It’s Fall – Time To Get Your Financial House In Order

November 20, 2017

Good ‘ole Fall – why not use some of your vacation time to get your financial house in order?

Get energy by finishing things!

When it’s hot outside, we tend to relax and spend time outdoors and near the beach or pool.  But one of the things that wears us down is incomplete projects and activities.  The opposite is true when we are continually completing things and starting new and better projects which give us energy.

Use this quick exercise to increase your confidence and sense of completion.  Below I have listed five things that you could compete in the next seven days.   After you review the list, prioritize them to which can be completed the fastest.  This will give you a boost of energy

There are a few things you should do to get started.

  1. Create a “When” File – Organize your important documents in one easy to find location.
  • Estate Planning Documents including your Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney, Trust, etc.
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Current Investment Statements
  • Passwords
  • Official documents such as marriage certificate, birth and death certificates, social security card
  • Titles for your personal property
  • Tax Returns
  1. Create an online Social Security account – Go to SSA.gov to get started. https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/  Once you have established your online account, review your earnings record for accuracy.  To verify your earnings records, match the social security wages on your Forms W-2 for each year (or the ones you still have in your records).  Also, if you haven’t started receiving your Social Security benefits yet, review your projected benefits at Full Retirement Age (FRA) and reduced benefits for age 62.

Social Security Benefits are intended to supplement your retirement income.  Before you begin collecting your benefits, it is important that you make an informed decision.  An analysis of optimum social security benefits during your and your spouse’s lifetime and your retirement plan will help guide you.

  1. Create or update your household budget –
    1. The budget should be based on your income not your expenses to be successful.
    2. Sources of income
    3. Essential living expenses
    4. Nonessential living expenses
    5. Calculate the net surplus of income over expenses
  1. List all of your assets by category, their value, how they are titled/owned
  1. List of all of your liabilities
    1. Mortgages, terms including balance due, minimum payment amount and interest rate,
    2. Credit card debt, terms including balance due, minimum payment amount and interest rate,
    3. Auto loans, terms including balance due minimum payment and interest rate,
  1. Review your midyear income and taxes withheld to make sure you are on track for your 2017 tax projection. Your CPA or tax preparer can also assist you with these calculations.   This will avoid a major surprise at tax time.  I recommend mid-year planning and a tax planning consultation when there are any life changes such as:
    1. New job,
    2. disability,
    3. retirement,
    4. collecting Social Security benefits,
    5. sale of property,
    6. distribution from a retirement account,
    7. change in dependents,
    8. starting or graduating college,
    9. death or divorce.
  1. Schedule an appointment to complete a review your information above and craft an individualized Campbell & Company Retirement Masterplan.  Contact us at 352-683-7365 to coordinate the appointment.

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