What Do New Beginnings Mean to You?
by Larry Dresner, ChFC
This year, will your new beginnings mean re-establishing a relationship with a friend or family member? Will it mean removing those extra pounds that crept onto your waistline during the past year? How about setting savings goals or developing a plan to reduce your debt?
January 1 is a much-touted day for justifying the start of something new. But new beginnings can start any day of the year. As long as you start saving more or aggressively reducing your debt, any day is a great day to start.
So how do you set your financial new beginnings?
If you’re trying to reduce credit card debt, note the interest rate and total balance of each card so you can make a plan to begin paying that debt off. You could pay the minimum amount due on each card, but consider paying the card with the highest interest rate off more aggressively.
Once that credit card is eliminated, put those additional resources to the next credit card, and so on. Pretty soon, you’ll have extra cash available that is no longer being used to pay your debt. Now take that extra cash and consider earmarking some of the dollars towards emergency savings and your 403(b) retirement account.
The goal of saving more
It’s generally recommended that you save 10%–15% of your current salary for your retirement. If you can’t start there, then slowly increase the percentage amount over the next few years until you reach your target goal.
One way to track your progress is to use the PlanAhead Calculator, located at www.cpg.org/planahead. This tool can give you a sense of how you are progressing towards your “new beginnings” goals. You can also check in with us to discuss any questions you may have about our products and services. Please contact Client Services at (866) 802-6333, Monday through Friday, 8:30AM – 8:00PM (EST), excluding holidays.
Laurence Dresner, ChFC, serves as a Financial Education Client Specialist at the Church Pension Group.