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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

New Year's Resolution: My Net Worth Statement!

New Year's Resolutions will soon be here again. Have you thought about what yours will be for 2010! The same old ones come to my mind; lose weight, exercise more, take time for myself, help others in need. I always start out with the best ideas; but usually by February 1st I become so busy with my daily routine that my resolutions are out the window.

So, this year I decided I will make my resolution something I do on an annual basis anyway and re-visit it again in six months for a status check. My resolution for 2010 is to make my annual net worth statement and plan my financial goals for the year. I will check my progress in July. I hope you will consider joining me in my resolution. I think this is one I can actually accomplish. And I know you can too.

Never made a net worth statement? Well here is a quick way to get started, visit the Plan Well, Retire Well website for a quick worksheet. At the website, login and then paste this url into your browser to go directly to the worksheet.

List all your financial assets and debts. Examine the statement carefully. Think about the following questions; compared with last year, have your assets grown and your debts decreased? Are you setting money aside for emergencies? Are you contributing to your retirement plan?

Use your net worth statement as a guide to set financial goals for the year. Questions I am considering; can I increase contributions to my retirement plan this year because I have finally paid off my student loan? Do I have enough set aside for emergencies? Will I be able to take a family vacation this year? Net worth statements and financial goals are different for each of us. Each of us has different resources and values; however, a net worth statement allows you to see the big picture of where you have been and where you are going. I like to think of it as a "reality check", because you can see the actual numbers and plan accordingly.

Remember working toward financial goals is a process. Case in point – it took me 10 years to pay off my student loans so that I now have extra money to invest; but now I don't miss the money so I am putting that towards retirement.

I will check in with you about your progress in July 2010. Make 2010 a year you keep your resolution!

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