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Annual Financial Review

Annual Financial Review

Medical professionals suggest an annual checkup. Mechanics recommend regular auto maintenance. Shouldn’t your financial life have an annual checkup or tune up?

Please take some time every year to self examine your financial situation. You can do this on your own or with the help of your professional advisors.

Items to be reviewed and some details to analyze include:

Cash Flow & Debt Management

  • Verify adequate cash balance in the emergency fund (three to six months of living expenses in a liquid cash account)
  • Review spending habits since the last review
  • Identify expense categories that are consuming excessive cash
  • Implement corrective actions for expense categories that are troublesome.
  • Review credit card debt management and confirm that debt load has decreased since last review. 
  • Identify and implement changes in cash flow to pay down remaining debt.

Insurance

  • Verify adequate Life Insurance for survivors
  • Confirm sufficient disability insurance for the family
  • Assess the need for coverage increases/decreases for new/aging vehicles
  • Review homeowner insurance coverage at the right level, in consideration of inflation

Estate Plan

  • Verify beneficiary designations on IRAs, employer retirement plans, annuities, stock options, life insurance policies
  • Identify modifications needed due to marriage/divorce
  • Review updates needed due to relocation
  • Rewrite wills and trusts if significant life events have occurred (Death, birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, relocation, significant asset acquisition or disposition)

Credit Reports

  • Review and correct errors with reporting agency AND reporting merchant
  • Verify correct accounts
  • Identify and resolve incorrect accounts

Investments

  • Review performance versus benchmarks
  • Identify and analyze underperformers
  • Adjust allocations due to changes in risk tolerance, investment time period, performance, costs
  • Update written goals list

Taxes

  • Forecast current year taxes
  • Review withholdings, adjust W4
  • Identify and implement tax savings strategies for current year

As you can see there is much to consider in the Annual Financial Review.  You can accomplish this in one session or perhaps in two sessions on your own.  If you want an independent, neutral third party to assist in any aspect of this very important review, please feel free to call on me.