It’s likely that you and your family are spending more time at home these days. Due to the COVID-19 situation many are passing the time by learning new skills or taking on home projects. If you’ve organized all of the closets in your home and have baked enough banana bread for the neighborhood, it might be time to move on to another task.
We’ve put together a few ideas for organizing your financial house during your free time.
If you have multiple checking or savings accounts that you use for similar purposes, now would be a great time to consolidate those accounts. We sometimes see clients with accounts spread across multiple banks. To simplify the number of statements you receive, and accounts you need to manage, it would commonly make sense to consolidate these accounts into one.
This can also be done for retirement plans from a previous employer. If you have an old 401(k) from a previous employer, you can roll that account into an established IRA to simplify your accounts for Required Minimum Distributions later in life.
Review your Insurance Coverage or Have Your Policies Reviewed by a Professional
If you renew your coverage annually without making any changes, it’s likely your policies could use a few updates. Whether it’s increasing coverage to account for a higher home value or bundling your policies with one provider, there are many potential improvements a professional can spot when reviewing your current policies.
SFMG works with independent brokers in the insurance marketplace that shop numerous insurers to provide clients with the best coverage at the best price.
Review your Estate Plan
If you have an estate plan with a will and ancillary documents in place, that’s great! When is the last time you reviewed those documents? We recommend clients review and update their estate documents every 3-5 years to ensure the data remains accurate and all beneficiaries are up to date with your current wishes.
A few questions to ask yourself when reviewing your plan:
- Have there been any changes with my immediate family members since my documents were executed? (i.e., new spouse, child, grandchild, divorce, death)
- Am I still in touch with the individuals I have listed as beneficiaries, trustees and guardians?
- If I don’t plan to update this information now, when will I review and update it next?
If you find that there are changes you would like to make to your estate plan, and you do not have an estate attorney, SFMG is happy to connect you with an attorney that would fit your needs.
Review Your Expenses & Update Your Spending Plan
Without a spending plan (or with an outdated spending plan) it’s easy to end up with no idea where your money is going each month. Regardless of where you stand financially, we recommend reviewing your monthly and annual expenses to gain perspective on your financial priorities. Perhaps you have an old subscription you’ve been paying for that you haven’t used in a year, or have excess funds that you could contribute to your brokerage account each month.
It can seem intimidating, but reviewing your monthly credit card and bank statements can be extremely eye-opening. Categorizing your expenses can help you gain a sense of understanding about your wants, needs and habits.
This is not an exhaustive list of financial items to review during your Stay-At-Home time, but it is a good start. If you have any questions about these suggestions, feel free to reach out to your Wealth Management Team at SFMG.