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12 simple steps to maintaining your financial l ife

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To reach any goal it’s important that it is achievable and has clear steps. Setting up a financial calendar will help you keep your financial life organized. Having one action step per month will make things simple while keeping you accountable year-round.

Published in: Economy & Finance
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12 simple steps to maintaining your financial l ife

  1. 1. 12 SIMPLE STEPSTO ORGANIZING YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE Set upYour Financial Calendar with these easy to follow steps from GET READY! By Tony Steuer
  2. 2. HOWTOTAKE AND KEEP CONTROL OFYOUR FINANCES Have a plan to deal with repeating occurrences in your financial life. Set achievable benchmarks. Following a financial calendar will help you meet important dates and stay organized.
  3. 3. Here are the MOST important action items each month to keep your finances in shape: “While your financial calendar can have more than one action item per month, I recommend sticking to just one, as outlined below.This will help you stay on track for an overall healthier financial life, keeping you accountable year-round without consuming your life with financial administration.”
  4. 4. JANUARY: Review your budget and cash flow as well as your net worth statement. This lets you see how you did last year and if you want to make any changes for the new year. Before you can make any financial decisions, you need to know where you are.
  5. 5. FEBRUARY: Organize your financial documents from the prior year to prepare for taxes. It’s like spring cleaning for your finances.
  6. 6. MARCH: Review your investments and allocations. Your investment allocations may change due to changes in goals, stage of life or uneven performance. You’ll want to make sure you are still on track for major goals such as retirement savings.You should also review your investments to check for options that may perform better or have lower fees and expenses.
  7. 7. APRIL: File Federal and State Income Tax Returns. Tax returns are due on April 15 (if April 15 is on a weekend, the IRS and individual states usually extend the due date to the following Monday, but check the IRS and your state’s tax websites to confirm). Request extension(s) if necessary. States have different rules, so check with your state tax authority. Fines and penalties can be assessed for missing deadlines.
  8. 8. MAY: Order credit reports and other consumer reports. This lets you see how you did last year and if you want to make any changes for the new year. Before you can make any financial decisions, you need to know where you are.
  9. 9. JUNE: Review retirement plan contributions and projections to see if you are on target. There are many free retirement calculators available online. If you have a retirement plan through a large employer or with an investment firm such as Schwab,Vanguard or Fidelity, they have free tools and will already have some or all of your information. This includes ordering your Social Security Benefit statements to ensure your earning are reported correctly so that your benefits are accurate.
  10. 10. JULY: Hold a Family Financial Meeting. Review old goals and set new ones. Be sure to invite all stakeholders, schedule it like you would a business meeting, designate roles, create systems and set clear goals.
  11. 11. AUGUST: Review your estate plan and estate planning documents. Make sure your estate plan is current. This includes wills, trusts, and advance directives.This is especially important if you have had a major life event such as a marriage, birth of a child or divorce. Consider if beneficiary updates are needed for retirement accounts and insurance policies.
  12. 12. SEPTEMBER: Review your insurance policies. Consider if your coverage still meets your needs and preparing to adjust accordingly. Consider whether you can make changes that will lower your premiums such as applying for a discount, replacing coverage or covering uninsured risks such as flood or earthquake insurance. This will help you prepare for open enrollment through your employer, if applicable.
  13. 13. OCTOBER: Review your financial first aid kit. Whether you are using an online service or the GET READY! Planner and binder system, make sure that everything is up to date and organized.
  14. 14. NOVEMBER: Open enrollment for group employee benefits, individual health insurance and Medicare begins. This is the one time of year where you can make changes to your group insurance benefits and flexible spending account contributions. Please note that some companies have different open enrollment periods and there are special enrollment periods for group employee benefits and individual health insurance including Medicare.
  15. 15. DECEMBER: Wrap up any loose ends from your financial year. If you missed a monthly action step, this is a great time to complete it. Keep an eye on your holiday budget so you don’t take on any debt.
  16. 16. •Once you’ve accomplished your main financial goal for the month, you can expand your financial calendar to remind you about other items that occur annually. •Add your own items where you feel they work best. •One-time events, such as a loan payoff date, should be entered in the financial calendar to stay on your radar. •You may also want to add these items to any to-do planners or calendars that you currently use.
  17. 17. –Tony Steuer, CLU, LA, CPFFE “Your key to a sound financial future is simply to monitor and maintain your financial life, one step per month.”
  18. 18. AREYOU FINANCIALLY PREPARED? Here are some steps for you to GET READY! & Be Financially Prepared: • Take the financial preparedness quiz and receive a free report with resources (here) • Sign up for the GET READY! Newsletter (click here) • Join the GET READY! Financial Preparedness Group on Facebook (here) • Pick up your copy of The GET READY! Planner (here) GET READY! @ Amazon

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