Give Yourself a Financial Checkup

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					       Give Yourself a
      Financial Checkup
Give Yourself a Financial Checkup

Just like you go to the doctor and the dentist regularly for a checkup,it’s also a good
idea to giveyourself a regular financial checkup.While you still might have 15+ years
until retirement, you're not a kid anymore either. It's probably time to take a hard
look at your financial situation and make some adjustments for the future.

In analyzing your finances, consider your answers to these key questions:

   1. Will your retirement savings be adequate?Are you likely to have enough
      money to live comfortably when the time comes?Are you saving enough each
      month? There are many online financial calculators that willenable you
      todetermine if you're on track.

           A good rule to followis toplan for 80% of the income you had before
           retirement. Most people are satisfied and comfortablewith this income
           level during retirement.

   2. How diversifiedareyour investments?Diversification is important, primarily
      because it limits the amount of money you can lose.It also maximizes your
      earnings. For example, when your stocks are doing poorly, bond-related
      investments tend to do well and vice versa. Precious metals tend to do well in
      periods of high inflation.

   3. Are youmaximizing your profits with tax deferred accounts?Certain types of
      investments create a larger tax burden than others. It makes sense to be sure
      that the investments that will be taxed at higher rates are in tax-deferred
      accounts like your 401(k) and IRA.

           As a general rule, stocks held for over a year are taxed at the capital gains
           rate. Short-term stock trades and bond interest are taxed as income.

                                              Studies have shown the allocating your assets into the proper
                                              accountscanaffect the value of your holdings by 10%over a period of 10
                                              years, creating a significant difference in the value of your retirement

                                      4. Can you reduce your debt level?Debtcan eat away at your ability to retire as
                                         well as your sense of well-being.It’s important to know how much you
                                         owe andthe interest rates you're paying so you can make a plan for paying off
                                         your debt in the shortest amount of time that’s feasible for you.

                                              Debt effectively reduces your income; it's like a long-term pay cut.

                                      5. Is your estate planning up to date?Do you have a will that takes into account
                                         your current situation? Do you have a durable power of attorney or a health
                                         proxy set up? Are the beneficiaries for your retirement accounts named

                                              These are just a few things you should consider. No one likes to think
                                              about this stuff, butthese details arecritical for you and your loved ones.
                                              Speak to your attorney as needed.

                                      6. Is your insurance sufficient for your current needs?Do you haveenough
                                         insurance?Are your policies up to date? At a minimum, take a look at your
                                         life,health,homeowners, disability, and liability policiesto be certain they’re

                                              Contact an insurance professional if you’re uncertain aboutyour coverage.

                                   Give yourself a financial checkup so you can be sure you're on the right track. It's the
                                   smart and responsible thing to do. Once a year, sit down and look over everything.
                                   Simply make the necessary adjustments and create a plan to improveyour current
                                   financialsituation.You’ll be glad you did!


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Curtis Rose is an experienced professional with extensive experience in all
aspects of personal finance. Curtis writes and publishes articles, courses,
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