4 things you can do TODAY to give your finances a tune-up

4 things you can do TODAY to give your finances a tune-up

April 30, 2024

Financial planning can sometimes feel like a waiting game. You are planning and investing for a future that seems a lifetime away. In reality, the best way to plan your finances is to be proactive. It is true that some elements of your financial plan do not change on a month-to-month or even year-to-year basis. But your life does. Here are some pieces to your puzzle that may be worth revisiting.

1. Opening a retirement account or reviewing your current accounts

Obviously, this does not apply to those of you reading this that have already gotten started, but for those of you who haven’t this is a call to action! There is no age at which it is too early to start putting money away! Opening an IRA is simpler than many realize and you do not need Warren Buffet type dollars to do it. Make it a priority this year to reach out and seek information on individual retirement account options and how to open one. For those of you who already have accounts, it is always good to make sure you know where they are at. “Where” in this case not only means what Broker-Dealer or firm the account is housed, but also what the balances in your accounts are. We often have clients who come to us having recently remembered they had a 401(k) at a previous employer that they had forgotten about or a retirement account with another advisor that they hadn’t checked in some time. It is never a bad time to update yourself on your own situation. You may surprise yourself.

2. Review your current contribution level – are you contributing as much as you can?

Opening and contributing to an individual retirement account is great. Contributing to your company’s 401k and taking advantage of their matching is great. But, are you contributing as much as you can? Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to leave things unchanged if there isn’t an immediate problem. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is the old adage. While this statement holds up in many cases, it is not a valid reason to avoid making changes that will positively affect your future. Review your current contribution levels in your individual and work-related accounts to see if you are contributing to retirement as much as you can afford to. Proactively adjusting your contribution levels to reflect positive income changes in your life also can have positive affects on your retirement future.

3. Review your life insurance coverage

Life insurance is not a fun topic for anybody to discuss, not even the people who make their living selling it. It can be a necessary topic of discussion with people who do not have the liquid assets to withstand the sudden loss of a loved one. Make sure to review how much coverage you have on yourself or your spouse. Is that coverage amount still adequate in relation to your current expenses and level of income? The point of life insurance is to make sure your loved ones are covered in the event of your untimely death. It may be a good idea to look into coverage if you don’t have any. It is also possible that your needs have changed since you bought your policy(ies). Make sure to review that as well.

4. Review your estate

Another gloomy, yet necessary, topic is planning your estate with a will and/or trust. Your children, if you have any, are important to you. Your spouse, if you are married, is important to you. Your money and assets, in hopefully a much lesser sense, are important to you. A will and a trust delineate who gets what in regards to money, possessions, and guardianship over children who are minors. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start researching this topic and reaching out to professionals who can help you establish necessary measures. If you have already started estate planning documents or have some in place, make sure they have been updated if you have had changed in your life. Your life, family, and loved ones change over time. Make sure that your estate documents change as well.

Hopefully today’s blog offered some things for you and your family to think about. If you feel behind on your financial planning and don’t know where to start getting things in order, look no further. Any of the topics listed above are important elements to your plan that can be a good starting point. Thanks again for reading and have a great week!

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation