It is February of a new year. You may be going strong on resolutions, you may have ditched them, or you may have decided not to make any this year. Like me, you may find that a new year brings a feeling of freshness. I want to organize, clean, and approach life like Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”!
Okay, maybe I’m not running through a meadow in a long dress, but I have more energy for the monotonous projects I’ve been putting off. With this New Year vigor, I invite you all to follow suit. It’s time to get organized and figure out how to plan for the future.
From your closet to your taxes, the more organized you are the better you feel and the more benefits you’ll receive. Tackle one room or area of life at a time and enjoy the sense of accomplishment to propel you to the next. Investing in storage bins, fancy labels, and file folders can make this task more fun. Remember, this will make life easier in the long run.
Imagine Life Without It
I don’t care if it’s your junk drawer, closet, office, kitchen, or even an old pair of jeans, ask yourself, “Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I like it?” When I’m struggling to let go, I say a little prayer that whatever it is, it will bless someone else the way it has blessed me. If you don’t use it anymore, if it doesn’t feel good, if it brings a bad memory, it doesn’t need to be in your in your life.
Plan for It
I don’t mean to be morbid, but the truth is that we all need to be prepared. Writing a will is something you do for your loved ones, not for yourself. In the event that you die, you save your family time, money, and heartache. If you haven’t already, put together a plan for dividing and allocating assets.
Envision It in the Future
For some, this may be investing in a retirement account. If you’re eligible to invest in an IRA or Roth IRA, you have until tax day of this year to take advantage of the benefit for your 2014 taxes.
For those with kids, this may be researching and investing in a 529 College Savings plan. My daughter is four, and yet I finally just got around to setting this up. My husband and I want our kids to participate in financing their education, but with the price of higher education on the rise, we feel this is a very wise investment. With 529 plans, the benefits vary by state. For example, here in Arizona, we don’t have to invest in Arizona’s plans to take advantage of a state tax benefit. Instead, we shopped around and found which state’s plan seemed best for us. Here is a link to begin your research.
Don’t just talk about it—do it! Happy 2015 planning! Oh, and a disclaimer, this is by no means offered as legal, financial, or tax advice, so consult with a professional first!