Have You Set Your Financial Resolutions Yet?
The new year is upon us and New Year’s resolutions are abundant. Exercise more, eat better, get organized, read more, but what about our financial resolutions? The first of the year is as good a time as any to review a financial checklist.
- Consider refinancing your mortgage. With rates dropping during 2019, it may make sense to refinance your outstanding mortgage.
- Check your credit score/annual credit report. As the bad guys get smarter, it’s always good to proactively check your credit report each year to make sure no negative information has made it onto your credit report and no accounts have been opened under your Social Security number. If you have minor children, consider checking their credit reports as well.
- Pay down high-interest debt. Did all of that holiday shopping rack up some large balances on your credit cards? Review your outstanding debt with your advisor to establish a plan for paying off high-interest debt.
- Tighten up your passwords. Take this time to make your passwords more secure and random to prevent potential hacking of your email and financial accounts. Make each password long and use a mix of characters, including uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. When available, setting up two-factor authentication will make your information even more secure.
- Automate your savings and check your checking/savings balance and yield. You may have a large amount of cash accumulating in your checking/savings accounts earning very little interest. The beginning of the year is as good a time as any to set up automated monthly savings to your investment accounts or cash accounts earning a higher yield. Check with your advisor and discuss the best option for earning more on the excess cash in your checking/savings account.
- Make a Roth IRA contribution/backdoor Roth IRA contribution. Complete your contributions for the prior tax year before the April filing deadline or for the current year. If you have a child who has earned income, making a Roth IRA contribution is a great option to help your child save for the future.
- Get a property and casualty insurance checkup. Have you made improvements to your home or bought new toys that need to be added to a policy? The new year is an excellent time to make sure your policy will fully cover any changes that have taken place over the last year. Do you have sufficient umbrella coverage? Has your net worth increased and is additional coverage necessary to make sure you are covered? Talk to you advisor about utilizing the JMG Financial Group Personal Group Umbrella Liability Program.
- Review estate documents. Do any revisions need to be made to your estate documents? Do you need to make changes to specific bequests or have your intentions changed? If so, discuss the next steps with your advisor.
Get the new year off to a positive start by making sure your financial house is in order and talk to your JMG advisor about these items.