Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®, AWMA®, CMFC®
By now, your summer vacations have faded away into fond memories. You’re seeing the leaves start to change and probably realizing that the year is quickly marching on. With several months left in the year to work on achieving our goals, now is a great time to launch renewed efforts to finish the year strong. Since we’re all in business to build our own financial well-being, let’s use the rest of the year to help ourselves and our businesses. Here are some financial goals you still would have time to achieve before the end of the year.
- Lay out your marketing calendar for the rest of the year. Effective marketing will increase sales to make more money available to build your personal wealth. Early planning can reduce its cost. Work on building your cash so you’ll have money for ideas like expansion funds, retirement contributions, next year’s equipment or just getting ahead on your taxes. Better yet, set up an ongoing monthly savings program so the funds will be available when you need to commit them.
- Set up ‘buckets’ with target amounts and monthly contributions so you are able to achieve each goal and it is funded. Make a plan that any windfall money gets contributed to your most desired bucket. Put some in a ‘fun’
bucket so you’ll stay motivated.
- If you want to start a company-based retirement plan, you might want a SIMPLE plan. It will let you put away more than an IRA (up to $15,500).
- If you are a sole proprietor with no full-time employees, and you want tos et up a 401(k) for yourself, you can open an Individual 401(k) which lets you potentially contribute up to $59,000 tax deductible. Of course, there
are formulas to adhere to so you’ll need to get financial advice to set your targets. You should start no later than the beginning of December to get the paperwork completed.
- Get a head start on your business plan for next year by collecting the tactics that went right this year. Review those that could be improved. If you start your 2016 goal planning by November, you will be well on your
way to jumpstarting in January.
- Review and take steps to forward your legacy plan. If you ultimately plan to sell your business, start cleaning up the books. It takes a few years to make your business look potentially desirable to a purchaser, so you should begin to get started. If you plan to cut back hours in your golden years, focus on building a reliable and independent staff.
- Increase your business Line of Credit (LOC). The best time to increase your line of credit is when you don’t need it. If you can increase your LOC, you’ll have potentially more funds available for next year’s projects.
- Redefine your breakeven costs so that you pay yourself first. Give yourself a raise and add that to your budget. Make sure some of the raise gets earmarked for retirement.
- Review your spending progress against your budget. If you’ve spent less than you planned, capture that savings into your cash hoard to be repurposed later.
With several months left on the year, there is time to accomplish significant progress on your financial well-being. The list may sound simple; implementing takes time. Make your own list and let’s get started.