Take some time every January to review your financial affairs. And take some time every December to review your tax liability. Looking back over the last calendar year, what went well? What went poorly? What needs some attention? What needs fixing, and how are you going to fix it?
Is your Comprehensive, Written Financial Plan on schedule?
Are your Emergency Reserves adequate?
Is the size of your Nest Egg on schedule for retirement?
Are you working down your Debt on schedule?
Is the date you have chosen to retire still good?
Is your College Funding plan on track?
How is your Cash Flow?
Were you on Budget for the year?
Did you successfully deal with Unplanned Expenses?
Is your Charge Card Balance zero?
How much did you save for Retirement and was it enough?
How are your Investments performing?
Is your Net Worth bigger than it was a year ago?
Do you have an Investment Strategy, and is it appropriate?
Is your Asset Allocation appropriate?
Are your Investments performing as expected?
Are your Investment Costs under control?
Did you Re-balance on schedule?
Are your Beneficiary Designations up to date?
Are you paying as little tax as legally possible?
Did you get a big Refund last year?
Did you owe more Tax than expected?
Is your Tax Withholding correct?
Are your investments Tax Efficient?
Did you take any possible Tax Losses?
What can you do, if anything, to reduce your Tax Burden?
Are you legally squared away?
Are your Legal Documents appropriate and up to date?
If you have a Trust or two, are they funded?
Are you comfortable with your choice of Legal Representative (Executor/Executrix)?
Are you comfortable with who holds your Power of Attorney?
Are you comfortable with your choice of Trustee?
Is your Legal Representative / POA / Trustee familiar with your circumstances?
If you have not treated your children as equal Beneficiaries, do they know?
Do you have adequate Insurance?
If you died tomorrow, is your family okay?
If you couldn’t go to work for the next three months or forever, is your family okay?
If you or your spouse must go to a nursing home tomorrow, have you got it covered?
All of the above will take some time, effort and resolve on your part. And it will be worth it.
Michael J. McNamara, Ph.D. CFP™
Certified Financial Planner