With winter finally in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at all things spring — including the current state of your finances. Maybe it’s time dust off some of your typical financial planning practices and habits, and assess what’s working and what’s not. With warmer temps on the horizon, this could be the right time to turn the heat up on your financial landscape.
1. Evaluate Your Career Status And Goals
Take a good, long look at where you are at work — especially your salary. Conduct some research on the salary range for your position, then create a negotiation plan. If you’re planning to take a career break for childrearing or caregiving, develop a plan for maintaining skills through continuing education or volunteering while you’re taking time off from earning a paycheck.
2. Beef Up Your Retirement Plan Contributions
Maybe you recently received a bonus at work. Or a salary increase. Or a tax return you weren’t banking on. Instead of planning your next vacation or zipping over to the local car dealership to make a purchase, consider putting those new-found funds into an IRA or a workplace account.
3. Look Over Your Estate Plans
What’s the current state of your estate plans? Check your list of beneficiaries to see if anything has changed: marriages, births, deaths, etc. In addition, look at whether any major life changes could impact elements of your estate plan, such as power of attorney.
4. Review Insurance Needs And Options
Think of spring as a great time for making sure you’re fully prepared when emergencies spring up. Review any major life changes, such as getting married or welcoming a newborn into your life, to determine if you need additional financial protection. Assess what protections are offered through your life insurance, homeowners policy, or rental insurance.
5. Enlist A Financial Adviser
A financial professional can help you review everything from tax planning to investment choices to insurance options. For example, when volatile markets are the order of the day, a financial adviser can help you assess how your portfolio has been affected and suggest ways in which you can use investment losses to reduce capital gains taxes.