In Review: 4 Financial Questions to Ask at Year End

What will the next year mean for you? Perhaps you’re planning a dream vacation, or sending a child off to college. Maybe this is the year you will retire, or start your own business. Big plans can mean big changes for your overall financial strategy. Now is a perfect time to review your finances in preparation for the year ahead. Even if you don’t have big plans, an annual financial check up may allow you to adjust your goals for when you do.

Ask yourself the following:

Is your income protected?
Who relies on your income? For many of us, the answer is not only ourselves, but our loved ones as well. Insurance products can help ensure your family is financially protected long-term.

Each year, you should review all policies, from health to life, to make sure they still fit your family’s needs. For example, the birth of a child may mean switching to a more robust health insurance policy. In addition, a growing family may need a larger life insurance policy to help replace lost income and address other financial needs should the unthinkable occur.

On the other hand, a family with older children and a higher net worth may be ready to adjust their life insurance coverage and put funds towards education, health care, or long term care for the years ahead.

Are your assets secure?
During your annual review, don’t forget to look over your estate plan to ensure it still reflects your family’s needs and financial status. The big four-marriage, divorce, birth, and death-are most likely to affect your current plan. In addition, review the latest estate and tax laws and adjust to accommodate for them. Also make sure key individuals know where the latest copy of important documents, such as your will and your life insurance policy, are located.

Is your retirement strategy up to date?
Each year, it’s important to revisit your priorities as well as your strategy for reaching your retirement goals. Things change, and your financial strategy may change with them. For example, the financial vehicles used for retirement savings should match your retirement time frame.

If retirement is still years away, you may want to grow your assets by taking on more risk. Closer to retirement, you will want to protect your assets with a more conservative approach. A fixed index annuity can provide protection of principal, interest earning potential, and a lifetime income stream. Regardless of your age, your strategy should be reviewed and adjusted annually to help you meet your retirement goals.

Is your family provided for?
Outside of your own needs, consider family members who may require your financial assistance. This could be dependent children, grandchildren, or aging parents who can’t afford the rising cost of health care. Caring for others can affect your own financial goals. An annual check up can allow you to plan for expenses such as education, healthcare, and the tax implications of an inheritance.

Make time today for a financial review and keep your retirement goals in place – no matter what a new year may bring.