It’s Spring, a good time to start thinking about spring cleaning which should include your financial matters. Many aspects of your finances need regular attention and too often they are put off creating a cluttered financial situation.
What are areas that almost everyone can look to clean up?
Almost everyone could look at their banking accounts and find accounts they could consolidate or automate the statements. Another cleanup activity could be destroying old statements and check registers. A final thought is to automate as many bills as possible to avoid getting late payments.
What should be done to clean up credit and loans?
It starts with getting an annual credit report and fixing any errors that it might contain. Next, review your outstanding loans and determine if you can get a better rate by refinancing. If your credit has improved, this might be a strong possibility and can save you hundreds in financing charges.
Should credit cards be part of this review?
Yes, and with credit cards, there are three main areas to review. First, are you paying it down if you carry a balance? Second, if you carry a balance, make certain you have the best rate. Finally, whether you carry a balance or not, verify the rewards program is the best for your situation.
What are the most important estate planning actions to take?
Create or update your will, confirm your beneficiaries on all accounts and create medical and financial power of attorney documents are three key actions for everyone. These will help establish how your estate is handled and who has the power over medical and financial decisions should you become incapacitated.
How can investments be cleaned up?
It starts with confirming that you are on track with your retirement goals, a simple online tool is often enough to confirm this and then just make sure you are rebalancing your portfolio that again is often done with a simple online tool. These two actions are probably the most critical activities for your retirement planning.
What is the most overlooked area?
Definitely insurance, from auto to life insurance, we too often buy it and then put it on autopilot and pay the premiums. Regularly getting quotes on auto and home insurance is a great way to always get the best value. For life and disability coverages, make sure that you have the proper coverages given your current circumstances because as your income changes, these coverages should as well.