When I left teaching and started in the Financial Services Industry almost 20 years ago, I was one of three women out of an 80-person sales force. That was standard. Today, things have changed. This became rather apparent at the 2015 North San Diego Business Chamber’s San Diego Women’s Week, where I had the pleasure of volunteering with a group of almost all women (no offense to those men who attended). These were not just ordinary women, but powerful, inspiring and highly successful business women. I’ve been networking for many years, and the participants at this event were top notch.
Here are a few quotes that inspired me:
“Express your intent.” – Mallika Chopra
“Stand up for yourself and stand up for what you believe in.” – Kristen Kavanaugh
“If you have the resilience and you have certain steps to get you through, you can get through, and you can be successful.” – Susan Packard, Co-Founder of HGTV.
The importance of the event was summed up to me in this quote:
“A person is a person through other people, and that we have a responsibility to connect.” Naomi Tutu, Activist and speaker.
This is an amazing venue to connect with equally amazing women. To top it off, I won a car from Beepi!!!! (Yes, I was that loud, crazy, screaming lady, that won the car!) How lucky am I? However, when it comes to finances, luck doesn’t play a roll for most; rather, planning is the most important recommendation.
Holidays are always a bit stressful, and most of us tend to overindulge. For example, new gym memberships and healthy eating commitments are popular New Year resolutions. We know that our health is of utmost importance, but what about Financial Wellness? Many of us overlook the affect that Financial stress has on our overall health.
January is a great time to review the big picture, narrow down your financial focus, and come up with a plan. Could you have spent less, saved more, invested more? Do you know how much you spent last year and how much of a tax bill you will encounter? Have you done all you can to protect your family and business? After Wall Street’s bumpy ride in 2015, more Americans are expected to make financial resolutions for the upcoming year.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Save more. If you’re still employed, go beyond your employer’s match. Aim to put 10 percent (or more) in your retirement fund. If that’s difficult, track expenses to find things to cut and create a strategic budget. Increase contributions one to two percent every three months. If you don’t have an emergency fund equal to six months of income, start one by putting aside current savings at the gas pump and on natural-gas utility bills.
- Reduce debt, safeguard credit. Plan to eliminate debts before retiring, including your mortgage if possible. Consolidate credit accounts by closing a few and automate payments to avoid missing one. Sign up for credit monitoring to notify you when key information on your file changes.
- Create a long-range plan. Go to ssa.gov/myaccount to estimate Social Security benefits you’d receive when claiming at different ages. Determine how much more you’ll need to maintain your lifestyle. If you’re married, project future expenses based on one or both of you living to age 95.
- Review investments, insurance and estate plan. Make sure you know exactly what you’re invested in. Assess your investment strategy and allocation to determine whether they reflect your goals and stage of life. Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate and beneficiaries are up-to-date. If you haven’t reviewed your estate plan recently, you’ve moved, or your assets or your family have changed, schedule a meeting with your estate-planning attorney.
- Invest in yourself. Health care is expensive. Studies indicate the average 65-year-old couple will need around $250,000 for medical expenses not covered by Medicare. Taking steps to stay fit may help you enjoy retirement and save money. Funds spent on healthy food, a gym membership or even a personal trainer could pay multiple dividends over time.
- Work with a coach. Your odds of successfully implementing goals increase dramatically when you have a knowledgeable partner. Make an appointment to discuss your financial resolutions and how we can work together to make 2016 a happy and prosperous new year!
A special thanks to Debra Rosen and her team for making this wonderful event happen. Let’s make 2016 a great year of wellness, both physically and financially!
M. Felicia Corbett
Retirement Strategies Group
Financial Wellness Solutions
2111 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 260
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Office: 760-278-1201/ Fax: 760-602-1917
CA Insurance #0C63012
Securities offered through Securities America Inc.,
A Registered Investment Advisor/Broker-Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., An SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm.