Ringing in the New Year
Chelsea Groton Bank JANUARY 2016

Mutual Matters



New Year, New Financial Goals… and How to Achieve Them

New Financial GoalsPeople have the best of intentions when naming financial goals amongst their New Year's resolutions. Like any goal, if there is no clear plan or idea of the small steps to take, resolutions can be out the window just as quickly as they were determined.

When it comes to financial resolutions, start by creating a basic income and expense sheet so you can get a clear picture of where your paychecks go each month. Then, think about what you really want to accomplish in the year ahead. Here are six resolutions that may apply to you, and the first steps to take if you are serious about achieving them by year-end:

  1. "I want to get out of debt."
    Establish a budget and become disciplined about debt repayment. Decide on the discretionary expenses you can do without so you have income available to begin paying off high-interest debts first. Remember to continue to contribute to your retirement portfolio and maintain some savings in reserve to cover unforeseen expenses.

  2. "I want to save."
    Whether you're interested in saving for a rainy day, a vacation, or next year's holiday shopping fund, it will be easier to put money away if you do it on a regular schedule and know the amount that will be stashed away each time. Chelsea Groton developed a 26 and 52 Week Savings Challenge, for participants to print out or pick up at a local branch. If the plan is followed exactly, those following the 52 week plan and contributing weekly will have saved $1,378. Biweekly contributors who follow the 26 week plan will have saved $1,053 at year's end.

  3. "I want to expand my family."
    If having a baby is a hope for the year ahead, it may be time to update your household budget, including potential childcare costs; check on health insurance benefits; create estate-planning documents; and buy life insurance to protect a child if anything unexpected happens.

  4. "I want to buy a house."
    First, check your credit score since credit history will impact interest rate and your ability to qualify for a loan. If you haven't already, now is the time to start a savings plan. Finally, visit a lender. Chelsea Groton offers a variety of first-time homebuyer, affordable lending, specialty and conventional mortgage product options that could be right for you. Your credit score, savings and the mortgage product you qualify for will impact the price of the home you can afford.
  1. "I want to help pay for my child's education."
    Assuming you already have a life insurance policy that is up to date, consider investing in a 529 college savings plan if you have a young child. If the child is older, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as soon as possible, and work with college financial aid offices to identify potential scholarships and grant assistance.

  2. "I want to plan for retirement."
    Make sure you are contributing to your employer's retirement plan and maximizing any employer match. Then, plan to meet with a financial advisor. Chelsea Groton Financial Services has advisers on staff who can work with you to establish a target date for retirement, estimate your retirement budget, review potential retirement income sources such as Social Security benefits, pensions and 401(k)/IRA/retirement portfolio withdrawal plans, and develop a plan that suits your goals, timeline and risk tolerance.
  3. About Chelsea Groton Financial Services
    Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC.
    Member FINRA / SIPC. Chelsea Groton Financial Services is a trade name of the Bank. Infinex and the
    Bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC
    or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured
    by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

Certain resolutions can be daunting at first. Like with any resolution, it’s important to begin taking steps toward achieving your financial goals. It may not happen overnight, but with thoughtful planning and persistence, great things can happen.

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