There are many financial documents and steps that you should review or complete each year, and others that it is important to do at least every few years. Here are some important financial tasks to consider completing during the calendar year. Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing them all at once, but certainly try to complete them over the next nine months.
- Fill out a net worth statement – do this at the same time every year to make sure you are headed in the right direction – even if you currently owe more than what you own.
- Create or review household inventory-add items that may have been purchased/acquired over the last few months or last year.
- Purge old financial files – shred anything with personal information or financial data.
- Review or revise financial goals.
- Track your expenses for a month and review spending for ‘leaks’ or money that you can re-direct to goals or savings.
- Review retirement needs/goals using online financial calculators or visiting with a financial planner.
- Consider increasing 401(k) or 403(b) contributions if needed, and consider making IRA contributions.
- Review 529 Plan (Missouri MOST College Savings Plan) contribution amounts and investment options.
- Take advantage of employer benefits including Flex spending accounts.
- Do a yearly investment asset allocation review to make sure it is appropriate given your risk tolerance, age, time horizon, etc.
- Review emergency fund contributions – do you have enough set aside (minimum of 3-6 months)?
- Obtain and review your free credit reports at annualcreditreport.com to check for accuracy.
- Organize paperwork for current tax return season, and review tax planning for the future.
a. Make wise use of your tax refund
b. Change your withholding amount
c. Contribute to your Flex Spending Account to make health/dependent care expenses deductible
d. Weigh Roth vs. Traditional IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) contributions
- Review estate planning documents to make sure beneficiaries, trustees, powers of attorney and instructions are up to date. This includes healthcare directive documents.
- Review your car and homeowner’s insurance for any changes that need to be made.
Let me know if you need forms for the net worth statement, household inventory, healthcare directives, expense trackers, spending plan or other information to complete this list.