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Planning Best Practices
July 15, 2023

Your Money Journey: Part 2

Justin Hearty
With your financial foundations in place, it’s time to focus on creating a successful retirement. Tracking progress on and completing these milestones can bring many of your goals within reach!

In this continuation from last month’s article, we will now cover miles 4 through the Summit within Your Money Journey. This grouping focuses on maximizing your assets leading up to your retirement.

Your Money Journey

Mile 4 – Save Tax Preferred

There are many savings vehicle’s available to build throughout your lifetime. If eligible, you should take advantage of unique tax preferred vehicles like Roth IRA’s, HSA’s and 529 plans. It is important to keep in mind that you must be under the income limit to contribute to a Roth IRA. There is no income limit when contributing to an HSA or 529 account.

Mile 5 – Max Retirement Contributions

Whether through a corporate sponsored plan or in your own retirement vehicle, you should seek to maximize your annual retirement contributions. Starting this immediately may be difficult, but should become more attainable as your income grows and debts decrease. Remember, you can borrow for just about everything in life, except retirement.

Mile 6 – Accumulate Assets

After taking advantage of tax preferred and retirement vehicles, it is important to build wealth that is flexible and has no age restrictions. This could also include goal specific funding, i.e. college savings plans or funding a major purchase.

Mile 7 – Pay Off Low Interest Debts

If you are firing on all cylinders above, now may be the time to tackle “low” interest rate debt. Typically, these include mortgages, HELOCs or other loans. Successfully lowering or eliminating these debts will free up more cash for retirement.

Summit – Begin Distributions

It is critical to manage the tax-efficient distribution of your assets for retirement and/or other goals. Evaluate all potential income sources, project taxes and plan your distributions. A financial advisor can help guide you through this stage if you are not already working with one. Having a partner on your side during this period will be crucial to your success.


Working through these milestones improves your chances of a strong retirement and ultimately, living a great life.

If you would like to view Your Money Journey: Part 1, click here.

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Founded in 1979, Strategic is a leading investment and wealth management firm managing and advising on client assets of over $2 billion.



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