Annual financial check up
Anytime is a great time to review your finances. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to make changes to take advantage of opportunities or help prepare for filing your tax return. Here are some areas to consider:
- Have you chosen deductibles that provide lower premiums with an acceptable level of risk?
- Do you have an umbrella liability policy to cover larger claims beyond what your regular insurance covers?
- Do you have enough life insurance?
- Have you considered a life insurance trust to keep insurance proceeds out of your estate?
- Could you reduce your monthly mortgage payments by refinancing your mortgage?
- Should you consider some other type of mortgage (ARM, 15 year, 30 year) that corresponds with how long you plan to stay in your current home or allows you to pay down your home loan faster?
- Have you analyzed your monthly spending to identify ways to save?
- Have you established a household budget?
- Have you calculated your retirement income and asset needs?
- Are you taking full advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan or other retirement plan?
- Are you going to make an IRA contribution? If so, make it early.
- Should you consider converting your traditional IRA to a Roth?
- Are you regularly saving for a child's college expenses?
- Have you investigated Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Education IRAs) or Qualified Tuition (Section 529) Plans? These types of accounts provide tax advantages and can make accumulating funds for college easier.
- Do you have an asset allocation plan to serve as a framework for your individual investment decisions?
- Have you reviewed your portfolio holdings recently?
- Does your investment strategy match your time horizon and risk tolerance?
- Are your withholding and estimated tax payments at the right level?
- Have you considered deferring income to next year or accelerating deductions to this year to delay paying tax for a year?
- Are you possibly subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)? Stock option exercise, large deductions or the phase out of the benefits of personal exemptions at high-income levels could subject you to this tax. Contact your tax professional if you think you may be subject to AMT.
- Have you had your estate plan reviewed recently? If you have moved, had a change in your family situation (birth, marriage, divorce, or death) or a change in your financial status, you may want to schedule a review with a professional.
- Does your estate plan provide for the naming of the guardians for your children and the executor of your estate?
- Does your estate plan reflect the changing estate tax laws?
Taking control of your financial future is an on-going process that requires some time and effort, but is well worth the effort. Consider using a weekend to review your finances and making changes or updates that make sense for you and your family.
We can help
Visit one of our branches or call us at 1-800-288-3425 for help with your financial check up.
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