It wouldn’t be a new year without a torrent of movie awards shows (and we can never get enough of them—though, after screening it, we’re still debating whether “The Wolf of Wall Street” is compellingly on the edge or hopelessly off the wall), and in the realm of retirement-strategy “lists,” a robust roundup of financial professionals’ bests and worsts; suggested moves to make and others not to. In the latter category there’s a smart list of 10 Worst Money Moves for the New Year by Dana Anspach (author of “Control Your Retirement Destiny”) in a RetireMentors piece for marketwatch.com. Here’s No. 1 on her list of what not to do:
“1. Set no savings goals
“Goals? Whatever. You’ll save if there’s money left over.
“People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. You’ve heard that before, haven’t you? It’s true. I don’t think anyone sets out to be on a paycheck-to-paycheck plan by the time they reach their 60s. Yet it happens.
“If you want to achieve something, write it down. Then write down the action steps you need to take to make it happen and put together a time line with dates as to when you are going to take those steps. If you’re married, work with your spouse on this.
“Will you increase your contributions to your retirement plan, or beef up your emergency fund? Or maybe your top priority is setting aside money each month so you can buy your next car with cash.
“The worst thing you can do? Set no saving’s goals at all and let fate dictate your financial success. “