Not one for resolutions, but financial "housekeeping" is a must

Pamela Rivers |

If you aren’t one for resolutions, let’s reframe it as financial “housekeeping”. January is a good time to take things off of the back-burner and ensure that you are managing your financial tasks properly. The following are some ideas to get you started:

  • Check your beneficiaries and estate plans. Life happens and all too often the beneficiaries on your accounts have not been updated. If you don’t have a will or Power of Attorney, set an appointment with a estate planner to make this happen.

  • Online Access. Consider setting up on-line access to your financial accounts including your 401(k). While we don’t recommend checking accounts daily, having online access allows you to do more frequent check-ins versus paper statements.

  • Contributions. The IRS has increased the limits for IRAs and 401ks for 2024. Are you contributing all you can be to take advantage of your retirement accounts? Even if you can’t reach the maximum amounts for 2024, perhaps you can increase the percentage of your income that you contribute.

    • Speaking of contributions, setting up automatic contributions to retirement accounts, education accounts or non-retirement savings or investment accounts is a great way to reach your savings goals.

  • Credit Report. It’s imperative to stay on top of your credit score. There are multiple resources to track your score, but if you haven’t checked your credit report in a while, remember that you are entitled to one free credit report a year. Correcting mistakes on it now may save you time and money later.

  • Savings growth? Interest rates have risen significantly over the past two years. It is a good time to review where you are keeping your emergency savings account and consider alternatives such as money market accounts. Your financial institution may have a safe, liquid option with a higher rate available.

  • Rebalancing your investment accounts. The stock and bond markets have experienced significant upheavals over the past couple of years. If your investment portfolios aren’t doing what you expected, it may be a good time to review your asset allocation with a financial professional.

  • Life Insurance. If you suspect that you aren’t properly insured, set a time to talk with a financial professional soon. Make this a priority.