For most people, New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration. Millions gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop, eager and excited to ring in a new year full of possibilities. For me however, New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection. I think about the year that went by, way too fast as always, remembering the wrong turns I made, family I’ve lost, and things I set out to do but didn’t quite accomplish, all the while fighting to stay awake long enough to actually watch the ball drop on TV. Clearly, I’m not the best person to hang out with on New Year’s Eve, but that’s me and I’m OK with that.

However, contrary to how I spend my New Year’s Eve, I am a firm believer in leaving the past behind and embracing every morning as a gift. My belief, my philosophy, whatever you want to call it is that we are not defined by our past, but it does play an integral part of who we are today. We must gain strength and knowledge from every failure, every loss and every success. Everything that happens to us, good or bad, is what drives us to make today better than yesterday, and tomorrow even better than today.

My New Year’s Eve may be boring, but New Year’s Day is an entirely different story. I give myself that one night every year to have a little pity party, but it ends there. New Year’s Day I’m ready to embrace change and face the world with a renewed sense of hope, excitement and determination.

January is my cleaning time (and I don’t mean my house — could you imagine — whoa!). Make January your cleaning time too! Clear your minds from negative thoughts, your bodies from over-indulgence, and your spirit from whatever energy held you back from being your better selves.

I don’t care who you are, I just know that all of us have had something we set out to do in 2016 but didn’t quite get there. It’s OK, we’re only human. But it’s a new year, a new day and new chance to take action. Make January the time when you say I’m dealing with this now, I’m going to look at this now, or recognizing that you haven’t done anything in so long, so I’m gonna do it now before another year goes by.

One day retirement will sneak up on us all. Some new year’s eve someday, we’ll all be entering into the year of our own retirement. And for Plan Sponsors out there, your responsibility is even greater. Your participants expect you to be looking out for their retirement. It’s not easy, I know. I’ve written about what you signed up for, for better or worse. We all want to trust the people we work with, I wish we always could. But trust is earned, not given. Reserve some time in January to be proactive, rather than reactive. Check those plan fees. Find out if you and your company could be saving more. Ask your TPA to look at your plan design (hopefully you know who that is). Find out if you are maximizing your tax savings. Eliminate those corrective distributions and any other compliance errors in your plan. Get second opinions. Have an independent plan analysis. Surround yourself with a team of experts that are looking out for your best interest, so you in turn can look out for your participants’ best interest.

Priority Pension Services, Inc. (AFI) has been providing comprehensive third-party administration and strategic solutions for retirement plans for over twenty (20) years. Our team of accredited and experienced professionals are here to help with all your retirement needs. Call 516-584-2755 or email me at if you have questions, need assistance or would like to learn more about our independent plan analysis services.

The PPS Team and I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2017!

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