As the fourth quarter kicks off and the year begins to wind down, it might be the ideal time to assess where you’ve been and where you’re headed in regards to your financial plan.
The good news: Unlike last year when we patiently — or impatiently — waited for Congress to take action on expiring tax laws, the waters seem calmer this year. “That makes it a great time to take stock and make sure all of your affairs are in order — that you’ve done all the things you planned to do as far as your finances are concerned — and to determine if there’s anything else you might want to do before the end of the year, particularly to take advantage of possible tax benefits,” says Patricia Peacock, Financial Planner for The Private Client Reserve.
Your year-end checkup should include touching base with your financial planner, tax professional, trust officer and legal counsel. Peacock offers suggestions on what to discuss with these advisors and how to help ensure your plan is still working to help you achieve your goals.
While U.S. Bank cannot provide tax or legal advice, or draft legal documents, Peacock shares considerations for you to discuss with your advisors during an annual wealth management checkup.
What might a client’s year-end discussion with his or her financial planner include?
The end of the year is a good time to look at whether your current financial plan still is in line with your long-term goals and needs. As part of that, identify any life events that might have occurred in the past year that could require your plan to be updated — for example, the birth of a child or grandchild, a marriage, a divorce, a death in the family, a change in fortune or retirement.
Additionally, determine whether you’ve properly implemented the plan itself:
- Have you taken the steps needed to keep your plan in line?
- Are your assets properly allocated?
- Are you comfortable with the spending plan that you and your planner set up?
- Are all of your risks covered properly?