Monday Money Report
This is Ann Alsina of CovingtonAlsina, with your Monday Money Report.
The markets continued their upward swing last week, continuing to set all-time highs. Retail sales were up over last year, and post-holiday sales are expected to add to retailer’s totals. With only two trading days left in the year, 2019 looks to be a great year to be in the market.
As we enter 2020, you may be thinking of New Year’s resolutions. I’d like to offer some financial resolutions for you:
Increase your emergency fund. A long-term goal is to have six months of living expenses available, in some combination of cash accounts and conservative investments. Until then, add a small amount each paycheck, and increase it over time.
If your employer offers a retirement plan with a match, increase your contribution to make sure you are taking full advantage of the match. It’s essentially free money.
If you received a raise to start the year, like federal employees and servicemembers, consider splitting that raise. Increase the amount you contribute to your retirement or emergency savings with part of the raise, and keep part for discretionary spending.
If you have a High Deductible Health Plan, consider how you can maximize contributions to your Health Savings Account, or HSA. Contributions made to an HSA are pre-tax and, if used for qualified medical expenses, are tax-free. Account balances can also be carried over, unlike Flexile Spending Accounts, which are use or lose.
If you have children or grandchildren, and you want to help them pay for college, check out the Maryland 529 plan. It offers a state income tax deduction for contributions.
Review your insurance coverage. Term life insurance can be inexpensive. Talk with your home and auto insurance agent to make sure you’re protected in case of a serious accident.
Finally, resolve to be mindful of your money in 2020. Paying for things in cash can help. Tracking cash flow on a daily or weekly basis is also a good practice. Stop and think before you buy something. Is there a bigger goal that’s more important, like paying down debt, improving savings, buying a second home, or traveling more?
If you’re interested in learning more, our calendar of educational events for 2020 is up on our website, www.covingtonalsina.com/events.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. CovingtonAlsina and Great Valley Advisor Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.
All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice.
The opinions voiced in this show are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult with your attorney, accountant, and financial advisor or tax advisor prior to investing.
And if you don’t have a financial advisor, come talk to us. This is Ann Alsina with CovingtonAlsina.