Are Your Financial Goals On Track?
Are Your Financial Goals On Track? Time for That Mid-Year Financial Review
July is a great time to perform a mid-year financial review and adjust any sails that need adjusting. This is the time to ask yourself are your financial goals on track? It’s an opportunity to review where you stand in relation to your goals and make a plan for the next six months. A revised plan is better than no plan, so in that light, here are tips to get you started:
What is a mid-year financial review or checkup?
A mid-year financial review is a time to check up on yourself and how you’re doing with your finances. You might want to compare your current standings to the position you were in six or 12 months ago, or to where you’re at in relation to your goals.
“A mid-year financial checkup is like maintenance work on your home or car. You want to make sure everything is running smoothly.” - LeAnn Erenberger, Wealth Management Advisor with U.S. Bancorp Investments
The Five Key Things You Want to Check With a mid-year review
1. Check on your financial goals. Most successful self-made millionaires have financial goals and they are written down and reviewed at least twice a year. If you want financial success, write down your goals in your planner, calendar or some other place that allows you review them at least a few times a year, you may even want to add new goals to your list. This is a time to put more thought into your goals to see if they remain accurate or if you need to update them.
2. Assess your investments. Review the investment performance of your investments to make sure your portfolio remains well positioned to help you meet your long-term goals. But don’t just look at short-term results. If your core investments are still right for you, in the long-run they are likely to perform well with less adjustments. The stock market is bound to experience both certainty and volatility as time goes on.
Be sure and check out my podcast interview with John Jennings, the author of The Uncertainty Solution. John emphasizes the importance of having a well-thought-out investment plan and sticking to it. It's important to have a plan that fits our individual goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. By having a plan, we can avoid making emotional decisions based on market volatility.
3. Bump up your retirement plan contributions. Just as the cost-of-living inflates over time, so too should you increase the amount of your contribution to your retirement plans (both at work and any individual plans you have). A mid-year review is an opportunity to look at how much you can boost your retirement savings. And if you’re 50 or older, check your contribution amount to make sure you’re taking advantage of catch-up contributions.
4. Get ahead of the game on tax planning. Taxes should always be a consideration. “It’s important to remember that the best tax planning is an ongoing effort throughout the year. Check your withholdings from your paycheck to see if they sufficiently cover your taxes. If you often owe money at the end of the year, now is the time to make any adjustments, so you can at least not pay more at year end.
5. Review your estate planning documents. Check your beneficiary designations on financial accounts, insurance policies and retirement accounts to make sure they’re up to date. You may also want to take a fresh look at your will and/or trust to confirm that the beneficiaries named and specifications you’ve laid out are still valid. If you are in a position to consider gifting money to your children, be aware that the lifetime estate and gift tax exemption today (almost $13 million per person) is scheduled to be reduced to approximately half that amount in 2026. You may want to take advantage of the exemption amount now to help reduce potential estate taxes in the future.
About Floyd Saunders
Floyd Saunders is the author of Five Paths To Wealth, Family Financial Freedom and Figuring Out Wall Street. Floyd D. Saunders has more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. Floyd’s diverse background includes experience in retail banking, investment banking, insurance, investments, annuities, financial planning, and tax preparation. Learn more about at https://www.reallysimpleinvesting.com/about