We hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a rocking new year. Now back to business. It’s the end of the year again and now is the time to kick your financial planning into high gear for the next year. Here is a checklist to help you start planning in the new year.
Has your life changed in the past year?
A variety of things could make you rethink your budget for the next year. For example, a baby, new job, health insurance, moving, or marriage, etc. Don’t forget to take in account anything new that may have changed or will change in the new year.
Continue contributing or start to contribute as much as you can to your 401(k) or other retirement funds. Evaluate current plans and research throughout the year to update your retirement portfolio.
Ask yourself if any recent changes affect your taxes? Do you have any deductibles or exemptions?
Know your debt.
Make sure to figure out what you owe. Try to combine your bills into easier payments. Remember, the bills that should be paid off first are the ones that carry the highest interest rates.
Look over your will and adjust as needed.
Does it need any updating? Are your current wishes reflected in the will?
What is your insurance coverage for home or rental, for life and disability? Do you still like the insurance you have?
Consider the children (if you have kids)?
If they are at the appropriate age, establish good financial habits in their lives by opening a savings and/or checking account. Also, talk about creating an education savings account or taking advantage of a 529 college savings plan. After all, the cost of education continues to increase.