Consumer Tip: Conduct a Financial Checkup (Part 2)

Consumer Tip: Conduct a Financial Checkup (Part 2)

Now that the holidays are coming to a close, it’s a great time to take inventory of your personal finances. Here’s the second part of our two-part series outlining some key areas that should be reviewed each year.

Estate Planning. Your estate planning should be revisited whenever there is a change in your life such as marriage, divorce, birth, new job, retirement, receipt of an inheritance, or the acquisition of significant assets. There are no major federal changes expected in 2015. However, the New Year may bring significant changes in state law.

Retirement. “Some key steps to retirement planning is to determine any sources of guaranteed income you may have for retirement such as pension income or social security,” says JB Bryan, president of JB Bryan Financial Group Inc. Additionally, reduce or eliminate your debt, contribute to retirement plans, increase assets, and use online retirement calculators such as the FINRA retirement calculator that Bryan recommends.

Emergency Savings. “Keep your savings process and calculations simple,” says Marsha Barnes, personal finance consultant for The Finance Bar. “Practice the method of saving months of income versus months of expenses. Goal setting is crucial for this process. Identify a date to have one month’s worth of income saved, followed by three months’ and so forth. Check in quarterly and celebrate small wins.”

Go here for part one.