10 Things to do This Spring To Get Your Financial Affairs in Order
By Mindie Molina | Financial Advisor
1. Complete a life insurance analysis. Even if you already have life insurance, you should still analyze your financial situation and determine how much money would be required to maintain your beneficiaries’ standard of living. Many times people procrastinate getting life insurance and still do not have it. Some people just purchase a random policy for a random amount that may or may not be a perfect fit, or some purchased a life insurance policy long ago and their needs have changed. Whether one of those scenarios is you or not, you may get an updated quote simply because it might save you money. Mortality tables change and that impacts premiums. Since people are living longer, it’s usually for the better.
2. Dig out those old forgotten 401ks, 403bs, and IRA’s accounts from old jobs. Rather than holding multiple accounts, you can combine them to form one retirement account. The process is very simple. Once complete, you will be less likely to have oversight and more likely to manage that one account in a more responsible way.
3. Evaluate your disability and long-term care financial needs. Should anything happen to you or your family that you no longer could work, how would that impact your ability to maintain your standard of living? Often we consider death as the only possible threat; however, many people face hard-ships due to illness or injury. Being prepared is key.
4. Get organized! A simple filing system makes managing your financial affairs easier, and therefore increases the likelihood that you will stay on top of things. So clean out the old outdated mail. It’s ok to keep documents, but keep them separated by policy, accounts, etc. I like to be able to pull one file folder that contains everything regarding that one account and nothing else. Most letters and documents reference the policy or account number somewhere. Start making stacks, then move each stack into its own labeled folder. If you really want to be organized, you can even scan them into digital files for storage.
5. Review your wills and trusts. If you don’t have anything yet, it’s time to spring into action. Make the call and schedule a meeting with an estate attorney. Make sure your beneficiaries on your accounts are named, up to date, and accurate. Is the Power of Attorney you selected still a good fit? Have there been any life changes that should be updated in your estate plans? Are the documents easy to find in a location your beneficiaries will know to look?
6. Request a tax analysis to see if there are any opportunities for you to save on your taxes for 2022. Perhaps a ROTH Conversion is a good fit. Maybe there is a way to reduce your Social Security taxation or reduce your tax exposure in your investment accounts. Maybe your required minimum distributions could be sourced in a way to avoid taxation. Has your income increased to a level that requires more proactive planning? Taxes are typically dealt with by looking at what you did for the year. Tax savings strategies come by determining what you are going to do. Be proactive and think through your taxes before it’s too late.
7. Review all of your financial accounts. Look for ways to simplify tracking your spending. The fewer, more organized accounts the better. For instance, having one account designated to household spending, business accounts, eating out, gas, etc. Being able to quickly review your spending will significantly increase your accountability.
8. Review your investment accounts. How well did your investments perform? How transparent are the fees you are paying? Review your risk tolerance in accordance with the performance of the investments. Maybe it’s time to update the investment strategies to align with your outlook on the economy and market this year versus what it was when you first opened the account.
9. Compare your current ability to save with your future needs. Will you have enough to retire? Are you saving enough for college costs? Are you out-pacing inflation? Is there a way to pay off debt sooner? Time is a huge factor in the equation when it comes to future success. The more you save now, the better success you will have when the time comes that you are counting on it.
10. Find a professional to help you oversee your financial affairs. Having a team of experts on your side can make a big difference. Someone with integrity. Someone knowledgeable. Someone experienced. Someone you can trust. Someone you can talk to and learn from. We work with CPAs, Attorneys, Analysts, Insurance Companies, and Wealth Managers both locally and nationwide to bring everything to one table for our clients. You need that. Bring everything together to make one solid financial plan.