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Month: May 2023

It’s time for a spring cleaning — of your finances

The weather is warming, flowers are blooming, horses are racing, people are socializing — spring is in the air! The arrival of spring also means that it’s time to tidy up our homes, declutter, and spring clean. This season of rejuvenation presents an opportunity to extend our cleaning efforts beyond our home and into a different space: our finances. Just as we spring clean our homes, undergoing a spring financial checkup can bring a renewed sense of financial well-being.


Let’s explore some ways we can do some spring cleaning on our financial health:

Clean Up Your Accounts

Having accounts spread across multiple institutions might make your financial house feel disorganized and cluttered. Consider consolidating your accounts for easier access, better transparency, and a clearer understanding of your financial goals.

Example: What about that old 401(k) you had from the job you left five years ago? Is it still sitting there idle? It might be time to consider your options.

Organize Your Financial Records

Organizing financial records is similar to tidying up your home. Take this time to gather and sort your banking statements, investment account statements, bills, tax documents, etc. Develop a system that allows for easy access and ensures you have all the necessary documentation in one place. You’ll thank yourself once tax season rolls around next year.

Example: Do you have several business-related expenses that you write off each year? Create a filing system where you keep all your receipts, mileage logs, etc., so that they’re all in one place when it comes time to file your taxes.

Refresh Your Financial Goals

Remember those New Year’s goals that you made? Yeah…. about those. Reflect on your objectives from the beginning of the year and evaluate your progress. Are you on track to achieve them? Do your goals still align with your current circumstances, or has life thrown you a curve ball? Whether it’s saving for retirement, paying off debt, or investing, make the necessary adjustments and develop a plan to stay on course.

Example: Have you gotten a raise in the last year? Take a look at how much you’re putting away each month for a down payment on a house and see if you can save even more to reach that goal sooner.

Optimize Your Investments

If you are a DIY investor, this may be a good time to review your holdings. Consider consulting with a financial advisor like one of us at Family Financial Partners to ensure that your investments align with your risk tolerance and long-term goals. Remember, periodic and consistent reviews and adjustments are essential for staying on track for financial success.

Example: Is the current market volatility making it stressful to look at your portfolio’s swings? Let us take some of that management off your hands. We can use our decades of experience to make incremental adjustments to your holdings to the best of our ability.

Just like spring cleaning, a financial check-up can be a bit overwhelming at first, but the end result will be a cleaner, more organized financial life. By incorporating these habits into your yearly routine, you will develop a healthier financial mindset and make better-informed decisions that can help lead to long-term financial well-being. So, grab a cup of coffee, put on some music, and start your spring financial check-up — your financial future will thank you later.

Feel free to contact me or anyone else on our team for a free consultation; we’d love to help walk you through this year’s spring cleaning.

Article by Jacob Buckley, MBA, Wealth Advisor at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

Download our financial planning checklist here.

With the debt ceiling looming, are your assets diversified?

I’m hearing from a lot of you who are concerned about the debt ceiling battle in Washington and what it might mean for you if the two sides can’t come together on a deal before the U.S. defaults on its bills. 

In my view, the whole rodeo is being blown out of proportion by the media as it floods us with what-if scenarios. There is a history of presidents having to work with a hostile opposition party in Congress when up against the debt ceiling. The only solution is for both parties to agree to raise the debt ceiling and then focus on a truly balanced budget.

Unfortunately, they’re playing a game of chicken with millions of jobs and the global financial market. They’re trying to tout their willingness to battle “the other side,” but the whole thing reeks of posturing rather than patriotism. 

There likely won’t be a permanent solution to the debt ceiling. I anticipate that they’ll just raise it and kick the can down the road to the next group of politicians. I don’t see this being the end of American capitalism. 

That said, what if we do default temporarily? The markets will likely gyrate. But the last time we were this close was in 2011 when markets reacted badly but then rebounded after a few months

The threat of a swoon is still great enough that many of the questions I’m getting are about diversification. What is it, and do I have it?

Let me start by dispelling a common myth: Diversification is not about having assets spread out among several different financial institutions. I’ve had folks show me their 401(k) at one company, their Roth IRA at another, their emergency savings at a third, and their kid’s college fund at a fourth. Sometimes they even have investments managed by two or three financial advisory firms.

To be clear, I don’t call this diversification. I call this a headache. For you and for your loved ones should something happen to you.

Diversification is not the number of accounts open; diversification is what’s happening within each of those accounts with assets being allocated in a variety of ways. 

If you’re reading this, take a look at where your various financial accounts are held. It’s normal for someone to have a bank they bank with, a retirement account through their job, and a financial planning team managing their portfolio. But if you get to the point where your list of usernames and passwords starts to look like the roster of a basketball team, it might be a good time to think about what true diversification should be for you. 

If you’re concerned about the debt ceiling fight and want somebody to give you a second opinion on whether you’re actually diversified, give us a call. A lot of that conversation boils down to where you are in life and the level of risk you’re comfortable enduring. It can be a tricky line to walk, but it’s what we do at Family Financial Partners. 

Article by David Smyth, CLTC, Senior Partner at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

Download our financial planning checklist.

Tending your financial garden: How hard work today will let you flourish when it counts

So much of gardening is the hard work and growth that takes place underneath the soil — feeding and nurturing our plants so they can build strong roots that will sustain them long after our work is done, allowing us to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Nobody ever comments on the roots, on the quality of the soil, or on the weeding we did that gave them room to grow. All they see is the beauty that lives above the dirt — the finished product.

Are you nearing retirement with a pension?

We’ve been talking a lot around here about the rise of interest rates and its effect on everything from markets to loans, but an under-discussed aspect of rate hikes is the effect on your retirement. 

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