If you’re looking for financial wellness and stability as we plow through 2018, take a look at these handy tips we have compiled for you!
1. Rebalance your accounts
You should look at rebalancing your accounts, including your taxable investments and retirement funds, as your asset allocation may be off due to the stock market surge we saw recently in 2017. According to CPA Ed Slott, task risks should be diversified just as your investment portfolio should.
2. Prepare a will
Prepare a will if you haven’t already, and consider updating your existing one as times and circumstances change. Although it’s grim and macabre to think about your death and where your assets will go thereafter, it’s essential to make sure that your beneficiaries are organized and that any trusts you set up are mentioned in your will, with trust funds going to the appropriate heir(s) upon your death.
3. Go over your retirement paperwork
Whether its 401ks or IRAs, retirement accounts should be checked over consistently. Be sure to remain on top of your paperwork and ensure that your money is being distributed according to your wishes. Mistakes do happen, and they can be costly!
4. Check your beneficiary designations
Although it’s hard to believe, the beneficiary forms for your retirement savings will actually override whatever is stated in your will, so it’s important to ensure that these forms reflect the wishes of your will. You might also have named beneficiaries for things such as life insurance, annuities, and other holdings too, and these designated heirs will also inherit those assets, so make sure they’re correct and confirmed.
According to Slott, problems can crop up a lot of the time when percentages don’t add up to 100% and multiple heirs are listed on a beneficiary form. He explains:
“I had a case where there were three children named as 30% beneficiaries, instead of what should have been 33.33%”.
In order to get around this problem, use percentages which add up to 100% or use fractions which add up to one whole. You can also designate equal shares too, which makes things easier to understand. For example, in the above case, it would have been wise to specify that the three children get “one third” each or simply “an equal share” each, thereby adding up to 100%.
5. Don’t neglect your insurance policies
If you undergo a major life event such as a death, birth, marriage, divorce, or acquisition of wealth, it’s essential to make sure that your life insurance policy is amended to reflect your new circumstances. For example, you probably don’t want your ex-husband or ex-wife to still receive funds from your life insurance policy in the event of your death. It’s also worth looking into home, auto, flood, and earthquake insurance policies as and when you require them – don’t assume that one insurance policy covers everything.
There’s always more you can do in order to secure a stable financial future. For more in-depth advice, speak to a member of our dedicated and knowledgeable team today!