It’s only the second month of 2014 and already most Americans have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, get organized, sleep more – the euphoria of creating a “new  you” has passed, and now all that remains is hard work and discipline. Whether you keep that gym membership or not, there’s one resolution which is highly worth the effort: getting your financial affairs in order. A great way to start is to look at the five critical components of your finances over the past year.

Q. After losing half of my retirement portfolio in 2008, my financial advisor recommended a product which is guaranteed not to lose money when the market goes down but also goes up when the market goes up. Why would anyone not invest in this?

Sometimes relocating for a new job means buying a new house at precisely the wrong time. Here are a few strategies I learned the hard way for buying a home when the market is against you.

Back in 2005 I bought my first house. It’s the only house I’ve ever owned. After 8 years, my family and I decided to relocate due to my wife’s job promotion. The problem was that her company wanted her to move quickly. Since I’ve never sold a house before and with the huge housing market downfall, I was a bit nervous.

Q: I’m 55 years old and I’ve been practicing emergency medicine for 20 years, but I don’t have much to show for it. My retirement portfolio is about $500,000. I’m getting tired of working nights and weekends, and I feel like I’ll never be able to walk away. What should I do?

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