Five money resolutions to make

By Donna Rosato, senior write


(Money Magazine) -- 1. Rebalance

A banner year for stocks means you probably didn't wince the last time you looked at your 401(k). It also means that your asset allocation is probably out of whack. A $100,000 portfolio invested in 60% stocks and 40% bonds and cash and rebalanced annually for the past 37 years would have grown to $2.9 million, vs. $2.5 million for one that was never rebalanced, according to the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

2. Earn one new credential

The economy is getting back on track, but the job market has a long way to go. So develop a skill that will make you more attractive to your current employer or a prospective one. Some in high demand right now include project-management certification, blog software like WordPress, and expertise in data-crunching programs like Excel and search-engine optimization, says Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance.com, a website that helps freelancers find jobs.

3. Convert to a Roth IRA

Face it, taxes aren't going anywhere but up. That means it's smart to own a Roth IRA, which offers tax-free withdrawals after age 59½. In 2010 anyone, regardless of income, can convert a traditional IRA into a Roth. You'll have to pay income tax on the money you convert today, but if you're in your mid-forties, you'll come out ahead with the Roth even if your tax bracket stays the same or gets a little lower after retirement, according to a T. Rowe Price analysis.

4. Grab cheap health care

Your insurance premiums and co-pays may be higher this year, but chances are you won't have to shell out more for a visit to your primary-care doc. Many insurers have nixed co-pays on preventive care because it saves them (and you) money on medical costs down the road. The Centers for Disease Control says that high blood pressure, for example, created over $73 billion in medical costs last year. So get that physical you've been putting off.

5. Get a better bank account

Building up your savings can feel like slow going when most banks are paying 0.5% or less. Shop around for a better deal: HSBC Direct, for example, is offering 1.34% on a savings account with no minimum investment. Go to Bankrate.com to check current yields.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 9:54pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.21 0.00 0.00%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Sponsors

Sections

Spencer has been a supporting member of the "Good Morning America" cast for the past three years. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.