In the Spirit of the Holiday Season, Here Is A List of Early New Year’s Resolutions and Fun Things To Do in 2014!
- Remember, cash flow (income versus expenses) is the key to long-term financial success. If you are gainfully employed you should be saving 15% to 25% of your income. If you are retired or not fully employed and are drawing on your investment portfolio, your total annual withdrawals should be 3% to 5% of your portfolio value or less. If your savings rate is low or withdrawal rate high, review steps to increase your employment income or reduce your expenses.
- Insurance is the foundation of sound financial planning. Home and auto insurance, umbrella liability coverage, health insurance, life insurance, disability and long-term care insurance all require regular review and updating. Funding a Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) warrants consideration. If you own or are considering long term care insurance, pay particular attention to and understand the inflation protection options.
- Are there any family or personal changes that might prompt a review of your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies (both employer provided and individually owned), IRA accounts and employer retirement plans? Were there any changes in employer plans wherein correct beneficiary designations should be confirmed? How about Power of Attorney, Will and/or Trust documents? Changes of address or telephone numbers of people listed in your Health Care Power of Attorney document?
- Do your children or grandchildren have employment income that could be used for a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA contribution? If applicable, have you funded 529 college savings plans for the calendar year for children or grandchildren?
- Do your family members know where to locate important personal financial papers and how to contact your professional advisors in case of an emergency? Does a trusted person know where your website user names and passwords and answers to security questions are kept?
Have a safe and happy holiday season. Take good care of yourself. Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year in 2014!