July 18, 2024
44 S Broadway, White Plains, New York, 10601
RETIREMENT

The Awesome Annual Financial Checklist

The Awesome Annual Financial Checklist

Don’t Be Like The Celebrities Who Never Used Their Annual Financial Checklist!

We published The Awesome Year-End Financial Checklist in prior years, and by popular demand, we are now republishing the Checklist as The Awesome Annual Financial Checklist, because why wait?! We strive to keep this list up to date and we hope you find it useful for you and your family.

Any Time of Year Can Be a Good Time to Talk to Family About Financial and Medical Plans.

Don’t wait for a special family event before you review your financial and medical health, using a checklist. None of us know what tomorrow will bring, so don’t hold off on completing your review and holding the related critical conversations.

While it may feel uncomfortable talking about financial and medical plans, it can help spare unnecessary pain, chaos and costly mistakes in the emotional event of death or disability.

We have all seen the unfortunate headlines of famous people:

Who passed away without a will,

  • Who accidentally left their inheritance to an ex-spouse, or
  • Who did not provide any direction for the loved ones they left behind.

These all-too-common mistakes are not limited to celebrities, and all this turmoil can be avoided with some simple steps.

Use this checklist to organize your thoughts and discussions with key participants in
your financial and medical plans.

The Awesome Annual Financial Checklist Contents:

  • Financial Inventory
  • Financial Contacts
  • Cash Flow Checklist
  • Investments Checklist
  • Taxes Checklist
  • Insurance Checklist
  • Estate Planning Checklist

1. Financial Inventory

What Do I Have and How to Get to It

Financial Planning Organization

Who to Call if Something Goes Wrong

Financial ContactsFinancial Contacts

3. Cash Flow Checklist

Review Your Cash Flow: How Much Is Coming In and Going Out

  • Identify all sources of current income
  • Track & organize all expenses, monthly and annually
  • Boost your savings and make it automatic:
    • Increase your 401(k) contributions by at least 1%
    • Boost your monthly auto draft to savings or investments by an extra $100/month
    • Increase your 529 contributions by an extra $25/month
  • Check your Flexible Spending Account and/or Health Savings Account balances and use them or top them off if needed
  • Identify any large expenses planned for next year
  • Establish or tune-up an emergency fund (recommend 3-6 months of expenses)
  • Look for refinancing opportunities that could lower your mortgage payments
  • Check your credit report for any credit fraud

4. Investments Checklist

Review Your Investments: Create and Preserve Long-Term Wealth

  • Meet with your Financial Advisor to evaluate your financial plan:
    • Prepare a list of topics to focus your discussion
  • Evaluate your current investments compared to your written investment objectives
  • Rebalance your portfolio
  • Review target date for retirement & amount of income needed
  • If you are at Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) age, take your RMD:
    • Take your Beneficiary IRA RMD from an inherited IRA if needed
  • Evaluate and maximize 401(k), IRA, or other retirement plan contributions:
    • If you are over 50 years of age, take advantage of increased catch-up contribution limits
  • Roll-over your old 401(k) accounts from previous employers
  • Evaluate Roth conversions
  • Review all beneficiaries on IRAs, Roths, and any Transfer On Death (TOD) accounts

5. Taxes Checklist

Review Your Taxes: Don’t Leave the IRS a Tip

  • Meet with your Financial Advisor and CPA to identify tax benefits
  • Make sure you get your 1099 tax forms for all distributions from your investment accounts
  • Monitor tax loss carry-forwards and consider harvesting losses to offset gains
  • Plan charitable contributions—direct gifts, indirect gifts, split-interest gifts
  • Consider a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA—check on limits with our Financial Planner
  • Plan tax-free gifting—limits change every year, so check limits with your Financial Planner on individual or married couples, whichever applies to you
  • Consider using tax-free gifts to fund/contribute to a 529 plan

6. Insurance Checklist

Review Your Insurance: Protection Against Unforeseen Events

  • Review your long-term care and disability income insurance to determine if they continue to efficiently meet your coverage needs
  • Take a look at your life insurance policies and estimate future health care costs of elders
  • Review your homeowner’s and auto insurance
    • If you rent, strongly consider adding renter’s insurance
  • Evaluate the need for an umbrella policy
  • Review your deductibles and look out for more efficient options with the same coverage
  • Select next year’s employer benefits
  • Review the timing to apply for Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Policies
  • Make a plan for any health insurance gap policies (before you are eligible for Medicare)
  • Review any annuities
    • Pay special attention to when the surrender periods expire

7. Estate Planning Checklist

Review Your Estate Plan: How You Want Your Things to Pass to Your Loved Ones

  • Review estate planning documents to make sure they are accurate and current
    • Will Executor
    • Trust Trustee
    • Power of Attorney
    • Healthcare Power of Attorney
    • Living Will
    • Birth Certificate
    • Marriage License
    • Property Titles / Deeds
  • Determine ownership of assets (including real estate) and beneficiary designation
  • Take note of where your estate planning documents (wills, trusts, durable power of attorney, etc.) are located

To learn more about Runey & Associates Wealth Management and to schedule a consultation, please click here.

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