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IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO SET GOALS
We’ve made it through the first month of the new year! We’ve set personal and professional goals, and we know many of you have done the same. But by the time we get into February, most people have fallen behind — or given up on them entirely. Or maybe you didn’t set any goals because you weren’t sure where to start or you hadn’t decided what you wanted to do this year. It’s never too late to set goals; it doesn't matter if you set them this month or several months down the line. You don’t need to set them in January — it’s just a good time to look ahead. Setting goals is still important, whenever it may be. The thing you want to avoid, however, is overcommitting or pushing yourself too far. This is where people run into the most trouble. A good example is a fitness-related goal. You might set a goal to exercise or go for a run five days a week, but if you haven’t been exercising regularly, this is unrealistic. You will get painfully sore and may even suffer injury. It’s simply too much upfront. You’ll do it less and less, and you may end up stopping completely. There’s an old riddle: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s okay to set a big goal, but you don’t necessarily want to go all-in right out the door. It’s important to take incremental steps and start with a series of smaller goals and work your way up. Let’s say you want to be physically active five days a week. You would make that a longer-term goal, but in the short-term, you would start with something simple, like exercising two days per week or something less strenuous until you build up more stamina. Then increase the number of days. If you want to eventually run 5 miles a day, you might start with a brisk walk or jog around the block. Then over the next several weeks, you can work up to jogging twice around the block, then three times. You can also change things up and try new, longer routes. After a few months, you might be hitting 5 miles with a mix of jogging and walking. Then, by month six, you’re running the full way!
If you find your fitness goals (which can include movement, exercise, and nutrition) aren’t working for you, it’s okay to recalibrate. It’s always better to make adjustments instead of skipping them altogether. Maintaining good fitness is just too important — especially in retirement. In terms of finances, I want to discuss something that may influence your financial goals going into 2020 — the SECURE Act. Everyone should have a financial plan. All of our clients do. In many ways, the SECURE Act is a reminder to take a look at your plan to make sure it’s up to date and reflects your current goals. The reason? The SECURE Act introduces several major changes to retirement accounts, including IRAs and Roth IRAs. One of the biggest changes has to do with the required minimum distributions (RMDs). In the past, you had to take RMDs from your IRAs when you hit age 70 1/2. If you turn 70 1/2 this year or in the future, this no longer applies. The new RMD age is 72. Another major change is you can now continue to contribute to your IRA after age 70, but you still must have earned income. Now, what may be the biggest change has to do with your legacy. When an IRA or Roth IRA is inherited by a non-spouse (such as your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc.), they must take distributions within 10 years. In the past, there was no set time restriction. Now, your beneficiaries must empty the account within 10 years of inheritance. They can take the money out incrementally — or they can wait until year 10, but the account must be liquidated. If you have any questions about the SECURE Act and your financial plan, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help you navigate these changes and make sure your plan is lining up with your goals and your legacy. If you have any questions about setting goals—whether they are fun, fitness, or financially-related—we’re more than happy to talk about those, too! Kelly Campbell
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