2021 is technically the year of the ox, but let’s make it the year you fulfill those financial ambitions. Where do you start? Reviewing your financial plan in the new year is a good starting point. As life happens, your financial plan should be reevaluated at least once a year. Here are a few items to keep in mind when reviewing your plan.
Tax Strategy Planning
In the wake of a major election and a change in administration, questions naturally arise about how tax laws could change and how that will affect your wallet. If tax rates increase for your tax bracket, you may want to shift some of your savings allocations to tax-deferred vehicles such as a 401(k) or a traditional IRA. The recent stimulus bill contains several tax law changes, including the ability to roll forward unused FSA funds from 2020, (1) 100% deductible business meals, and penalty-free retirement plan withdrawals for families affected by declared disasters. (2) Because of how often new tax legislation is introduced, tax planning is not a one-and-done deal. Revisit your plan to make some shifts that will help you in the long run.
Tracking Retirement Funds
As we learned from the Great Recession, it is important to stay proactive when it comes to your cash flow and retirement funds. The temptation to adopt a “set it and forget it” approach can create financial blind spots, especially when the demands of work and family make it challenging to carve out time to review finances. If you have not kept track of your investment accounts, retirement plan balances, and other assets, commit to start keeping a pulse on the health of your family’s finances at least once a quarter, if not monthly.
Inadequate insurance coverage is a common issue that can derail retirement plans, especially in the event of unforeseen health problems or injuries that force individuals to retire early. A 2020 study found that only 54% of Americans have life insurance, and 40% of policyholders reported that they wished they had bought coverage sooner. (3) Life insurance policies are not all created equal, and many policies offer living benefits that you can draw on if you need help paying medical bills or other expenses. It’s prudent to make sure you have the proper policies and coverage for your unique situation.
Regularly reviewing your estate plan is a crucial component of your financial strategy. Life moves quickly, and it is all too easy to forget how much can happen in a short period of time. Arrivals of new children or grandchildren, health conditions, asset purchases or liquidations (such as buying a new home), marriage/divorce, retirement, unemployment, remarriage, and deaths in the family can make a significant impact on the big picture of your estate plan.
Let Us Partner With You
Your financial plan is a living document that shouldn’t be put away and forgotten. As life happens and laws change, your plan must keep up. If you need help reviewing your financial plan, I can walk you through updating your plan to include last year’s changes. To see if I am the right fit to help you pursue your ideal financial future, email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 916-276-8677.
James Callens is a financial advisor at GLH&C Financial Services, a full-service, comprehensive wealth management firm. Jim has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry and uses his extensive resources, knowledge, and experience to help his clients experience simplicity and clarity in their financial life. Jim spent over 20 years working for GE Financial Advisors, both in their insurance services department and as a regional manager and financial advisor. He took part in GE’s Six Sigma Quality Training program and completed the National Association of Life Underwriter’s four-year LUTCF course. Jim also earned his certificate in financial planning from the University of California at Davis. In 2011, Jim combined his own firm, Callens Financial Group, with GLH Financial Services, creating GLH&C Financial Services, so he could provide even more value to his clients.
Jim is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Northern California and National Association of International & Financial Advisors (NAIFA). He has served as a board member of several nonprofit organizations and has been involved in Cub Scouts leadership and youth sports coaching. Jim lives in Folsom, CA, with his wife, Melissa, and his four children, Jacob, Kristen, Grant, and Andrew. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, bicycling, and vacationing at Lake Tahoe. To learn more about Jim, connect with him on LinkedIn.
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisors LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.