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Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to be for around the house. Your finances may be in need of a little spring cleanup as well. There are several important areas of your financial situation that probably need a review annually.

If you’ve taken steps to protect those who depend upon you – such as obtaining life insurance, writing a will, or developing a trust – give yourself a pat on the back. If you haven’t taken those steps, you should. Having a will and/or a trust helps to ensure that your hard-earned assets are distributed properly, and life insurance can help your spouse, children, and any other dependents meet their financial needs if you can’t.

A financial plan is a document that helps you determine how you’ll achieve the goals you want from life, as well as how you’ll meet your future financial needs. A thorough financial plan looks at every aspect of how finances affect you and your family, covering issues such as retirement, education, housing, medical needs, insurance and luxuries. It examines your present situation, spells out your needs, and decides what steps will allow you to meet those needs. A good financial plan also gives you benchmarks to use as targets, so you’ll be able to tell how much progress you’ve made.

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