Our 2013 Financial Goals

Having just closed the book on our 2012 financial goals, I thought I would share our 2013 financial goals.  These are goals that tie directly to our personal household finances.  I figure that posting them will leave the door open for suggestions as well as give me something to hold myself accountable to.  If you have any suggestions or ideas, I’d be more than happy to hear them.

  1. Health Savings Account – We switched to a High Deductible health insurance plan, and tied to that is a health savings account.  I am currently researching the best place to open this (since our company plan does not include the HSA aspect).  I’d like to have this open and funded in January, setup regular contributions of at least $200 per month, and end the year with at least a $2,000 balance to carry forward into next year.
  2. Home Value Increase of 4% – Our value increased by an estimated 6% last year.  This would be another nice increase.  It would still leave us far below what we paid, but would allow for a continued growth in equity.
  3. Auto / RV values decrease by 13% – We don’t plan any new purchases in terms of cars or our RV.  I’m estimating that depreciation will reduce the value by 13% from the beginning of the year.
  4. Cash savings reduced by 11% – Although I expect to save a little money toward our long term goals, we will be taking a hit this year that I’ve known is coming, as we will have to pay for a new roof.  A high yield savings account can help you earn a favorable interest rate on your cash holdings.
  5. Retirement assets increase by 15% – Regular contributions will hopefully push this number up, and I’m hoping for a modest gain in the markets.  I’m still not happy with our total number in terms of my age and what we have, but slow and steady wins the race.
  6. Investment account increase of 19% – Last year I set an ambitious goal of over 30% and saw this come well short.  This year, I’m still hoping for a gain that would outpace the market.  From what I’m seeing in terms of analyst and sector recommendations, I think this is achievable.
  7. Reduce debt by 6% – The only debt we have is our mortgage payment and a student loan payment.  Just the regular payments would allow us to reach these goals and would reduce our mortgage balance by 5.7% and our student loan balance by nearly 13%. I don’t plan on paying extra as any additional money that I’d normally put to paying off debt will instead go toward savings.
  8. Net gain increase of 17% – If we met every goal, our net worth would increase by 17%.  This is short of what we acehieved in 2012 (which was a 28% gain) but would still be pretty nice growth.  I’d like to see this even higher, but am trying to be a little conservative.  We still have a long ways to go toward making up the losses in our net worth that came about during the Great Recession, so even though our net worth is at ‘record’ levels, it is not where I had envisioned it being as I enter the last year and a half of my 30’s.

I’ll provide some regular updates throughout the year.  As I mentioned above, I’d love to hear about your goals or any suggestions you have that can help us beat our goals.

Thanks and here’s to a great 2013!

24 thoughts on “Our 2013 Financial Goals”

    • I just contacted my credit union and they have a no-cost, no-fee HSA, so that’s likely the way I will go!

  1. In my experience, credit unions are the way to go for just about any kind of banking without the fees. I’ve had an HSA for 7 or 8 years now, and my credit union charges no opening, maintenance, or transaction fees for my HSA.

    • Thanks for the tip. I did confirm that it would be of no cost, so I’ve already requested the paperwork to get started!

  2. Great goals! I have had a FSA for years through my school district. I love using pretax dollars for medical expenses because I cannot ever meet the deduction threshold. I hope you achieve your stock market goals because it bodes well for me too!

  3. Good luck this year! I also hope to see some gains in my retirement/investment accounts, and I will be trying to educate myself about better investing, etc. as well.

  4. Man, if our house appreciates by 4% in the Detroit area next year, I’ll throw a party. That said, I think it’ll happen. I’d still be underwater on my place, but we’d finally be closing in on break-even.

    • Outside of the city itself and some of the ring suburbs, I know that prices have been relatively stable or rising here in the Detroit area for awhile, especially if it’s a move-in-ready house.

  5. Good luck on your goals! I’ve never heard of an employer that didn’t offer an HSA with a high-deductable plan…I was going to say that credit unions are a good place to start your search for an HSA, but I see I’m a little late 🙂

    • Our company is owned by a vulture, I mean venture capital firm, so if it doesn’t help the bottom line, it doesn’t happen. Since an HSA plan wouldn’t increase their profits in any way, we’re on our own!

  6. Those are all very specific percentages, and only one of them is a multiple of 5. Did you have a rounder dollar amount and then convert it to a percentage?

    • Yes, I look at the actual numbers, then put in the ‘hoped for’ numbers, and calculate the percentage from there. I’ve never gotten into detailed actual numbers for my net worth (just a personal preference), so the percentages hopefully make sense.

  7. A 17% increase would be an excellent achievement, particularly considering how low interest rates are in the states at the moment.

  8. Seems like reasonable goals, depending on the actual number values. We have a financial goals past coming up as well this Monday. I’m hoping to increase my savings and savings rate this year.

  9. It looks like you have a good plan! We have an HSA too and need to start contributing to it regularly. It doesn’t make any interest until we reach $2500 and I dont want to put that much in it quite yet!

  10. Most employer based HSA plans have the account attached to the insurance plan. You may want to double check with the insurance company, they often provide that service.

    Funding your HSA account with pretax elections at work provides the best value. You avoid paying FICA taxes, which returned to 7.65% with the Fiscal Cliff deal. Any fees you might avoid by shopping around may not total up the the FICA savings.

    This can only happen if the deductions come from your employer and go straight to the account.

    • You’re absolutely right that most do, and I can assure you that ours doesn’t. I think the FICA taxes you have deducted will get reconciled when you do your returns. I’ll have to check with my tax adviser to confirm, but hopefully that would get reconciled with next years tax filing.

      I agree that it would be better to have the employer do it, but our company is majority owned by a venture capital firm, and they have no interest in providing anything at all that doesn’t increase the bottom line. Thus, HSAs are up to individual employees!

  11. We bank with PC in Canada and don’t pay any fees at all which is perfectly fine with us. We know our house went up this year but I’m hoping to see it go up in the New Year but they are anticipating a 10% correction so we will have to wait and see what happens. If we were ever to move it would be up and out because the houses in our city are outrageous price wise. Happy New Year! Mr.CBB

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