It’s That Time

As we tear down old calendars and put up new ones, and New Year’s Resolutions are being posted on the fridge, now is an ideal time to sit back and review your financial goals.  With the New Year upon us, you will want to consider how your goals will affect your savings, taxes and lifestyle.  Here are some areas to consider:

 Review Your Budget

  1. Identify your financial goals and determine what is required to reach them
  2. Estimate income from all sources
  3. Estimate all expenses
  4. Compare income and expenses to determine if changes need to be made
  5. Does your current position allow for your goals to be considered attainable?

Your investments

  1. Have you reviewed your positions lately?
  2. Make sure your target allocation is still necessary based on your current financial situation and future goals
  3. Is your investment strategy in line with your time horizon and risk tolerance?

Insurance

  1. Have you chosen deductibles that provide lower premiums with an acceptable level of risk?
  2. Do you have an umbrella liability policy for potential large damages?
  3. Do you have an adequate amount of life insurance?
  4. Have you considered a life insurance trust to keep insurance proceeds out of your estate?

 Mortgage

  1. Could you reduce your monthly mortgage payments by refinancing your mortgage?
  2. Should you consider some other type of mortgage (ARM, 15 year, 30 year) that corresponds with how long you plan to stay in your current home?  You can view some potential mortgage products by going to our website.

Retirement planning

  1. Have you calculated your retirement income and asset needs? 
  2. Are you taking full advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan or other retirement plan?
  3. Should you consider converting your IRA to a Roth IRA?

College funding

  1. Are you regularly saving for a child’s college expenses?
  2. Have you investigated Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Education IRAs) or Qualified Tuition (Section 529) Plans?  These types of accounts provide tax advantages make accumulating funds for college easier.

Estate planning

  1. Have you had your estate plan reviewed recently?  If you have moved, had a change in your family situation (births or deaths) or a change in your financial status, you may want to schedule a review with your advisor.
  2. Does your estate plan provide for the naming of the guardians for your children and the executor of your estate you wish?
  3. Does your estate plan reflect the changing estate tax laws?
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