate affect your long-term goals and investments?
  • Plan for major life changes – Do you have plans to marry, have a child or buy a house in the upcoming year? Incorporating those intentions into your financial plan give it the ability to absorb the impact of life changes without altering goals.
  • Tax preparation – Preparing for tax season early can help you get the most out of your investment decisions.
  • Evaluate retirement goals – Are you on track to retire at the age you would like?

A successful resolve

Creating measurable goals for yourself will help make success more achievable. A financial advisor can help you be part of the eight percent of people who fulfill their resolutions.

Buoyed by the fresh outlook a new year offers, people are encouraged to implement and develop resolutions to create healthy financial habits that will extend beyond the annual fervor of New Year’s. By reviewing your plan often, you will help craft a financial future that gets you to – and through – retirement, while addressing the financial bumps that pop up along the way, such as inflation, education costs or temporary disability.

Here’s to wishing you and yours a wonderful, happy and healthy 2014. Prospero Año Nuevo!

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About Michael Slabic

Michael Slabic is a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual in Houston.  Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI and its subsidiaries.  Passionate about helping people achieve their financial goals, Michael has been with Northwestern Mutual since 1996.

A native Texan, Michael served as a reservist with the U.S. Marines for eight years while pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration Marketing from Texas A&M University.

Married with three children, Michael supports his community through involvement in local groups, including the Texas A&M Hispanic Network, junior achievement and youth sports coaching.