October 29, 2020

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    The end of each passing year is an opportunity to look back at accomplishments and missteps, and plan strategies for the road ahead. As the beginning of not only a new year but also a new decade, 2020 represents a special opportunity to create a fresh start both personally and financially.

    Reevaluating insurance coverage, considering retirement plans, adopting healthy habits and making new friends are good places to start. Indeed, sorting out these important aspects of life can help make the year ahead the start of an outstanding, new decade.

    1. Consider Retirement Plans

    It’s never too early to begin planning for retirement, and the new year is an ideal time to do so. Even if retirement is decades away, devising a plan for life after work is a wise strategy. Conventional wisdom states that Canadians without mortgages will need an average of 70 percent of their preretirement income to maintain a similar standard of living.

    Adding a mortgage means post-retirement income will have to be equal to working income. For instance, someone earning $100,000 per year would need to save almost $2 million to be able to count on a comfortable retirement of $70,000 per year in spending.

    2. Re-Evaluate Home and Car Insurance Coverage

    A home and car are two of the largest investments most people ever make. Moving into a new home or buying a new car are exciting ways of making a fresh start. But buying a house or a car means more than a change in address or a new set of wheels. It should also prompt a re-evaluation of insurance coverage.

    Along with picking out furniture and accessories for their new digs, apartment dwellers should consider additional renter’s insurance, while homeowners should re-evaluate their home insurance coverage. Car owners should reevaluate their insurance coverage, especially if they have moved to a new province. Asking the question “How much is car insurance in Ontario per month?” is likely to have a different answer than asking the same question for British Columbia, Québec or the Maritimes.

    3. Adopt Healthy Habits

    Every year, millions of people resolve to lose weight. They start rigid fad diets or subject themselves to juice cleanses while stocking their pantries with vegetables and low-fat snacks and denying themselves “bad” foods like pasta. Gym memberships explode during January. But by February or March, gym memberships go unused and those extreme restricted diets have been cast aside.

    A better strategy is to forget about the scale and instead focus on developing healthy eating, exercise and sleep habits. By adopting a healthier overall regimen, many people find that weight loss occurs naturally, even while enjoying their favorite foods in moderation.

    4. Make New Friends

    Making friends as children, teens or even as young adults is easy. Classrooms are filled with children of the same age, and parents arrange playdates with the children of their own friends and neighbors. However, in adulthood, it’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut. People hang out with colleagues at work, while dating is done by swiping left or right. Married couples fare somewhat better due to the built-in social life provided by spouses and families.

    As the New Year begins, resolving to reach out to others who share common interests is an excellent way of creating a broader social circle. There’s also nothing wrong with asking family members or friends to be introduced to others for friendship and/or dating. If social anxiety is an issue, though, seeking professional help is always advisable.

    Ready for a New Decade!

    The end of a year — or a decade — means more than turning the pages on a calendar. It’s also an excellent time to re-evaluate important aspects of your life and everyday routine. Sorting out retirement plans and insurance protection, as well as adopting healthy habits and an expanded social life are all excellent strategies for ringing in a new year and decade.

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