We have all been complaining about spring being slow to arrive, but at long last, it finally appears to have started. The dreaded tax season is behind us, at least for most.
Now is a great time to do a little financial spring cleaning and re-visit any financial resolutions made earlier in the year. It might be time to clear out the cluttered basement of financial affairs and have a “garage sale.”
A lot can change in a few years. It’s always good to make sure things are where you want them and that your priorities are aligned. The market has been crazier this year than the past couple. This could be a good moment to make sure your investments are properly set so you won’t panic should you see rougher waters ahead. The biggest mistake is being more aggressive than you realized, and selling during panic moments. In addition, feelings toward risk change drastically as retirement nears. Do your investments align with your current risk level?
Do you have a will with advanced medical directives outlined? Plan for the worst and hope for the best is a good motto to follow. Your family and friends will appreciate it, too. If you already have a will in place, does it need updating? There’s probably few things worse than your ex-spouse having authority over your medical needs should you become incapacitated.
Are your beneficiaries spelled out for your retirement accounts the way you want? Your individual retirement accounts can skip legal proceedings and go directly to your beneficiaries. Will you want your money to go to the grandchild who never calls?
Is your insurance coverage set at the proper limits and payouts? Sometimes saving money on car insurance will cost you more in the end. If you have a new pool, trampoline or pet alligator, an umbrella policy might be pertinent. Do you have coverage if the basement floods? Did you have a baby, so life insurance is now a priority?
The list goes on and on, but these are some of the pertinent items that you may not have addressed in recent years. It could be time to setup a review with your advisor or sit down with your spouse to clean off the cobwebs of your financial files. In doing these things, you will be free to enjoy the improving weather with far less worry.
– Aaron Pickert, CRPC, is associate adviser at Stewardship Capital in Independence. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advice is meant to be general in nature.