A new year is a fresh opportunity to make some well-needed resolutions.
In 2017, you should focus on improving your finances. No matter your age, here are some savings goals you should strive for in 2017:
20-year olds: Set yourself up for success
If you're in your 20s, use 2017 as a springboard to set yourself up for future financial success. This might be hard to do because you're young and want to experience everything life has to offer, but you should make a commitment to this resolution.
How do you create success? Start by taking control of your finances. Make monthly and weekly budgets so you know where your money is going. Budgets will help you cut back on spending categories if needed.
Setting a budget will then help you meet financial goals. Now is the time to start saving for future ambitions, such as a down payment on a house. The more you save in the present, the faster you'll be able to call yourself a homeowner.
You also should use your 20s to save for retirement. If you haven't already, make 2017 the year where you start setting aside money in a 401(k), Individual Retirement Account or both. By planning for retirement early, you'll be able to enjoy a comfortable post-work lifestyle.
Planning for the future also means ensuring you don't accumulate debt. While you likely have student loans to pay back, try not to accumulate more debt in 2017. You don't want to spend the new year paying back large balances and interest when that money could instead be saved.
30- and 40-year olds: Stabilize your finances and take care of family
In your middle years, keep one eye on the present and the other on the future. If you're in your 30s, shore up your savings account, and specifically, your emergency fund. Ideally, you'll want to have six months of income saved to ensure you can still pay the bills if you were to lose your source of income.
You should also strive to hit retirement benchmarks. According to Money Under 30, aim for at least one-year's worth of salary saved up in a retirement account. Don't panic if you haven't met that benchmark yet; make it a top priority for 2017.
"Strive to hit retirement benchmarks."
Additionally, start adjusting your budget to account for your family (if you don't already have one). Set aside money for marriage and the added expenses of raising a family. You may even want to open a 529 college savings plan in the new year to start planning for your child's college education.
50- and 60-year olds: Prepare for retirement
Enter 2017 knowing it's one step closer to retirement, if you haven't already hung up the suit or work boots. These are the years where you should focus on beefing up your 401(k) and IRA accounts, whether you're still working or not. Money Under 30 recommended you have at least 1.5 times your annual salary set aside in a 401(k) or IRA.
No matter the amount you've saved for retirement up to this point, take advantage of IRS and catch-up contributions. According to the IRS, you can put an extra $5,000 in your traditional or safe harbor 401(k) account in 2017 if you're 50 or older. Additionally, you can contribute $6,500 to your IRA (an extra $1,000) in 2017.
If you're in your 60s, consider saving more money by downsizing. Instead of retiring with a large home, you may want to move into one that's smaller, cheaper and will be easier to navigate as you age.
While savings goals will vary depending on age, every age group should make a commitment to save more money in the new year.
For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.
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