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When It Comes to Finances, Get A Routine and Stick to It

“Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

When It Comes to Finances, Get A Routine and Stick to It

As January gym crowds shrink and many Americans slip into their old routines, we’re reminded of the difficulties in developing disciplined and consistent habits towards achieving a long-term goal.

As busy professionals, our schedules change rapidly, and too often, our best-laid plans go awry. After a few weeks of work, there are no immediate results and it becomes easier to ditch the gym for drinks after work or have a few too many chips during a Netflix binge. After so many transgressions, our discipline erodes and we give up on the plan. The intended results are never realized.

For those of us without legendary amounts of discipline and self-control, any goal worth accomplishing is difficult without guidance, motivation, and an accountability partner. Missing a few workouts won’t hurt you, but without some formal exercise and diet regimen, it’s a virtual certainty that you won’t reach your fitness goals.

Saving for a college education or retirement is no different. The reality is, while many people chug along through weeks, months, and years of building a career and saving what they can, very few use long-term planning and analysis to inform their daily, monthly, and quarterly financial habits. 

They contribute to 401(k)s without fully understanding the investments, or why they own them.

They don’t understand where their paycheck goes, or what to do with anything leftover.

They don’t understand potential risks lurking in form of minimal insurance coverage, unbalanced investment portfolios, and ballooning student debt.

While they’re financially responsible, their habits lack the intentional and informed programming that comes with developing a written financial plan with the advice of an investment professional.

There’s no better time to take inventory of one’s financial life than the start of the year.

  • Use last year’s spending data to developing a budget and savings plan for the coming year
  • Analyze and rebalance investment portfolios in the wake of changing market conditions or personal circumstances
  • Make deductible or non-deductible IRA contributions for the prior calendar year
  • Estimate your tax liability or refund, and see if there are any opportunities for tax savings
  • Develop a plan for deploying a year-end bonus 

The list could go on much longer, depending on one’s personal situation, but the larger goal is to understand:

  1. Where you are
  2. Where you want to go
  3. What you’re going to do to get there

Even if you discover that you’re already doing everything right, at least you’ll have the peace of mind that things are moving in the right direction toward a long-term goal.

In studying your financial habits and developing a plan, you'll have the peace of mind that your daily actions are contributing to long-term achievement. Adopting a more proactive and intentional mindset around finances will likely pay dividends, literally and figuratively.

Having a trusted expert advisor during this process allows keeps individuals informed, motivated, and accountable. With annual check-ins and year-round availability, Claro’s experienced professionals will worry about the details, so you don’t have to.

In fitness and finance, fail to plan and you can plan to fail.

Disclosure: Claro Advisors, LLC ("Claro") is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Information contained herein is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered investment advice. Claro provides individualized advice only after obtaining all necessary background information from a client. Information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. It is for informational and planning purposes. Nothing herein shall be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Nor is it legal or accounting advice. Investing carries risks and expenses and involves the potential loss of investment. Past results are not indicative of future results.

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Disclosure: Claro Advisors LLC ("Claro") is a Registered Investment Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") based in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Registration of an Investment Advisor does not imply any specific level of skill or training. Information contained herein is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered investment advice. Claro provides individualized advice only after obtaining all necessary background information from a client. Disclosures and Terms of Use. 

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