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10 Ways to End 2016 on a Financial High Note

by Peter J. Creedon

By Susannah Snider

1. Take stock of your finances. Examine your money situation by year’s end to determine whether you’re on the right financial track.

“One simple way to compare is to look at your net worth (your assets minus your liabilities or debts) once all of your final statements for 2016 come in,” says Melissa Sotudeh, a wealth advisor at Halpern Financial in Rockville, Maryland, in an email.

Consider whether your spending is helping you reach your financial goals, she says. Examine whether you’ve made progress toward shrinking debts and increasing assets, and plot out what you need to change in the new year.

2. Max out retirement account contributions. “If you are funding a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), make sure you are contributing to the plan,” says Peter J. Creedon, a certified financial planner with Crystal Brook Advisors in New York City.

Max out – or get as close as you responsibly can – when it comes to funding your retirement account. If you’re younger than 50, the maximum contribution for 2016 is $18,000. If you are over 50, you can contribute $6,000 more for a maximum of $24,000.

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