AS WE APPROACH the last quarter of the calendar year, it is a good time to look back at your 2019 financial goals to see if you are on target. Have you saved as much as you wanted? Have you paid down some debt? Remember, if you pay more than the minimum amount due, you not only pay off your debt earlier than scheduled but also save on interest fees.
As of this writing, the stock markets performed well, so your investments may be ahead of your goals. Take a look at your accounts to see if you should rebalance holdings so they align with your preferences and risk tolerances.
Saving for retirement is always prudent. It lowers your current taxes because the amount you save in your IRA account or 401 (k) is a tax deduction and has the added byproduct of increasing retirement resources. Additionally, retirement account holdings grow tax-deferred until you begin to make distributions. You may also benefit by being in a lower tax bracket when in retirement, emphasizing the importance of maximizing your retirement contributions now.
For those individuals paid via a W-2, it is a good idea to take your year-to-date earnings and withholdings and calculate where you will end up at year’s end to determine if you will be in good shape when it comes time to file your 2019 Form 1040. Be aware that last year is not a good indicator of where you will be this year because last year the new tax law changes modified the tax withholding tables during the tax year. There were no modifications this year. You don’t want any surprises when you file your tax returns; take the time now to get an understanding, as there is still time to change your withholdings if you need to do so.
This is also a good time to compare your actual spending to the amount you budgeted. If you have not been a budgeter but are willing to give it a try, this is a good opportunity to get a sense of what you spend each month and take the rest of the year to analyze your expenses so you can have some historical numbers to use for a 2020 budget. Set some short-term and long-term goals. Written goals are helpful, and evidence shows written goals are more frequently attained than those not transcribed. If you have more debt than you would like, make a commitment to change any bad habits so you don’t end up in the same situation in the future. Your financial picture won’t change quickly, but positive months will allow you to accumulate wealth over time.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Always seek the expertise of a certified financial advisor or other qualified provider with any questions you may have regarding personal finance, investment and money-related issues.
At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Join us over the next several weeks as we entice you with photos from some of the places we’re most excited to visit. Take a visual journey through some of the Florida Keys’ most breathtaking sights with us, just in time for the June 1 reopening.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
Star Clippers offers two complimentary hotel nights in Barbados or St. Maarten for Caribbean sailings December 2020–March 2022. For use before or after the cruise, the hotel deal also includes one breakfast and a ship transfer.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Two Florida hotels boast reopening offers as Florida begins its phased reopening.