5 Tips to Refresh and Review Your Finances This Spring
Spring is a season of renewal and many use this time to send out the old and welcome the new. Though “spring cleaning” usually involves cleaning the house, other areas of your life may need some tidying too. Your personal finances could also use some attention and spring is a great time to review them. In the same way clutter can build up, finances can become overwhelming without a little upkeep.
It’s important to plan for an annual financial review, and springtime is the perfect occasion to make sure everything is up to date. To make the task less daunting, here’s a 5-step checklist that will help you get your personal finances taken care of each year:
Get motivated and organized
During your personal finance review, you’ll want to gather all your important financial documents. Organizing everything in an easily accessible folder, spreadsheet or file allows you and others to refer to your finances when needed. A few examples of important financial items include wills, digital assets, mortgages, tax statements, and insurance policies.
WoodmenLife’s Planning for Change booklet provides a clear list of everything you’ll want to have handy. By filling it out, you and your loved ones will have a clear understanding of your various obligations, ranging from financial accounts to personal information and records. In the case of your death, family members will be able to refer to your document and easily find the items they need.
Talk to your life insurance representative and review your coverage
Income and life circumstances often change from year to year, which is why it’s important to review your life insurance coverage on an annual basis. Many factors can influence what’s needed in an insurance policy. When you review yours, you may find that it no longer covers your essentials. Your beneficiary information may be outdated, which can change who receives your death benefits in case of your death. A WoodmenLife Representative will be able to help review your current coverage, and when necessary, find a suitable product that can help cover any unmet needs.”
Take a look at your retirement accounts
Life changes can also affect your retirement. Even if nothing has changed in your life, you may have different retirement goals than you did in the past. Reviewing your retirement accounts helps you to decide whether you want to begin contributing more or continue with your current plan.
There are many different types of retirement plans, and some may work better for your situation than others. For example, are you wanting to withdraw your funds in a lump sum at retirement, or do you want a steady stream of income when you retire? How soon are you looking to retire, and how much would you have to contribute to make that happen? Contact a WoodmenLife Representative about retirement plan options.
Review online safety and privacy for online banking
It’s important to be vigilant about Internet safety and privacy, especially when it comes to online banking. Staying up-to-date on cybersecurity is critical. Scammers, hackers and other criminals are always looking for new ways to steal financial information online.
There are a few simple ways to protect your information:
- Never share your password with someone you do not trust
- Only use your password on secure websites — look for the padlock icon next to the address bar
- If you cannot remember your passwords, try using a password manager tool
- Beware of strange-looking or typo-ridden emails that ask for your password or log-in information, as these are often scams
- Make sure your home WiFi network is secure
- Avoid using online banking when connected to unsecured WiFi hotspots, such as at coffee shops, restaurants and other public spaces
Reset your financial goals
Reviewing your finances annually can help you set yearly or longer-term goals. For example, you may want to increase the amount you want to contribute toward your retirement. Look at your overall spending for the year. You may see areas where you can spend less in order to put more into retirement. Simply put, it’s easier to see the true impact of a Starbucks-a-day habit when you add up its annual cost.
Regardless of what it may be, setting a financial goal can help keep you on track for the rest of the year. Your goal doesn’t even have to be to put more into retirement. You could save for the holidays, a vacation or a rainy-day fund. Your annual financial review is the perfect time to reflect on your goals and set future ones
By completing a personal finance review each year, your important documents are better prepared in case the worst arises. You’re helping take care of your loved ones and gaining the peace of mind that you have a plan to reach your retirement goals. You also have a chance to renew goals, set new ones and reap the rewards each year. Contact a WoodmenLife Representative today to begin building productive financial habits that will benefit your life, as well as the lives of those you care about.