Happy New Year!
What financial or life goals do you need to address for 2017? Now is a good time to think about the things you can do to improve your financial plan. Some are easy, some more difficult to get started, but you must take that first step.
Goals and concerns should be written down to establish specific strategies to improve your overall financial well being. Most aspects of financial planning fall under at least one of the following five categories:
• Asset protection and preservation: Do you have an appropriate amount of life insurance? Have you protected yourself against loss due to long-term care, property losses, or liability?
• Disability and income protection: Is your disability protection appropriate? Was your income and spending what you expected and planned for this year? Did you use all reasonable ways to reduce your taxes?
• Debt management: Have you managed your debt as expected?
• Investment planning and accumulation: How did you do against your rate-of-return target? Were your annual contributions or withdrawals expected? Is your asset allocation appropriate? Was your portfolio income-tax efficient?
• Estate planning: Do your wills and trusts match your wealth transfer wishes? Do you need and have a durable power of attorney, health care declaration, and living will? Are your assets titled properly, and are beneficiary designations appropriate? Have you minimized future estate taxes?
Take some time now to consider these questions. With every new year changes in our lives require us to look at and reevaluate our finances. Your situations change, the markets change, and your needs change. Talk with a qualified financial or tax professional today. Commit to focusing on being healthy and wealthy in the New Year.
John J. Barrios, CFP™ , is a financial
planner with Barrios Financial Services in
Collierville and specializes in all aspects of
the Financial planning process.