We all know what happens to New Year’s resolutions. By now most of them are a memory; or you might be thinking that some of these would be better left until next year. But in your financial world, resolutions should be replaced by routines.
Routinely, at the start of a new year you should be:
Setting goals. And putting them in writing. What would your perfect year look like? What are you major life plans for 2017? Share this information with your financial advisor.
Checking your credit score. Go to Credit Karma’s website, which is free and does not hurt your score.
Reviewing your credit report. We suggest Annual Credit Report’s website for free annual reports. Be sure to correct any erroneous information that can be hurting your credit score.
Reviewing your Social Security benefits and providing the 4-page report to your financial advisor. These are important for preparing your annual retirement analysis.
Doing an annual retirement analysis. Call us to set an appointment.
Reviewing your beneficiaries on your employee benefits, insurances, and investment accounts. Expensive mistakes are made when beneficiary arrangements are not complete.
Updating your Family Letter and your Estate Planning Documents. If you do not have a Family Letter, ask us for one. If you do not have Estate Planning Documents, ask us for a referral to an attorney who can handle these. For many people, the cost of dying without a will can be much more expensive than the cost of preparing these documents.
Ordering an inforce illustration on your life insurance policies to see that they are guaranteed to stay in force for as long as you find necessary. Some policies can lapse over time. (Not sure how to do this? Ask us!)
Finding a great CPA. If you need one, we know some! Ask her or him for a data collection booklet to help you gather your tax information so that no deductions are missed. Remember, if people cheat on their taxes it is usually because they cheat themselves…by not getting all that is owed to them.
Reviewing your property and casualty insurance. When was the last time you sat for a review with the people who handle your car and homeowners insurance? Do you really know what you are covered for? Or not?
Checking for unclaimed property. Start at www.patreasury.gov/claim. If you have ever lived in another state, try its website, too. We have had a number of clients find money that is just sitting out there, waiting to be claimed. This is better than the lottery because you can do it for free!
Joining our Starting Out/Starting Over program. A great way for young people to begin their financial life, or a great way for anyone to start their financial life over again. Learn all about the program on our website.
Remembering that no one plans to fail, but often people fail to plan. If you need help with your plan, we are here.