If you’re like me, your social-media feeds are jammed with head­lines about get­ting “healthy and fit” in the new year. Of course, they’re refer­ring to diet and exer­cise and com­mon res­o­lu­tions to drop pounds and work out more often.

But it’s just as impor­tant to be con­cerned about your finan­cial fitness—where you can also drop some bag­gage and get some strength train­ing with­out going near a gym. (In fact, if you have a sub­scrip­tion to a gym mem­ber­ship but aren’t going, that’s one finan­cial fix you can make right now.)

Here are some tips to con­sid­er for any age:

IN YOUR 20s:

Work­out: Have a por­tion of each pay­check deposit­ed into your sav­ings account, or take advan­tage of bank pro­grams that “round up” or have oth­er auto­mat­ed sav­ings fea­tures. Trust me, you won’t feel this burn.

Diet: Start mak­ing cof­fee at home or at the office instead of going for expen­sive lattes. Few­er calo­ries, and more mon­ey in your pock­et. This is a good time to con­sid­er get­ting life insur­ance (whether you are sin­gle or attached) as it is less expen­sive the younger and health­i­er you are.

You also need to con­sid­er dis­abil­i­ty insur­ance, which pays you a por­tion of your salary if you are sick or injured and unable to work—because who would pay your bills if you couldn’t? Your work may offer this as an employ­ee ben­e­fit, so check with your HR depart­ment to find out if you have it and what it cov­ers (short-term, long-term dis­abil­i­ty, etc.)

IN YOUR 30s:

Work­out: You prob­a­bly have a retire­ment pro­gram at work or some oth­er pre­lim­i­nary retire­ment plan­ning in place. If you don’t, start.

If you do, why not increase the amount you divert into retire­ment by a per­cent­age point each year—equaling your com­pa­ny match per­cent­age, if they have it, is a good target.

Diet: You may not have got­ten life insur­ance beyond what you have through your work­place, but now is the time to con­sid­er an indi­vid­ual pol­i­cy that you own. Remem­ber, when you leave a job, you typ­i­cal­ly lose that life insur­ance offered through your work­place. And, giv­en that life insur­ance through the work­place usu­al­ly equals one or two times you salary (or a set amount like $50,000), it’s no longer going to cut it if you have a grow­ing family.

If money’s tight, as it often is with a grow­ing fam­i­ly, lin­ger­ing stu­dent loans, and per­haps a mort­gage, a term life insur­ance pol­i­cy can pro­tect you through the lean years. But don’t over­look the long-term ben­e­fits of a per­ma­nent life insur­ance pol­i­cy. The cash val­ue can be tapped lat­er for needs that may arise. Plus, there’s noth­ing that says you can’t have a com­bi­na­tion of both.

Also, con­sid­er an indi­vid­ual dis­abil­i­ty insur­ance pol­i­cy that you per­son­al­ly own and fol­lows you through­out your career. If you’re rely­ing on work cov­er­age, know that it goes away when you leave that job, and often these poli­cies have bare-bones coverage.

IN YOUR 40s:

Work­out: Do you have a finan­cial pro­fes­sion­al help­ing you out? Nav­i­gat­ing the ins and outs of a grow­ing invest­ment port­fo­lio can be tricky as you move through your career and want to use tra­di­tion­al or Roth IRAs, and the tax ben­e­fits of var­i­ous plan­ning strate­gies. This may also be the time that you can add a per­ma­nent life insur­ance pol­i­cy, if you haven’t before, which allows you to accrue cash val­ue and obtain ben­e­fits that extend lat­er into your life.

Diet: If you’re still car­ry­ing extra debt at this point, it’s time to get that paid down. Tack­le high­er-inter­est debts first, and cel­e­brate each paid-off card or loan with … a big­ger pay­ment to the next one on the list.

IN YOUR 50s:

Work­out: Max out your retire­ment con­tri­bu­tions, espe­cial­ly once your kids are through col­lege. This is also a good time to start research­ing things like long-term care insur­ance, and to make sure that your invest­ment port­fo­lio is built in such a way that you can reach your goals.

Diet: It may be very tempt­ing to take on a new debt now: some folks want a vaca­tion home, or the time may be right to start a busi­ness. But beware of any super-risky moves that can spell cat­a­stro­phe with lim­it­ed time to recoup loss­es, or that leave you with unex­pect­ed bills.

IN YOUR 60s and beyond:

Work­out: Eval­u­ate your Social Secu­ri­ty sit­u­a­tion against your retire­ment port­fo­lio to deter­mine the best time to retire. Under­stand the “liv­ing ben­e­fits” of your life insur­ance poli­cies and how annu­ities may help you cre­ate a retire­ment income stream that you can’t outlive.

Diet: Is it time to down­size? It can be hard let­ting go of “stuff” so that you can go from that four-bed­room house to a two-bed­room con­do. But the finan­cial ben­e­fit of doing so may sur­prise you—plus there is less to clean and take care of (not to men­tion the ease of jet­ting off at a moment’s notice with no need for some­one to look after your home.)

A lot depends on fac­tors like your rela­tion­ship sta­tus, your career path, whether you have kids or not, and what your long-term goals are, and these can change at any time in our lives.

The long and short of it is that just as when it comes to “health and fit­ness” goals, you’d get an annu­al phys­i­cal. Need to know if you’re finan­cial­ly fit? Talk to an insur­ance pro­fes­sion­al or finan­cial advi­sor today.

By Helen Mosher

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on lifehappens.org