When thinking about practical steps to take at the end of the year it is often helpful to pause for a moment and consider the big picture. How was 2019 for you?
What was most meaningful in your life this year? What are the moments you will cherish? What were the hardest moments this year? What are the moments that will push you forward?
It is important to think about life now, as it is. 2019, like many years before it, was full of moments of fear and pain as well as times full of hope and joy. We want to be able to look at where we are now and identify what we value so we can start to see where we hope to be in ten, twenty, or fifty years.
Framing these questions on our lives gives the resolution to make some harder financial decisions. Ultimately, we need to be sure that this nomadic lifestyle is helping us either experience the world as we want to now, or helping us get closer to where we see ourselves in the future.
Here are some practical steps to take before the close of 2019 that will start you on a path to achieving your financial dreams.
Contribute to a Traditional IRA or a ROTH IRA
It is important for your future to make sure that you are building the wealth needed to move you from where you are now to where you envision yourself down the road. The end of the year is a great time to look back at the money you have saved and allocate an amount to contribute to your retirement.
Two ways to do this are with a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA. Your unique circumstances will dictate the best way to make that contribution, and consulting a tax and financial professional can help you make that decision with confidence.
Start saving for a life-giving goal
Tackling how we handle our financial lives can be daunting. One of the ways to ease the anxiety surrounding this topic is to pick a savings goal that inspires you. Perhaps it is something for yourself, like that dream trip to Australia, or for your family, like contributing towards college tuition. The important part of this step is to pick something that resonates with you. In fact, it is more important for this goal to be something that moves you emotionally than it is for the goal to make sense to the people around you. Once you have a goal, automate the savings so that it doesn’t require any more action on your part. Maybe an automatic deposit into an account where you don’t see it every day. Once you remove the personal effort from the process, you will be surprised at what you can accumulate toward your dream goal over time without even realizing it.
Make a plan
More important than the prior two steps is putting together a plan. Especially while working as a travel nurse, there are many complex decisions that need to be made. Should one use a hospital’s 401k? Should one save in an IRA? What other steps should one take to ensure that life’s unexpected twists and turns don’t derail your finances? Consulting with a financial planner in this process is helpful to ensure that you and your family have accounted and planned even for unique situations. A plan combines hard facts like current situation and more abstract items like personal values and sets up a framework that guides you down life’s unexpected path, while also helping you understand why you are making each financial decision.
Taking any of these steps will help you step into 2020 with a clearer vision of where you have been and where you could be in the future with the right path in place. Each year we choose to be financially proactive can impact our future in spades. Hopefully when we reach 2050 we have arrived closer to that place we envisioned.
Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC
Address: 5285 E Williams Circle, Ste. 5500 Tucson, AZ 85711 Phone: 520-330-3652
This material is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.