3 Tips for 2024

Matthew Gray |

Happy 2024!

As we roll into the new year, here are a few helpful reminders as we reflect on 2023 and look ahead.

  1. Make sure your cash is working for you!

It’s been just over a year now since we witnessed the first big swing for interest rates in well over a decade.

Since then, we’ve seen savings accounts, money markets, and CDs pay between 3-5% annually on investors' safe and FDIC-insured cash.

Yet all too often I still come across people who are unaware of how much money they are leaving on the table by not taking advantage of these types of accounts.

Unless a bank is competing to get you as a new customer, chances are you may have missed these offers altogether.

However, there are a host of options available which are convenient to begin using right away!

Whether you have a rainy-day fund sitting in the bank earning nothing or didn’t realize you could be earning significant interest on even your normal operating account, be sure to talk with your financial advisor about which may be the best fit for you!

2. Take advantage of increased savings allowed in 401ks, IRAs, and HSAs.

Many years, due to inflation, the IRS raises the maximum contribution limits to tax benefitted accounts. These include your traditional employer retirement plans such as 401ks, 403bs, and SIMPLE IRAs along with personal investment accounts such as Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Health Savings Accounts.

The IRS has done so again for 2024. While this is a common occurrence, I frequently find every-day investors miss these announcements and forget to increase their contributions accordingly.

Remember, the money you save automatically each month goes a long way towards accomplishing your long-term goals due to the concept of compounding interest. The more you put in earlier, the better!

For the most recent info on the new IRS maximums, visit their official announcement page here, 401(k) limit increases to $23,000 for 2024, IRA limit rises to $7,000 | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov).

3. Have a plan for the next COVID-type event.

With the turn of the new year, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting with friends and family. As we look back over the past few years, I was surprised to realize we are now years removed from the COVID crisis.

While it still seems so recent, we have seemed to fully return to life as normal.

All in-person events have been back to normal for well over a year. While we still certainly hear of people catching the disease now and again, we appear to have adapted to this as the new reality.

When this first dawned on me, I reminded myself we must be careful not to fall back into the trap of assuming nothing as earth-shaking as the corona virus will ever impact our lives again.

While we don’t know when the next global crisis will come or what form it will take on, we should do what we can to be prepared.

I don’t mean stashing massive amounts of toilet paper, bread, and canned sardines in your basement.

During the actual pandemic, the people I spoke to who were most prepared, stayed calm, and made the best decisions all told me the same thing.

Here’s the paraphrase.

“While we don’t know what will happen, we’ve planned our finances for the unexpected and are confident in that plan.”

It was amazing to hear this from client after client as I called to see how they were weathering the ongoing COVID pandemic.

The takeaway is clear.

Planning today to make your financial decisions based on what happens in your life no matter what goes on in the world around us best prepares you for getting through the toughest of situations.

If you have yet to make a personal financial plan yourself, the best time to do it is when things are going well. This allows for clearer thinking, more time for decisions, and best of all less stress!

If you want to discuss what it looks like to create your personal financial plan, schedule a time to chat with me!