Now that the year 2018 is halfway through, it’s a good time to review and assess your current financial situation. Just like a football coach reviews their original game plan during halftime, we as financial advisors want to encourage our clients to take a moment and double-check their financial basics. Whether it’s something as easy as reviewing your list of goals for retirement, or something a little more in-depth like reviewing your tax situation, there are many areas to cover at the mid-year point, and potential adjustments you may want to make to help ensure you stay on the right track for a successful retirement. So, do you need to make any mid-year adjustments to your overall retirement plan? Here are a few key areas for you to look at to help make sure you’re well-prepared for the long road ahead.
First, why not look into some of the basics surrounding your estate plan. According to a recent survey from the U.S. Trust, estate planning and trust options and implications are the top two topics that higher net worth American investors say they want to discuss with their advisors. So, take a look at the people you have listed as beneficiaries to your 401(k) and insurance information, and maybe think about drafting or revising your will. You should also be sure to designate a power of attorney, if you haven’t already. Once all of that is done, shred or delete any old documents that you don’t need any more which have personal information.
Next, you might want to look to your financial security as it pertains to our lives in the new age, cyber-world. We know this might seem like “busy” work to you, but when was the last time you changed any of your passwords online, let alone the ones to accounts with your financial information? For most of us, it’s a bit embarrassing to think about how little we worry about cyber-security. But, internet fraud is more rampant than ever, and you don’t want to get caught up in it. Make sure to use capital and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers in all of your passwords – and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts!
And, while you’re online already, why not check-up on your credit reports. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s one of the most important pieces of information that exists about you. Your credit score can have a huge impact on your life, but it’s not something that you get to know unless you specifically ask for it. Remember, you get one free credit report from each of the major credit scoring agencies per year. If you space out those three reports, you can have a good sense of what your credit looks like throughout the year. Especially in the wake of the Equifax data breach last year, it’s a good idea to make sure that you know what your credit score is, and that the score makes sense. If your credit report information is inaccurate, it’s up to you to correct it.
Finally, make sure you take the time to check and see how your tax situation is looking. Have you taken enough taxes out of your paycheck to avoid interest rate charges? Especially if you’ve seen a change in your take-home pay this year, it’s a good idea to run the numbers and make sure that your tax issues are taken care of. The IRS has launched a new tax-withholding calculator on their website, which should help to answer most of these questions. And, keep in mind too that the standard deductions for both couples and individuals are higher now, thanks to last year’s new tax law.
In the end, the best way to help determine whether you need to make mid-year adjustments to your retirement plan is to sit down with your trusted financial professional. Don’t wait until the year is up to review your current situation. Click Here to request your complimentary, no obligation financial review! We’ll work with you to learn your life goals, and combine them with your financial situation to create (or adjust) your customized retirement plan that aims to carry you to and through a safe and enjoyable life in retirement.