Old Habits - New HabitsMany people use the beginning of a new school year like the New Year’s holiday, as an opportunity to think about ways that they can improve their lives through new and changed habits. Let me suggest that rather than making a drastic change that you focus on some small things you can start today.

At Stewardship Capital, we call this practicing the principle of Continuous Improvement. It is one of our core values. We are not satisfied to sit still and remain as we are. We try to get better every day and, though we are not where we want to be yet, we remain encouraged that we are improving.

When I became a father, I began to understand the concept of wanting my children to have a better life than me. That goal seemed a bit overwhelming when I was having a difficult time even teaching my oldest more than a couple of words. How could I possibly improve their futures when they can’t even change their own clothes?

My college swim coach used to say the smart man is one who learns from his mistakes while the wise man is one who learns from others’ mistakes. Why not share your retirement preparation experience with your children so even if you’re not the wise man, your children can be?

A 2012 survey suggests one small change we can make to help our children be prepared for retirement. According to the report, the key to retirement savings success is to talk to your children about finances and encourage them to start before age 30. 42% of prepared boomers said their parents talked to them about saving for retirement versus only 29% of unprepared boomers.

What small change can you make in your life? Don’t wait until New Year’s to begin investing in a better present!

The best is yet to come!

(Greg Finke CFP® is Vice President of Stewardship Capital, a registered investment advisor. Advice is intended to be general in nature. Investor Index Survey by Head Research on behalf of TD Ameritrade, Inc. between October 10 and 12, 2012.)