How to Start Your End-of-Year Financial Planning

As December approaches, many of us give thought to getting our houses in order, and that includes our financial houses. Here are some things to look at as you “clean house.”

Review your financial accounts. Look at your bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts. Gather statements, performance reports, and any other documents that will provide information about the accounts.

Ask if your accounts still meet your needs. With this information in hand, ask if your accounts are still valuable. If not, should you consolidate some, or close them? Should you open others?

Update your account information. Ensure that your accounts have accurate contact and beneficiary information. If you haven’t changed your beneficiaries in some time, you may want to review them (and make all possible accounts transfer on death, or TOD, so they avoid probate in the event of your death).

Review your budget. How is your spending? If it is not on budget, determine why. Are you spending too much money on luxury items?

Review your debts. Are you overwhelmed with debt? If so, develop a strategy for keeping your spending on track and eliminating debt (perhaps by consolidating loans).

Consider estate planning. Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy; everyone should have a will. If you don’t, get one. If you have an existing will, review it to ensure it still protects your loved ones in the manner you intended.

Contact a financial planner. For assistance with any of these items, please contact me. I can help you put a solid financial plan in place to head into 2020 with confidence.