Three Financial Resolutions for the New Year

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Jon Stein, Founder & CEO of Betterment, Discusses How to Set Ourselves for Financial Success in 2018

The new year is a time for new beginnings. A great place to start is your finances. Whether you are looking to increase your retirement savings or thinking about your tax returns, now is the time to set yourself up for financial success. Recently, Jon Stein, the Founder & CEO of Betterment, teamed with YourUpdateTV to provide some helpful financial tips for the new year.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/qBim5w_VCJ0

1. Prioritize Retirement

The beginning of the year is the best time to take another look at your retirement contributions.

You still have time to make last-minute IRA contributions for last year, so if you haven’t already maxed out your IRA, now is the time.

Once that is out of the way, you should also make sure you’re saving into the best accounts to save money on taxes and maximize your money. Ask yourself questions like:

●    Are you maxing out the employer match in your 401(k)?
●    Should you be doing Roth or traditional retirement savings?
●    Which account has lower fees, your 401(k) or your IRA?

Today, the average person changes jobs 12 times during their life. Too often that means they leave retirement accounts behind, neglected and unmanaged. This can lead to redundant fees, overlapping investment strategies, and not to mention a huge headache during tax time with all those forms.

Take some time this new year to de-clutter your financial life and make your investments work together by rolling over and consolidating old IRAs and 401(k)s.

Betterment makes the process easy, and avoids taxes in the process. Once they are moved over, we can manage them together to save you even more in taxes.

2. Annual Budgeting

How many times have you started a budget, only to give it up 2 months later? That’s because the old way of budgeting is backwards. It focuses on your spending instead of focusing on your savings goals. That’s why, at Betterment, we flip the script. We start with your goals, and use technology to make saving towards those goals as easy and automated as possible.

We help you clearly identify each savings goal, whether that’s retirement, a house or a child’s education. We tell you how much you should be saving for each goal, and allow you to set up an automatic deposit for the days and frequency that work for you.

Our view is that savings shouldn’t require the mental effort it did 10 years ago. And if you are saving enough to achieve your financial goals, you become empowered to spend the rest of your money on things you enjoy, without feeling guilty.

3. What to Do with Your Tax Refund When It Arrives

Filing your taxes is not fun, which is why so many people wait until the last minute. As some added incentive to file your taxes early, remember that ¾ of people actually receive a refund when they file their taxes, and that average refund is $2,700. That’s a nice boost to jump start your 2018 financial goals.

Once you get your refund, you should put it to good use. If you have any high-interest debt, especially from the holiday season, consider paying that off. If not, put it into an IRA to boost your retirement savings.

We’re all human, so you don’t need to put every penny of your refund towards debt or retirement. It’s okay to treat yourself or your family with a portion of it. Maybe ¼. But take the rest and put it towards your financial goals. Your future self will thank you.

For more information, visit Betterment.com

About Jon Stein:
Jon started Betterment after years of consulting for Wall Street's biggest financial institutions. He studied economics at Harvard University and finance at Columbia Business School. He is a CFA® charter holder.

About Betterment:
Betterment is the largest independent online financial advisor with more than $12 billion in assets under management. The service is designed to help increase customers’ long-term returns and lower taxes for retirement planning, building wealth, and other financial goals. Betterment takes advanced investment strategies and uses technology to deliver them to more than 300,000 customers across its three business lines: direct-to-consumer, Betterment for Advisors, and Betterment for Business. Learn more.

About YourUpdateTV:
YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content, produced by award-winning video communications firm, D S Simon Media (http://www.dssimon.com). It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology.

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Michael O’Donnell
D S Simon Media
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