Welcome back to Retirement Starts Today and welcome to 2020! The New Year is a time when many of us consider setting goals or resolutions and focus on self-improvement. I don’t have any new goals for 2020. Instead, I am looking to improve where I failed in 2019. Rather than feeling defeated by my resolution I am choosing to learn from it. Listen in to discover what you can learn from my resolution fails. You’ll also hear answers to questions about saving for retirement lat in the game and whether to pay off your house or do a Roth conversion. 

Listen in to discover what you can learn from my #ResolutionFails. Click To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:22] I learned from my resolution fails
  • [11:10] What should you do if you start investing later in life?
  • [13:45] Should Hal convert his traditional IRA to a Roth IRA or pay off his house?

My 2019 resolution fails

I made some New Year’s resolutions in 2019 and I failed miserably. But rather than being disappointed or feeling defeated, I decided to learn from my mistakes. My resolution was an exercise goal. I was determined to use a data-driven system to ensure that I was achieving the maximum output from my workouts and not skipping exercise days. The beauty of using a data-driven system was that I was able to analyze where I went wrong. Find out what I realized about myself when I reviewed my excel spreadsheet.

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What can you learn from my resolution fails

So, I didn’t achieve my exercise goals in 2019, but the data-driven system I used did hold me accountable. Are you tracking your goals to help with accountability? Rather than setting a goal and never checking in it is important to create a system to hold yourself accountable. Here is what I have learned from my resolution fails. 

  1. Track your goals daily. Looking back at the end of the year won’t help. Check-in with yourself daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. 
  2. Get out of your comfort zone. To achieve your goals you are going to have to break away from your normal habits. 
  3. Have a plan B. You can always find excuses to not follow through, by having an alternative way to follow through each day you may not give up so easily. 

What should you do if you start investing later in life?

Not everyone has had the opportunity to save for retirement while they were young. One listener, Corey, asks what strategies are helpful to those that haven’t started saving for retirement until later in life? 

My advice for those who start saving later in life is threefold. First, learn as much as possible. Look for adult enrichment classes at your local community college, start listening to podcasts, and read books on investing and saving. Squeeze in as much knowledge on the subject as you can. 

Second, start saving now! You won’t have the benefit of compound interest behind you, but the more that you can start to save the more it will help you later on. You’ll have to press play and listen to discover the third and most important way to help you prepare for retirement if you don’t have much money saved. 

You’ll have to press play and listen to discover the most important way to help you prepare for #retirement if you don’t have much money saved.  Click To Tweet

Should Hal pay off his mortgage or convert his IRA to a Roth IRA?

Hal has an excellent audio question for all of us to listen to. Unfortunately like with many personal finance questions, the answer depends on you. These answers are never cut and dry. The most important thing to consider is what you are trying to accomplish and how this fits into your retirement plan. Now is a great time to minimize your lifetime tax bill since we are currently in a wave of tax cuts. But how you optimize your savings is really up to you. Consider whether you may need these funds to help fund your retirement or whether a paid-off house is important for your peace of mind. What would you do?

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