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New Year’s Financial Resolutions

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, quit smoking or walk 10,000 steps every day. While these may improve your physical fitness — what about your fiscal fitness?

Though the new year has already begun, it is not too late to make some changes that can improve what you do with your money.

Two area financial experts offered a few ideas for 55-plussers’ finances.

Tips from Phillip Provenzano, insurance agent and financial adviser with The Financial Guys Insurance Agency in Rochester:

• “Review your investment strategy. With the market as volatile as it is today, are the assets that you have invested allocated correctly?

• “Have cash for emergencies. If possible, it is good to have a few months’ cash stacked away in a money market just in case you need it for emergencies.

• “Shop out your insurance. By shopping out your Medicare and drug coverage, home, auto and other insurance, you may be able to save money on a monthly basis that will help your overall budget and living expenses. Rising prices don’t just affect bread and milk; these insurance companies are raising rates at an astronomical rate in some cases.

• “Update or create a will. Most families created a will when their kids were young. However, they have not updated that same will in decades. Also, some individuals think they don’t need a will. Contact a professional that can help you determine that need.

• “Cut out any unnecessary expenses. As most seniors are in the phase of life where they are living off a fixed income, the need to create or update their budget and living expenses becomes very vital due to no longer being in the active workforce.”

Tips from Diana Apostolova, investment consultant with Rochester Investments in Rochester:

• “Save regularly. This goes without saying. However, a lot more people will keep on saying, ‘I’ll start next month, or next year’ and they wake up one day and are significantly unprepared for retirement.

• “Keep money invested long-term. 2022 is the perfect year for panic amongst investors. Over the last 10 years, the market was mostly booming and in 2022 a lot of people got completely unprepared to make wise investment decisions. Selling in a panic is never a good thing.

• “Ensure your money is invested properly. The fact that someone has an investment account is not a guarantee for a proper investment strategy. Ensure your assets are invested for varying market conditions because the market goes up, but it also goes down.

• “Keep an eye on taxes, from investments and from all sources. Many people only think about taxes at tax time. Taxes are managed year-round and not just before April 15. Your investments and taxes go hand in hand. Your tax preparer can’t change what already happened last year. Plan wisely and plan accordingly.

• “Balance your investments with your other assets. Many people fail to balance their total assets and only focus on certain types. This may lead to lost opportunities in terms of higher growth or higher income.”