Tag Archives: goals

Retirement Savings 2017

Looking forward to 2017 you should review your retirement plans to determine what changes, if any, you want to make. Individual retirement plans (IRAs and 401(k)s) are two of the most common defined contribution plans and offer tax-advantaged retirement savings.

The annual limit for contributions for traditional and Roth IRAs for 2017 is $6,000. People age 50 or older in 2017 can contribute an additional $1,000 for a total potential contribution of $7,000.

The annual imit for contributions for 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans is $18,000. Workers age 50 or older in 2017 are permitted an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000 for a total potential contribution of $24,000.

401(k) v. IRA:

  • 401(k)
    • For employees of companies that offer such plans
    • Employer may match the contribitions up to 6% of salary
    • Pay taxes later (upon withdrawal during retirement)
  • Individual Retirement Plan (IRA)
    • Roth IRA
      • Pay taxes now
      • Tax-free withdrawals of contributions only (not earnings or interest on contributions) at any time
    • Traditional IRA
      • Pay taxes later
      • Receive potential tax deductions now

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects presented but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Knowing Yourself: Are You Open to Change?

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Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”  Andre Gide

To change is to become different; to make someone or something different; or to become something else. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Despite the fact that many people are resistant to change in their personal and professional lives, it is useless to try to avoid change. Change is constant and cannot be held off by continuing to do what you always do.

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The benefits of change are many and expand our opportunities:

  1. Flexibility – Making changes helps us to be adaptable to new situations, new environments, and new people.
  2. Personal Growth –  When we make changes we learn new things, discover new insignts, and grow as individuals.
  3. Life Values – Looking at our personal and professional life from a different perspective can reinforce our life values.
  4. New Beginnings – Change closes the book on the old and brings about new beginnings.
  5. Opportunties – Change brings new choices and opportunities for growth and advancement.
  6. Improvements – Without change there cannot be improvements in our personal and professional lives.
  7. Progress – Changes move things forward triggering progress and development.
  8. Routine – Without change, our lives woud be static, uniform and predictable.
  9. Snowball Effect – Making small changes will amount to bigger changes.
  10. Strength – Overcoming fears and doubts about change makes us stronger.

Take time to think about the specific changes, personal and professional, you want to make in 2016 and why. Make a list below:






 

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To make changes in our lives we have to be aware of any potential blindspots that may prevent us from achieving our goals. We also need to be aware of any baggage that we may bring along to the transition.

To determine whether you are open, or resistant, to change, answer Yes or No to the following questions:

  1. Are you quick to learn new ways of doing things?       Yes _____      No _____
  2. Do you have to be certain that doing something differently is worthwhile before you will agree to try it?     Yes _____    No _____
  3. Are you eager to learn about new opportunities?      Yes _____    No _____
  4. Do you try to keep yourself up-to-date on current events?     Yes _____    No _____
  5. As soon as you hear about something new do you like to try it before anyone else?      Yes _____    No _____
  6. Do you think too much time and energy is wasted on experimenting with new ideas before everything is known about them?   Yes _____  No _____
  7. When it comes to using new methods of doing things, do you prefer to be a follower rather than a leader?   Yes _____  No _____
  8. If you like the way things are, do you resist making changes?   Yes _____  No _____
  9. If you hear about something new, do you feel restless until you try it?                             Yes _____   No _____
  10. Do you feel like making changes creates too many problems and pressures and prefer to relax and enjoy what you have?   Yes _____   No _____

Now, get to it . . .

 

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in CT. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Knowing Yourself: Motivation

fotolia_79792971What motivates you?

Knowing yourself is necessary and relevant to setting goals. Below is a list of motivations. Rank each motivation in terms of the importance it has for you. Use a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the least important to you and 5 being the most important. To the right of the ranking, give an example or two of an accomplishment or reason why that motivator is important to you.

Motivation              Rank                     Example of accomplishment/reason

Recognition


Pleasure


Challenge


Accomplishment


Obligation


Pressure


Winning


Acceptance


Friendship


Helping Others


Security


Independence


Money/Compensation


 

fotolia_49857417If you are not sure what motivates you, answers to the following questions may help you to decide. Take time to reflect on the following questions and answer completely:

  1. What are your general interests? Are they related to people, information, sports, or something else?
  2. Do you express yourself better in oral or written form?
  3. What daily activities give you the most satisfaction?
  4. Do you like responsibility or would you rather have someone else take the blame or credit?
  5. Do you have an aversion to following directions or being told what to do?
  6. What kind of work environment is important to you?
  7. Would you rather work indoors or outdoors?
  8. Are you more comfortable with regular routines or spur-of-the-moment projects?
  9. Do you enjoy new concepts and situations or are you more comfortable with the familiar?
  10. Would you prefer a regular salary or a commmission, or a combination of both?
  11. Would you like to work a regular (9 to 5) schedule or something with more flexible?
  12. Are you willing to travel or would you rather stick close to home?
  13. Do you see yourself as a leader or a follower?
  14. Do you prefer to work on your own, with one other person, or as part of a team?
  15. Do you work well under pressure?
  16. Do you like excitement or danger in a job (like emergency services) or something more mundane or sedentary (like office work)?
  17. Would you like to work in a big city or in a suburban or rual environment?
  18. Do you prefer to work for a large, medium, or small-sized employer?
  19. Are you willing to relocate?
  20. What is the one thing you simply could not live without on the job?

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in CT. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.

Knowing Yourself: Goal Setting

“Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.” John Rohn, Facing the Enemies Within

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A goal is more than a wish or a desire. To have a goal means you have taken a wish or desire to the next step — to the planning stage.

A goal must be written, have a deadline for accomplishment, be measurable, and be reasonable and achievable:

 

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  1. Writing down a goal is the first step to achieving the desired outcome. A goal may be simply stated at first but it will become more detailed as you begin planning for achievement of your goal, anticipating obstacles to achievement, and taking inventory of available resources.
  2. How long will it take to accomplish your goal? If the goal is long-term, you may want to make short-term or interim goals to avoid becoming frustrated or overwhelmed by the proceess. This should help you to keep the momentum going throughout the term.
    • Set short-term goals that answer the question “What do I want?”
    • List the reasons you want to accomplish the goal.
    • Identify what stands between you and your goal. Ask yourself “What obstacles might prevent me from achieving my goal?”
    • Identify the people and resources that might be useful to achieving your goal. Ask “Who or what can help me to achieve my goal?”
    • Assign dates or deadlines to each step in the process of achieving the goal. Ask “When exactly will I get there?”
  3. Make plans to measure the progress toward accomplishment of your goal.
  4. Goals must be reasonabe and achievable. A really big goal can be broken down into smaller, simplier goals. If you accomplish each smaller goal one after another, you shoulld have no problem accomplishing your overall goal.

Now, get to it . . .

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This Blog/Web Site is made available by me, an attorney licensed to practice law in CT. I am not a recruiter, hiring manager, or career agent. Nor am I an expert in any of the areas or issues related to job search activities. I am merely sharing my job search experiences with you. This Blog/Web Site is designed to provide accurate information on the subjects covered but should not be considered professional or legal advice.