When the new year arrives, many of us turn our thoughts to working out, losing weight and getting in shape. It is also common for Americans to start scheduling their yearly doctors’ appointments to review their health. Remember, getting your financial life in shape should be just as important and receive the same amount of time and treatment. Take some time to review your finances now to help provide more peace of mind next year. Below are just a few areas to look into and review.
#1 – Review Your Investment Strategy
If you have money in investments, now is a good time to meet with your financial advisor to review your investment strategy and see if it is still on target to help you reach your financial goals. The review leads to a discussion of how you are doing compared to the financial plan you have put in place. If your situation has changed in life, you will want to make any necessary adjustments. Reviewing things like your current asset mix, time frame, risk tolerance, etc. will help keep you on track to meeting your financial goals. Take some time to evaluate your specific investments and see if they are still worth keeping.
#2 – Review Your Retirement Planning
Savings for retirement is one of the biggest financial challenges you’ll face. There are various schools of thoughts on how much money you will need to live comfortably during retirement. Every year, you should review your retirement strategy and make sure you are on track to accumulate enough to live comfortably during your golden years. Are you saving enough via your 401K plan to provide a solid retirement? Have you considered other methods of saving for retirement like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)? IRA’s are easy to set up and manage and also offer valuable tax advantages. What can you do next year to help build a stronger retirement strategy?
#3- Review Your Will, Insurance Policies and Retirement Accounts
Chances are that you are not reviewing your will on a regular basis. Circumstances change and the provisions in your will should change with them. Reading over your will once a year will allow you to keep up with those changes and make any necessary modifications. While you are revisiting your will, take a few minutes to review the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and insurance policies. Keep in mind that many states do not allow minor children to take control of these proceeds, so you may need to name a trusted adult to look after the money or set up a trust account for your kids. If you do not yet have a will, this is the perfect opportunity to set one up. Gathering the necessary information is not as hard, or as time consuming, as you may think. Set the goal for next year of getting one completed.
It’s so important to create a solid financial strategy and review it often. Planning is key in this area, as in many. Spencer can help with some of your financial planning, like saving for retirement or paying a child’s college education. We have several choices in the area of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and also offer the Coverdell Savings Account as a great tool to save for your child’s education. For more information, contact your local financial center to see how we can help.