Article by: Patricia Grenier, RR, CFP®, MBA… Contributing Writer
Grenier Financial Advisors
The New Year is here, and I am sure we are all looking forward to a year where covid will be a thing of the past.
A new year, a fresh start with ambitious resolutions, and a time to take inventory of our finances. How did we do in 2021, and how do we make plans that help make our goals in 2021 a reality?
As a financial planner, the first and most important question to ask is: “What did your spending plan look like for 2021? Did you stay within your spending budget and meet your goals, and how can you improve on your spending plan?” Staying within your means is the foundation on which wealth is built, and a solid spending plan is essential to keeping you honest and hitting your milestones.
Next, we look to the future. What are your priorities for 2022? Your financial priorities will help you structure a plan for the next 12 months and the following list is a great place to start.
• Have you maximized your retirement savings? Are you participating in your employer’s retirement plan, or do you need to set up your own plan?
• Which is more appropriate, a ROTH or traditional IRA?
• Do you need to review your strategies to minimize your tax liability?
• Do you need to meet with your financial planner to update changes in your life that require altering your plan?
• Have you updated and reviewed your protection plan, i.e., life, disability, homeowner’s, auto and long-term care (LTC) for your security?
• When was the last time your will, trust, power of attorney (POA), and health care proxy (HCP) were thoroughly reviewed?
• Have you reviewed and updated your beneficiary choices?
• Are you saving enough to maintain your lifestyle in the event of a prolonged illness or disability?
• Is saving for a loved one’s education appropriate? Where, how, and how much?
• Are you taking care of aging parents and need to discuss how to care for them financially and physically?
• Is this the year that you downsize your living space, and/or take inventory of your belongings to organize and clean out?
• Does your family know what your wishes are, and who will step in for you if necessary?
• Is this finally the year to execute that new workout plan?
• Have you set a goal to learn a new skill, take a course, or start a new hobby?
The number of things to consider can be daunting and setting up a plan and tackling them one at a time will make a difference. As a financial planner, I can help you answer these questions and structure your finances, so you are secure enough to focus on what’s important in life.
Remember, life is not a race, it’s a journey so don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
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