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16 TO-DOs for 2016
January 19th, 2016 10:14 AM
Barbara's Blog:

Fitness and diet routinely figure into people's New Year's resolutions, but they usually turn out to be short-term commitments.  Instead, consider focusing resolutions on improving home and financial future.  Here are 16 possible to-dos to consider for the new year:

1.  Home energy audit.  Schedule an energy audit through your local utility company to identify the upgrades that will immediately reduce utility costs.  

2.  Green your home.  Pick some green upgrades and do one each month.  They can be simple 10-minutes projects, such as installing LEDs or using power strips to cut electricity loads.  

3.  Refinance your mortgage.  The Feds are talking about raising interest rates, so look into whether refinancing now would be beneficial.

4.  Age-in-place upgrades.  Take steps to make aging in place possible.  Install lever-style doorknobs when changing doors and add handrails when re-doing stairs, showers or pool areas.  

5.  Safety.  It is a good idea to do an annual walk-through to be certain that a home is safe.  Check smoke detectors, alarm systems, electrical outlets.

6.  Fall prevention.  When doing a safety walk-through, look for and eliminate any fall dangers:  check area rugs, entrances and any steps or loose bricks/ concrete.

7.  Systems upgrades.  Before the water heater or AC quits, get up to speed on the most energy efficient models.  That way, an informed decision can be made when the time comes.

8.  Emergency preparedness.  It is always good to have a plan for emergencies, whether those are natural disasters or a local power outage.  Keep a list of items needed and update each year.

9.  Financial review.  See a financial planner early in the year to review your financial picture and determine how to make goals a reality.

10.  Up savings.  Increase regular contributions to a savings plan, even if only by $5 per week.  

11.  Will updates.  Review your will and those named as beneficiaries on your accounts.  Life events change from year to year and it is important to stay updated.

12.  Tax preparations.  Get taxes ready early in the year, rather than waiting until the last second.  It will give your accountant more time to identify tax breaks.

13.  Image your future.  Investigate your future "dreams" and develop a plan to make it happen, whether it be travel or a new hobby.

14.  Work.  Do you want to work part-time or seasonal?  Will you seek a complete change of pace from previous  jobs and do something just for fun?

15.  Boost technology skills.  Knowing how to maneuver a computer and smart phone can help as we age.  Don't let technology intimidate you!  

16.  Volunteering.  Think about your passion:  animals, children, gardening?   Choose what most interests you and use opportunities to volunteer in that area.  

written by Barbara Doeringer

Posted in:General
Posted by Allen Doeringer on January 19th, 2016 10:14 AMPost a Comment

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