Is your financial home in order? From time to time, it’s good to spruce things up a bit. Use some of the following helpful hints to make the task a little more orderly and worthwhile:
1. Clean the “attic.” That’s the spot where you have stored items such as old, unused credit cards; nearly empty bank accounts; or savings certificates you forgot to cash in. Close them out or cash them in.
2. Refurnish your credit “room.” This can include refinancing your loans with low interest rates, transferring credit card balances to lower-rate alternatives, or utilizing a home that offers a low rate and tax-deductible interest. You will appreciate the new “look” you create. It can be especially pleasing to empty the “room” of some credit commitments by paying them off completely, thus giving your overall budget more breathing space.
3. Consider a complete renovation. Is your savings & investment plan sufficient to meet your short- and long-term goals? You may be at a stage of life that requires different strategy. Review financial blueprint with your Financial architect to know the current strength of your financial home and take corrective action if required.
4. Look at future “housing” needs. What accommodations have you made for your retirement? If you expect to be relying on government or company benefits alone, you may want to consider start an additional investment to supplement your income in golden years.
5. Solidify your “foundation.” Now may be a good time to review your life insurance, Health Insurance, Critical Illness, Accidental policies. The policies you started years ago may need updating to meet inflated costs and your current needs. Setting up an annual review with your financial planner or insurance advisor can be instrumental in ensuring the adequacy of your coverage.
6. Protect your home. Update your householder policy and make sure that items are adequately covered against earthquake; flood, burglary, fire etc. also make a videotape of your home—both inside and out—as well as your valuables. Store the tape in your safe deposit box, and add to it as the need arises.
7. Dust off your tax records & Will. The time when you will need them will be here before you know it. You may also want to speak with your tax professional regarding any changes you need to make to brighten your tax picture before filing your return as we are near end of financial year. This is also a time to incorporate changes in your will for smooth transfer of Estate as per your wish.
8. Establish a regular “maintenance” program. If you haven’t done so previously, set up a budget. Make “paying yourself first” — putting a set amount into your savings and investments every month — a priority. Analyze your current spending habits, and plan ahead for large bills and expenses.
It is always more relaxing to live in a clean and orderly home. By taking these eight steps, your financial “home” will become an inviting, enjoyable corner of your life!