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This Week In Your Wallet: What You Need To Know About Resolutions

Welcome to 2017. This is your year to become AgeProof.

That’s the title Dr. Michael Roizen and I came up with for our book — and plan — about how to live longer without running out of money or breaking a hip. Dr. Mike (the rockstar Chief of Wellness at the Cleveland Clinic) and I have been working on this project for a good year now, and I couldn’t be more excited. It launches at the very end of February, so you’ll hear more about it then. But as you’re kicking off 2017, I’d love to introduce you to some of the principles that will help you achieve your financial goals and resolutions. (And if you want to pre-order the book, you can do it here.)

How To Kick A Bad Habit

One of the most important principles in the book is that it’s not enough to just try to break a bad habit — you have to replace it with a better one. So if your New Year’s resolution, like that of so many Americans, is to get out of debt this year? I recently wrote a piece for The Balance, About.com’s new personal finance site, about how exactly to change the habits that may have gotten you there. If your vice is not thinking far enough into the future? Take some time to think about — and write down — the goals you want your money to accomplish in the next year, and five years and ten years. And make it specific — think about that three-bedroom ranch house with a pool you’d like to have one day instead of the ambiguous “retirement.”

Research by Sarah Newcomb, behavioral economist at Morningstar, suggests that people who believe they can create their own financial destinies manage their money better (regardless of income, education and other factors). So if you’re more likely to feel that outside forces — not your own choices — usually control your finances, consider coming up with a mantra, like, “My money, my choices,” and repeating it to yourself every morning in the mirror.  Write it on a post-it (or in lipstick) so you remember. And if the habit you’re trying to kick is instant gratification? Try leaving the item you’re considering buying in your cart — or on your mind — for a day or two, then see if you still want it. And to make instant spending more difficult, don’t save credit card numbers in apps or websites.

Making Your Money Last Through Retirement

All month on TODAY, the #startTODAY team and I are offering up tips for starting thisyear your best self. My first segment was on making sure you have enough money inretirement. The highlights? Research from Fidelity Investment shows you should aim to have 10x your annual salary saved by retirement, and that means 1x your salary by age 30, 3x your salary by age 40, 6x your salary by age 50 and 8x your salary by age 60. If that sounds overwhelming, take a deep breath and know you can do it if you save a little at a time. Aim for 15 percent of each paycheck (including employer matching dollars), but if you can’t get there yet, amp up savings by 1 percent a year until you’re at your goal. Just to put this in perspective, it’s not that much money today — but it will be years from now. For a 30-year-old making $50,000 a year, that extra 1 percent means about $42 less a month in pay. At age 65, however, it translates to $112,000.

Being Present Instead Of Perfect In 2017

Finally, if you’re anything like me, frantic is one word that usually describes yourholiday season. (Although, this year, I’ve got to admit, it felt pretty chill. I even managed to take a couple of naps!) On the latest episode of my podcast, HerMoney, we talked about how to combat that need to be “perfect” at everything we do — especially since we usually end up disappointing the ones we love and ourselves — with “Present Over Perfect” author Shauna Niequist. The conversation was good for our souls. I hope you listen, subscribe (that way it’ll just show up every week on your mobile device) leave us a review and share it with the wonderful women in yourlife.

Have a great week,


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