Money-Related New Year’s Resolutions

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

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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