6 Financial New Year’s Resolutions to Make (And Keep)
With the start of 2020, you may have begun thinking about your goals for the new year (or decade). While many people start off with the best intentions, only about 64% maintain their resolutions through the first month. Maybe it’s going to the gym twice a week or spending less time in front of a screen, but what about bettering your financial situation for the long term?
As you plan for the year ahead, here’s a list of six money moves that can improve your overall financial well-being now and in the future:
1. Build a budget. You should already have an estimate of how much you need each month to pay your bills and living expenses. But how can you better allocate your funds, so you have more to pay off credit cards or put toward a well-deserved vacation? There’s no better time than the new year to create a workable budget — and stick to it. If you need help getting started, check out online calculators like this one from Bankrate.
2. Pare down your credit card debt. In 2018, the average credit card borrower held $5,472 in credit debt. Rates are only increasing — that means carrying a balance can get even more costly. Consider a new card offering a low-interest balance transfer, a personal loan or credit counseling to help eliminate debt and avoid expensive interest and fees.
3. Use credit cards strategically. Speaking of credit cards, be sure to use different cards to serve your varying financial needs. For example, use a rewards card with 0% APR for balances you plan to carry month over month. Or, when headed to the supermarket, make sure you’re using the card that gives you 5% back on grocery purchases. Find out what you can do to get the best possible terms on each card and use it to your advantage. Online resources like NerdWallet allow you to compare the benefits and drawbacks of various credit cards side-by-side.
4. Grow (or start) an emergency fund. The Federal Reserve found that 40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense. Finding funds to pay unexpected costs leaves many Americans in debt — but not if you’re prepared. An easy method to put away cash is by setting up automatic transfers to your savings each month. Make it part of your budget planning to stash away as much money as you can afford each month explicitly for emergencies.
5. Update your will. Your will is a critical tool to protect your final requests and asset divisions. Make an appointment to sit down with a professional to get your wishes in order, so it’s one less worry for the rest of the year. Even if you don’t think you have a lot of assets, the peace of mind it provides you and your loved ones is priceless.
6. Invest in yourself. Have you always dreamed of finishing a degree or getting a certification? Maybe you want a new laptop to work on a short story or a family genealogy project? Don’t let money stop you this year. Start saving and work toward your goal to invest in yourself and your ambitions.
There’s a lot you can do to improve your financial health. By committing to start now, you’ll be able to see real progress by the time 2021 rolls around.
Taking steps toward your goals
As you plan your financial outlook for the year, consider the benefits of a HECM reverse mortgage loan from Reverse Mortgage Funding. Available to homeowners age 62 or older, this financial tool gives you access to your home equity as a lump-sum payment, a monthly payment or a line of credit that’s there when you need it* — all while still living in and owning your home. As with any mortgage, you must meet your loan obligations, keeping current with property taxes, insurance and keeping your home in good condition.
Another option is an Equity Elite® reverse mortgage loan, available exclusively through Reverse Mortgage Funding as the lender.† This fixed-rate loan option is designed for homeowners and homebuyers as young as 60** in certain states, specifically for higher-value homes, condominiums, and those looking for lower up-front costs.
To learn more, reach out to RMF at 888-277-1567, and we’ll set up convenient in-person appointment with an experienced loan specialist in your area. Let us answer your questions and help determine if a reverse mortgage is right for you.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 5-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a reverse mortgage may be the option that could help you retire smart.
*Borrowers who elect a fixed rate loan will receive a single disbursement lump sum payment. Other payment options are available only for adjustable rate mortgages.
†Equity Elite Reverse Mortgage (“Equity Elite”) is Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC’s proprietary loan program, and it is not affiliated with the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan program, which is insured by FHA. Equity Elite is available to qualified borrowers who also may be eligible for HUD, FHA’s HECM program or are seeking loan proceeds that are higher than HUD, FHA’s HECM program limit. Equity Elite currently is available only for eligible properties in select states. Please contact your loan originator to see if it is currently available in your state.
Upon a maturity event, any non-borrowing individuals with an ownership interest in the property, including non-borrowing spouses, will have a short period of time (for example, 30 days from a due and payable letter or an alternate time specified by the loan servicer if extensions are available under the circumstances) to purchase the property from the estate or, if the non-borrower inherits the property, pay the loan in full using any sources of funds available to them. Any non-borrowing individual, including a non-borrowing spouse, should have a plan to pay off an Equity Elite reverse mortgage upon the borrower’s death or any other maturity event. If the non-borrower is unwilling or unable to purchase the property or pay the loan in full, there is no protection for the non-borrower (including a non-borrower spouse) to maintain an interest in the home or to continue residing in the home past the maturity event and the non-borrower may be evicted upon foreclosure. The FHA HECM program has protections in place for certain non-borrowing parties, so a reverse mortgage applicant with certain non-borrowing parties should strongly consider a FHA-insured HECM loan (see HECM guidelines or ask an RMF representative for details). Under the Equity Elite reverse mortgage loan program, a maturity and/or default event occurs when the last surviving borrower no longer lives in the home as his or her primary residence for at least 12 months, the property charges (including taxes, insurance, or any other property charges) are not paid, required repairs are not completed or the property is not maintained, or any other maturity and/or default event, as specified in the Security Instrument, occurs.
**Not applicable in all states; some states may impose a higher age requirement. Visit www.reversefunding.com/equity-elite for details.