- Never assume the status quo is okay. Your life is changing faster than you realize.
- A good time to review plans is when your children approach adulthood. Once updated, ensure your offspring are up to speed on your intentions.
- Risk profiles and asset protection plans can slip through the cracks with the passing of time.
As much as I love summer, I always look forward to the seasons changing. The leaves start to fall, the weather gets cooler, football season begins, and the kids head off to school. After a hectic summer, you finally have time to slow down and focus on the big picture. Now is a great time of year to sit down and review your financial and life planning goals.
Estate Planning 101
Now that our children are young adults (19 and 22), my wife and I took the opportunity to make some small changes to our estate plan. We also updated our financial information and our list of important contacts including our insurance agent, CPA, estate attorney, and members of my firm whom my children should contact in an emergency. Finally, we reviewed the changes with our children and informed them of where we had securely stored the updated information. My wife and I felt an immediate sense of relief knowing we had carefully updated, documented, and structured our plans should something happen to either of us.
Six Autumn Planning Reminders
- Update your overall financial picture and goals. Identify any gaps in your plans and take steps to correct them before year-end.
- Update your retirement and tuition funding projections. Adjust spending and savings goals as needed.
- Evaluate risk in your financial profile and assets. Make sure your financial assets and loved ones are protected. This could include appropriate life and disability insurance, homeowners and umbrella insurance, LLCs and other entities for business and rental properties. Consider all suitable coverage opportunities to ensure that your assets and loved ones are protected from a death, disability or lawsuit.
- Evaluate your estate plan. Confirm that your overall plan and beneficiary designations are accurate and up to date.
- Evaluate your portfolio’s risk in relation to your overall goals. Rebalance your portfolio if it’s out of alignment with your current risk tolerance and long-term goals.
- Evaluate tax planning strategies based on changes in the tax laws. How is your tax planning affected by the reduction in itemized deductions and the increase in the standard deduction?
Life Is Always Changing
It’s easy to assume that your goals and plans are adequate if you haven’t been impacted by death, divorce, job loss, or serious illness. However, your life is changing more than you might think – your net worth increases, your kids grow older, and your retirement date approaches. It’s important to adjust your financial and estate plans as needed.
Soundmark Wealth knows your life is on the move, that’s why we focus on asking questions, listening, and updating financial plans accordingly. Through our well-thought-out processes, we understand what is important and provide solutions that enable you to move toward your goals.
The Time is Now
If you or someone close to you has concerns about their retirement, estate, or overall life plans, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer complimentary initial consultations through our Second Opinion offering.
Todd Flynn, CPA, CFP® is a Principal at Soundmark Wealth Management, LLC. Todd works closely with physicians, business owners, and other successful and accomplished individuals to help them define their financial goals and implement an ongoing financial planning process.