Happy New Year, friends! I wish you all the best in the days and months to come.
To kick off the new year, it is important to recalibrate your thinking so you are focused on the important things to come. Around here, we are talking about your finances and everything that affects. Last year, we provided you with a Financial Checklist to get your year started off right.
This year, we want to pose a few questions to you so you can get your mind right. Take time to think about these questions and look into each area to see what kind of improvements you can make. These are the areas of your finances that you can make easy and big improvements in, quickly.
Do you pay your credit card balance in full? This is a non-negotiable around here. Paying a high interest rate on your credit card makes all of your past purchases that much more expensive.
Have you rebalanced your investment portfolio? With markets across the world going up and up recently, it is likely that you need to rebalance your investment portfolio back to your desired allocation. This will help you manage the amount of risk you are taking in your portfolio and force you to sell high & buy low.
Are you paying your bills automatically? Setting up all of the regular payments you need to make for automatic payments will drastically reduce the amount of time needed managing your household finances each month.
Have you boosted your retirement savings? Making incremental increases in your savings rate will have a profound impact on the growth of your retirement account over time.
When was the last time you checked your credit report? Just a few short months ago, credit reporting bureau Equifax reported a security breach affecting millions of Americans. It is time to pull a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit history.
Are you renewing your auto and home insurance policies soon? It is wise to seek out quotes from different carriers every few years to make sure you aren’t over paying.
Do you have disability insurance? Often times, the greatest asset young professionals have is their human capital. That is, the present value of their future income. If you aren’t protecting your greatest asset, make sure you have a plan if your income stops.
Have you created a will and other estate documents? If you never have, doing so will ensure your assets will pass to the beneficiaries you choose, not the state. You may also wish to declare who manages your assets if you are incapacitated.
Are you saving for mid-term goals? We all know we need to be saving for retirement, but what about those things we want to accomplish before calling it quits? Be sure to devise a plan and savings rate for other goals, like buying a new home, investment property, around the world vacation, or more.
How are you tracking your spending? This doesn’t mean you need to stick to a strict budget. It simply means you need to be aware of where your money is going each month. Find a system that works for you so you can stay on top of your finances.
There you have it. It’s time to get out there and make 2018 the best year of your life. Take some time in the coming days to go through this list of questions one by one with your partner. If you have questions on any of these areas or have other concerns, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.