Focus on Your Finances

By: Alexander Roig, January 5, 2017

Whether we participate in the annual ritual or not, we're all aware of that thing called spring cleaning that happens each year (or does it?) when the weather finally starts to warm up. Well, with the first snow of the year predicted for this week, now is a good time to hunker down and tackle a winter cleaning - for your finances. 
 
Hopefully you were able to end the year on solid financial footing and maybe even got a start on your taxes. That's great. But with the kids back in school and lake weather still months away, there are some things you can and should do now to kick 2017 into high gear. 
 
First, simply ask yourself if you know where everything is in your financial life. Go through your financial junk drawer, so to speak, and see what you might need to organize a little better. Maybe you have some old stock certificates, account statements, or other random paperwork. Take some time to go through these things and see if some can be shredded or if some of those accounts can be consolidated. We can help you with any questions that come up, or if you're not sure about what you need to keep and what can be tossed.
 
For those of you who work with us and have gotten one of our planning checklists (hopefully it wasn't at the back of that junk drawer), go over those items and refresh yourself on what you completed last year and what still needs attention. Take a look at the financial goals you set with us, and ask yourself if they still make sense. Has anything changed in your life that affects those goals or how you're working towards them? 
 
While most of our clients have already consolidated old retirement accounts from past jobs, we've seen a handful of people who've gotten pension payout offers from previous employers. If you're not sure what the best course of action is here - take the lump sum or wait, and if you do take the lump sum, what do you do with it? - call us. We'll look at your overall picture and come up with a plan. And of course, if you do find some old accounts that need to be rolled over, our operations team can take care of you.
 
I always encourage my client families to review their cash flow and budget at the beginning of the year. Did your budget work for you in 2016? Why or why not? What adjustments can be made? We know change is the only constant, so don't worry if life threw you a few unexpected events. It happens to us too. Just be sure to take them into account and let us know about them.
 
Even if your insurance premiums aren't due for a while, use this winter cleaning time to review your coverage while you're not facing the payment deadline. It's easier to review these things when the due-date pressure is off. We see many clients who choose coverage and then automatically renew those policies for years, without reviewing whether those initial choices still suit their family's needs. 
 
At Family Financial Partners, organizing your financial life is what we do. Once you've taken stock, call us to set up your next planning meeting so we can make sure everything is still on track and where it needs to be for your and your loved ones. Do you know anyone who could use some help getting organized? Friends? Family? Neighbors? Introduce us, or just send us their name. We'd love to help them too. 

Family Financial Partners | Growing Wealth, For Generations ™