Money-Related New Year’s Resolutions

Here is how to get your retirement plan back on track in 2009


Many Americans will try to save extra cash and develop better money habits next year. I asked Olivia Mitchell, director of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Security at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, what her New Year’s resolutions will be. Her response:

1. Convince my twenty-something daughters that they really must start saving for retirement right away.

2. Set up mental accounts earmarked for specific purposes: the rainy day fund, the education fund, and the try to pay off the mortgage soon fund. Each will have a separate identity, so any spare pennies get put out of the way and removed from temptation.

3. Work on building skills so that I am still employable into my 70s.

More New Year's resolutions for retirement:

Delay retirement

Put off claiming Social Security

Get your 401(k) match

Avoid early withdrawals

Scrutinize 401(k) fees

Determine your risk tolerance

Rebalance your portfolio

Evaluate your target-date fund

Pay off your mortgage

Get a pension


Bump up your contributions