1. Review your Account Titling
Ensure your designations are up to date. Life events such as marriage or the passing of a loved one may affect the way your beneficiaries are listed. Life Insurance policies and retirement accounts have beneficiary designations that bypass your will to go to your intended recipients. Also, remember to review your non-retirement investment accounts, which can have transfer-on-death designations, and your bank accounts, which can have payable-on-death designations. None of this changes ownership or the ability to act on the accounts, but it does simplify your planning.
2. Update Your Estate
Beneficiary designations are just one piece of an effective estate plan. According to a recent study conducted by Caring.com and CNBC, 67% of Americans have no estate plan. Estate planning minimizes confusion in the future and allows you the ability to choose who will inherit possessions and valuables, as well as reduce taxes on what you leave behind. Having an up-to-date will, will ensure the appointment of a personal representative to administer your estate. A power of attorney allows someone to act if you cannot, and a health care directive informs others about your wishes for your health care. All three documents are critical to keeping up to date, and it is much easier to get them up to date now rather than get them in place when they may be needed.
3. Reassess Your Budget
Take time to review your spending, income, and savings. As spring blooms, you may be tempted to change how you spend money. According to a recent survey taken by RetailMeNot, 1 in 3 American consumers say they are more inclined to shop with longer days and more sunlight. Be mindful of your financial life over the next few months and make changes in your budget to reflect that. Take the time, update your numbers, and create a securely stored budget.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
Increased accountability to yourself or your family can go a long way to accomplish your goals, financial or otherwise. Check in with yourself periodically to ensure you are meeting the goals and deadlines you set for yourself and include us to ensure we can help you get to where you want to be.
Investing involves risk. No investment strategy can guarantee positive results. Loss, including loss of principal, may occur. Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax or legal advice. Keep in mind that current and historical facts may not be indicative of future results. Diversification is an investment strategy that can help manage risk within a portfolio, but it does not guarantee profits or protect against loss in declining markets.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. (C) Twenty Over Ten