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A Time for Resolutions

Do you have any major resolutions or goals for the year? Like most homeowners, my wife Katie and I have an endless list of home projects, upgrades, and wish-list items – like landscaping, finishing our basement and getting a few new pieces of furniture Katie would love to have. However, there is a method we use to keep us on track for planning our projects to ensure their success. 

Toward the beginning of each year, and, typically, a couple of times throughout the year, we plan out what projects we want to tackle. We write them down in a prioritized list that includes timing, potential costs and workable budget. This is something that has worked for us in the past and can work for you too. 

Have A Plan and A Course of Action

Doing it this way allows us to start setting aside time and money for those planned projects or helps us to consider ways to finance even bigger projects. So now you might be thinking, “Yeah, but Chad, what about frozen pipes, broken appliances or a leaky roof?” Those unexpected things hurt if you don’t have a backup plan.

We’ve found that a good rule of thumb is to retain 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses accessible in a savings account to act as an emergency reserve. This prevents the unexpected expense from turning into an unexpected credit card balance costing us – and you even more in interest charges. 

I have seen first-hand the impact that both planned and unplanned expenses have on an individual’s financial situation. That’s primarily the reason why I have this discussion with my clients. Whether it’s at the first meeting or at one of our annual review meetings, I ask my clients if they have any significant planned expenses coming up. Then, I double-check the balance of their emergency reserve to confirm they have sufficient funds to cover the unplanned expenses. 

I also don’t rule out various financing options for our clients, like lines of credit, personal loans or introductory offers to make sure they get a good deal and can pay it off. It is always important for retired individuals to maintain their credit and credit ratings. 

Katie and I really enjoy our remodeling and enhancement projects. And if you do too, I am going to have a booth at the upcoming Pittsburgh Remodeling Expo at Heinz Field and I would love to meet and talk with you. The Expo runs from Friday February 7 to Sunday February 9. There are various vendors, contractors and lots of fresh ideas for your home projects. I know we wouldn’t miss it! 

If you questions or would like to learning about Hefren-Tillotson, contact me at 412-633-1546, e-mail me at or visit me at the Expo.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.

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