Why it’s important
When the economy becomes a concern for people, it’s not uncommon to start thinking in terms of weeks or months, focusing on the short-term turbulence and how it will impact you. However, as you become more consumed with the here and now, it can cause you to take your eye off the prize — your long-term financial security. Spending a little bit of time around midyear to review and recalibrate your long-term financial plan can reduce the stress brought on by current economic realities.
Here are three simple steps to ensure you are on track financially for the year.
Review Your Financial Goals
During the course of a year, life happens, which can sometimes get in the way of achieving your financial goals. Midyear is your best opportunity to see if you are still on track to achieving them. Here are some key questions to ask as you review your goals.
- Have my financial goals changed?
- Have goal timelines changed?
- Do I know where I am financially with respect to my goals? Are you still on track?
- Has the cost of achieving my goals increased or decreased?
Any changes to your goals, timelines and costs to achieve them may require adjusting your savings or investment objectives.
Review Your Financials
The best measure of your financial progress is your financial statements, including your balance sheet (assets and liabilities) and cash flow statement (spending plan or budget).
Critical questions to ask about your balance sheet include:
- Has there been an improvement in my net worth (assets minus liabilities)?
- What is the cause of increases or decreases in my assets and liabilities?
- If my investment portfolio value has increased or decreased significantly, should I consider talking with my financial advisor regarding rebalancing or tax loss harvesting?
- Has my risk profile changed? If so, why and what adjustments should I make to my portfolio?
This would be an excellent conversation to have with your financial advisor.
Questions to ask when reviewing your spending plan or budget:
- Has my spending plan changed? If so, why?
- Am I spending or saving more than planned? If so, why?
- How will any changes in my spending plan affect my cash flow this year?
- What adjustments can I make to get on track to my savings goal?
Check on Your Taxes
Having recently filed your taxes, you are in a great position to look ahead to ensure you are on track to optimizing your tax situation.
- I received a refund. Should I consider decreasing my withholdings? Or increasing them if I owed taxes?
- Have I projected my yearend earnings to determine if my tax liability will increase or decrease?
- Will there be any changes to my deductions or exemptions that may impact my tax liability?
It would be important to meet with your tax professional to address these and other issues and identify opportunities to minimize your taxes this year.
By conducting a midyear financial checkup, you can keep any required adjustments to a minimum. More importantly, it can ease any stress you may be experiencing from short-term economic concerns.
Did you know Alpine Bank has a wealth management division? Learn more about our team here.
*Products of our Wealth Management service are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not bank guaranteed.
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