Hello, welcome back to Powering Your Retirement Radio. I’m your host, Dan Leonard. And this week, we’ll look at 7 items to review to make sure you’re starting the year off strong financially and on track for a great year.
Determine how much money you want to save for the year. The actual dollar amount. Divide that amount by your annual salary, or salary plus bonus, if bonuses are included(They are not at PG&E, base salary only). The answer is the percentage you need to save to reach your goal.
Determine what your annual income will be. The most common way is to multiply your first paycheck of the year by however many checks you will receive for the year(4, 12, 24, 26, and 52 are the standard options). If married, add your spouse’s income to your own. Pull up your Federal and State (CA) Tax Tables, reduce your taxable income by deductions, and calculate your tax liability. Divide the tax liability by the number of paychecks, and compare that number to what was withheld on your check. This is not foolproof but should give you an idea if you are on track. If you still have questions, you can ask me questions.
Check your beneficiaries on all your accounts and in your will and trust documents. If you, a parent or a loved one, had a baby, passed away, got married, or got divorced, you may have some updating to do.
Everyone gets an automatic renewal from time to time. It is hard to track every payment in today’s digital age. Pull three months’ worth of receipts and see what you can do without. Or use a service like Privacy.com that lets you control what can be charged.
Paying down debt can be difficult. There are many ways to do that, but Dave Ramsey has a pretty straightforward way. Watch this short video to hear it from Dave himself.
If you are 70.5 years old and giving to charity, you must learn about Qualified Charitable Distributions.
Go to SSA.gov and download your statement. Review how much you are on track for.
Have a great start to your year. I look forward to helping you over the year understand financial concepts and ideas that will help you prepare for retirement the right way.