3 Financial New Year’s Resolutions for Lawyers
How creating a financial plan, preparing for life events, and working with a financial advisement team can improve your year.
The new year is finally upon us. It’s a time to reflect on past successes and mistakes and make commitments toward change into the new year.
While some people focus on health or weight loss, personal relationships, or educational goals, many lawyers turn their focus towards their financial goals during this time.
If you’re an attorney who has been thinking about employing some financial changes in 2022, here are three financial resolutions or goals that industry experts recommend for legal counselors.
Create a Financial Plan
When it comes to finances, the old adage “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail,” is unfortunately often true. Lawyers need to have plans in place for how they will deal with their money both now and far into the future. Even if you already have short- and long-term financial plans, now is an excellent time to revisit them and ensure they still serve your goals and needs.
You may want to begin with investing the time to assess your entire financial roadmap. Take an honest look at your:
- Monthly spending
- Income to debt ratio
You should also reflect on any financial mistakes you made last year. Certainly, don’t beat yourself up about the instances, but rather acknowledge how or why they occurred. Then, treat your mistakes as a learning experience so that you don’t repeat them. Once you can look at the entirety of your financial roadmap, you may want to pick one or two things to improve upon in 2022. For example:
- Save 10 to 15 percent of your gross income if you don’t already do so. Automated savings is best, and it doesn’t matter if you save for retirement, emergencies, or even a vacation. The key is taking money off the top of your earnings and saving it.
- Create healthy financial habits. Listen to financial podcasts that you can learn from or even read books on relevant topics to your economic well-being. Take classes about finances. Consider committing to one no-spend weekend per month. Instead of eating out and being entertained, cook meals at home and play games or watch movies.
Prepare for Major Life Events
You may not be planning any major life events in 2022 or anytime soon afterward. However, as we all know, life has a way of throwing curveballs that we are financially unprepared for, such as changes within family dynamics or transitions through careers, including several other life events that may demand more from you financially than you are prepared to expend. By remaining ready for these types of changes, you can stay ahead of the game. A major life event won’t have to send you into financial ruin or into a panic about what you will do next if you are prepared.
On the other hand, if you know that a significant life event is approaching, perhaps you are planning a marriage or relocating to another city, you should already be diligent in making sure you have a financial plan to address these changes. On a side note, when these types of changes occur, don’t forget to update your long-term financial tools. For instance, if you and your spouse divorce, you may want to remove them as a beneficiary to your life insurance policies. If you had another grandchild added to the family, you might want to add them as a beneficiary or as an heir in your will.
Speak with a Financial Advisement Team
Finally, speak with a financial advisement team. You have nothing to lose by reaching out for financial help. Consider it an investment into your and your family’s future. Financial advisement professionals know how to look at the big picture, along with the small details of your financial life, to craft a plan that will give you peace of mind and help you reach your financial goals in 2022 and for many years into the future. Not only can they help you craft realistic goals and plans, but they can also advise you as to the best way to put your money to work for you. If you’re working hard to create and keep financial goals and resolutions, your money should be working hard for you too.
It may be unrealistic for a lawyer to create and keep all of these resolutions in 2022 and beyond. However, even refining one and making measurable improvements can go a long way to securing a better economic future for attorneys, their firms, and their families. Attorneys who have questions or need help when it comes to working on these or other financial New Year’s resolutions should reach out to a wealth management firm or financial advisement team who can assist them in defining, working towards, and achieving their goals. It’s never too late to get the financial advice you need.
Mark Candler and Dave Owens of Maia Wealth are go-to wealth advisers for lawyers and law firms in Colorado. Specializing in debt reduction, investment management, retirement efficiency, and legacy planning, Mark Candler and Dave Owens are trusted professionals for attorney-focused wealth management strategies in the Denver metro area.