A Financial What To-Do for 2022
The beginning of a new year always brings a sense of renewed vigor towards setting goals and resolutions. A financial accomplishment is one of the most common new year resolutions that we make for ourselves. It could be anything from eliminating debt, to reviewing your investments or simply increasing the awareness around your finances to see if any improvements can be made. If you fall into this camp, take a quick look at some the areas our financial planners review with the families that we serve.
Take a Quick Inventory of Your Personal Affairs
Set aside some time to evaluate your personal affairs and consider the following questions: Did you make any progress towards your previous years’ goals? What worked or possibly fell short? Will you have any lifestyle changes likely coming within the next 12 months such as a marriage, job change, retirement, or possible medical expenses?
These circumstances will need to be integrated into whatever current plan you have and revisited regularly to make sure you are not left flat-footed when they take place.
Review Your Cash Flows and Debt
As prices continue to increase, you may have come to the realization that a budget may be a necessary step to gain a handle on where your money is going. Reviewing your employment benefits and expenses such as insurance premiums could help reduce some of those costs.
It’s important to review the current debts that you have as well. Is it possible to improve the interest rate or other terms around those debts? This alone may free up money within your budget to help with other needs or wants. This is an area that is typically the most overlooked and it could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year.
Make Sure Your Investments Are Being Reviewed
Find someone who is properly evaluating your risk appetite, checking for ways to reduce taxes and can properly communicate with you on any changes around your portfolio. Time horizon and even something as simple as replenishing an emergency fund could easily be missed if not working with someone who takes a holistic approach to investment planning.
Understanding the Difference Between Tax Preparation vs. Tax Planning
Are you reviewing your tax documents in preparation for the upcoming tax season, or are you using this as an opportunity to tax plan? Tax preparation is very different from tax planning. Many people make the mistake of thinking that by working with an accountant or a CPA, that they are taking a proactive view of their tax affairs. While this can occur, many accounting firms have limited staff and resources to offer proactive tax planning on a consistent basis. Adding a financial planner to your team can be a great way to create synergy with both tax preparation and planning.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Spend some time during the first quarter of the year to review your insurance policies. A financial planner can help you navigate the different insurance policies that you have. They can make recommendations to help you achieve your financial goals and possibly find ways to save money that is spent on premiums as well!
Don’t Forget About Your Legal Documents!
Do you require any documents such as a Will or Trust? If so, have they been amended within the last 5 to 10 years? This is a great opportunity as well to update any beneficiaries and address other life changes (e.g., births, deaths, etc.)
If you’re interested in having a conversation about your retirement and lifestyle goals, consider talking with one of our financial planners at Financial Dynamics & Associates, Inc. As a firm focused on creating customized retirement plans in the Midlothian and Richmond, Virginia metro area, we may be able to help advise you based on your overall financial situation.
Advisory services offered through J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc. J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc., and Financial Dynamics and Associates, Inc. are unaffiliated entities.