July – Learn One New Thing
– It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. So, read a book, subscribe to a blog, push yourself to understand one more thing about the stock market, bonds, commodities, ETFs, mutual funds, you name it. Women – try Manisha Thakor’s Get Financially Naked for some juicy summertime reading. Men – read it over her shoulder (you know you will…)
August – Create A Long-Term Plan
– This is the time when companies start their strategic planning discussions, so why don’t you? Have a heart-to-heart with your spouse while your both lounging on the beach, fruity drinks with umbrellas in your hands (reading a book about Nakedness). What do you want to do when you grow up? Where do you want to live out those golden years? Knowing where you want to be or what you want to do will make all that saving for retirement a lot more meaningful.
September -Teach Your Kids About Money
– Back to school time means new routines. Incorporate just one change around allowance, savings, investing, donating for your children. This is the single biggest issue facing the next generation – they graduate from college and are financially illiterate. Check out Money Savvy Generation for tips on talking about money with your children.
October – Have A Conversation With Your Parents
– The only thing harder than talking to your spouse about money is talking to your parents. What happens when they need care? What happens when they die? If you are over 40 – YOU ARE NOT A KID ANYMORE. And someone is going to have to deal with the inevitable aftermath if your parents aren’t sharing critical information with you or your siblings. Step up, speak out, take charge.
November – Do A Simple Estate Plan
– Everyone needs three documents – a will, a health care proxy, a power of attorney. Many people may need more than that, but if you don’t have those three items – your own kids are going to be bugging you some day (see October above). If you are really inspired, get all your documents in order – as if you went poof tomorrow and someone else had to keep the house running, pay the bills, service the cars, buy the groceries, get into your computer, etc. A great online tool to help you organize: Executor’s Resource.
December – Book an Hour with A Financial Planner
– Just in case you didn’t get through your January through November resolutions….
Photo by: Ian Mackenzie