By Xavier Brenner Procrastination is rarely a good thing when it comes to personal finance and wealth accumulation. American consumers collectively paid $12 billion in late credit card fees last year, while others pay a big price for not getting serious about retirement savings early in their work careers.
There’s always tomorrow
Some people are put off by the complexity of the task or the prospect of facing hard truths about their financial situation. Others don't want to own a financial decision that may turn out badly. Many times, it's simply a lack of perceived time in the day. The good news is that inveterate procrastinators (or late-comers) can breakout of their bad habits with a little determination and homework. Making smart financial decisions can give you a satisfying sense of taking control of your life. The key is identifying the most pressing problems and then taking action in a dispassionate, rational way. Here are five areas where people tend to put off things, year in and year out.
Roll over that 401(k)
A surprising number of job changers leave money in their old 401(k) plans — some 27% of over 50-year-olds according to one survey. It's worth weighing whether a new employer's plan has better performance and lower fees. Another option is to consider rolling over the old plan into an IRA product, where no-load and low-fee funds have become standard. If you're the type of investor who likes personalized advice and greater investment options, it may even pay to work with the asset management unit of a financial institution, online portfolio manager, or an outside financial advisor. If you go this route, just make sure you understand the fees you will be paying.
Do your estate planning
Nobody likes to dwell on their own demise. Maybe that's why so many American's never get around to making a will or doing other estate planning.