Advisors Reveal the 5 Best Financial Tips for the New Year

Jan 9, 2024

January is a great time to reset your finances, regain control, and recommit to your plan. 

In today’s article, advisors from around the country share their top five financial tips for the new year. 

1. Reassess your budget and financial plan

“Review your 2023 spending to adjust your 2024 budget.” – Erik Herstad; Auburn, IN 

Start with the basics: Discern where your budget and financial plan ended up last year so you can understand where you need to go this year. What may need to change based on what’s coming? 

This is an essential exercise for anyone considering or experiencing an unexpected shift, such as job loss or early retirement. (Check out “Keeping Your Feet on the Ground in Times of Change” and “How to Know if You Can Retire Early” for more insights.)

2. Increase 401(k) or Roth IRA contributions

“To get ahead, adjust 401k contributions higher to capture this year’s pay raise. Also, consider making or increasing monthly Roth IRA contributions.” – Dennis Kehoe; Portage, MI

“Review your 401k portfolio and contribution amounts and consider rebalancing your portfolio and increasing your contributions.” – Erik Herstad; Auburn, IN

After completing Tip #1, you may see an opportunity to increase your retirement savings. This is especially true if you have more money coming in this year.   

If you’re unsure how much is enough or if you have the right portfolio allocations, talk to an advisor. As Wealth Manager Doug Lockwood addressed in “5 Financial Rules of Thumb: When They Work and When They Don’t,” the 100 Rule (which says 100 less your age is the percentage of assets you should have invested in stocks versus bonds) does not work for everyone. 

3. Consider new tax-minimization strategies

“Ask your financial advisor if you are eligible for and would benefit from a backdoor Roth.” – Dennis Kehoe; Portage, MI 

There might be more you can do to minimize taxes, and the new year provides an opportunity to assess your options. The first step is to talk to an expert to know what is feasible. 

This can include backdoor Roth contributions, direct indexing and tax-loss harvesting, or a variety of charitable giving strategies, including donor-advised funds and gifting stocks.  

4. Determine your direction and goals

“What is 2024 for? How about moving from success to significance? Make sure this is your year to live out your Great Goals of Life.” – Brian Davis; Waco, TX 

“At the New Year, it’s important for clients to take stock of what matters most to them and the things they can control. Carl Richards has a great sketch that illustrates this, and where those two items overlap [what matters most and what you can control] is where the focus needs to be. This is not only true as it relates to a client’s financial plan but also in how we approach life and its challenges each day.” – Brad Michels; Louisville, KY 

As a hardworking American, chances are high that you’ve set goals throughout your life (and achieved many of them). It’s important to decide what you want this year to look like for you and your family based on what matters and what you can control.  

With an expert, walk through the Great Goals of Life framework, which addresses topics such as your ideal retirement and your family’s future needs. 

Once you’ve decided on your goals, ask for help. Whether you are building your business owner exit strategy, your legacy plan, or your retirement, there are resources to make your decisions easier.  

5. Commit for the long term

“Success with money is more dependent on your time in your plan, not the timing of your plan. Start working your plan today! Also, don’t let the search for perfection get in the way of progress. Start your next steps today.” – Brian Davis; Waco, TX 

It’s hard for advisors to watch individuals abandon or ignore their plans and goals because of greed or fear.  

If everything else feels overwhelming, commit to prioritizing your long-term financial health. That means staying invested during volatility, adjusting your plan and portfolio as needed, and listening to the experts, especially with hot topics like a recession. (You can find “Our View of 2024” here.) 


If you’d like to talk to an advisor about your 2024 plans and goals, reach out to our team using the form below or email [email protected].

Schedule an appointment with an advisor in your area.