Given the volatile year we've encountered, checking in on your retirement plan may make a lot of sense this December.
As we approach the end of the year, it's the perfect time for retirees to conduct a comprehensive financial checkup. December is not just a month for holiday cheer; it's also an opportune moment to ensure your financial health is in excellent shape for the year ahead. In this article, we'll explore the importance of a December financial checkup and provide valuable insights from the team here at Agemy Financial Strategies to help you navigate this crucial process.
Review Your Retirement Goals
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of your finances, take a step back and review your retirement goals. Are you on track to achieve what you set out to accomplish? Have there been any significant life changes that require adjustments to your financial plan? Whether it's traveling more, supporting grandchildren, or simply enjoying a comfortable retirement, ensure your goals align with your current circumstances.
Sometimes, a few changes to your plan now can help you cross the finish line, even if market conditions are less than fully cooperative. Are you doing even better than anticipated? Maybe now is a good time to reduce your risk exposure to lock in that progress and protect against future market volatility.
Agemy Tip: Use our free online retirement goal calculators and other retirement resources here to evaluate your progress and make necessary adjustments.
Assess Your Investment Portfolio
A key component of any financial checkup is assessing your investment portfolio. Review your asset allocation to ensure it aligns with your risk tolerance and retirement timeline. December is an excellent time to rebalance your portfolio if necessary, as it can help you stay on track to meet your long-term financial objectives.
Agemy Tip: Our fiduciary advisors offer educated investment advice to help you analyze your investment portfolio's performance and make informed decisions.
December is your last chance to make tax-efficient moves for the year. Explore opportunities to minimize your tax liability by considering strategies such as tax-loss harvesting, maximizing contributions to tax-advantaged accounts, and reviewing potential deductions or credits.
Agemy Tip: These strategies can be complex; our team is well-versed in tax planning and can help you implement them.
Social Security and Medicare
Retirees must also consider Social Security and Medicare in their financial checkup. Are you eligible for Social Security benefits, and have you maximized your claiming strategy? Review your Medicare coverage to ensure it meets your healthcare needs. And don't forget to cover Long-Term Care in your retirement plan.
Agemy Tip: If you need assistance navigating the complexities of Social Security, Medicare, or Long-Term Care planning, see here.
Emergency Fund and Insurance
As you head into retirement, having an adequate emergency fund and appropriate insurance coverage becomes paramount. Ensure you have enough cash reserves to cover unexpected expenses and review your insurance policies to make sure they adequately protect your assets and loved ones.
Preparing for life after retirement involves much more than financial considerations. An estate plan ensures that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes, minimizing the burden on your loved ones and leaving a lasting legacy. Review your will, trusts, and beneficiary designations to ensure they align with your wishes. Consider consulting with Agemy's estate planning professionals to make any necessary updates.
Agemy Tip: Agemy Financial Strategies offers valuable insights into estate planning; for more information on estate planning for the new year, see here.
Set Up an Annual Review
An annual financial review gives you a chance to evaluate your financial position. Many changes can affect your investments during the course of a year. It's important to monitor your retirement and investment accounts regularly and make adjustments annually to stay on track.
You can schedule an appointment with a fiduciary advisor at any time of the year, but if it’s been a while since you last spoke with one (or have never spoken with one), you may be due for an end-of-year review. You should consider chatting with a fiduciary, especially if you have major life changes coming up in the new year — like a move to a new state, a home purchase, or even need changes to beneficiaries in your estate plan — so they can help you create a solid financial plan for those events.
Agemy Tip: We understand that annual reviews are an important part of anyone’s retirement plan. We strive to provide comprehensive advice and guidance so that you can make informed decisions about your investments, estate plans, and other financial strategies. Let us help you chart the path to a secure financial future with a complimentary strategy session here.
A December financial checkup is a vital step in maintaining your financial wellness. By reviewing your retirement goals, assessing your investment portfolio, planning for taxes, optimizing Social Security and Medicare, and addressing other financial aspects, you can set the stage for a financially secure and worry-free retirement. Agemy Financial Strategies' resources and tools can be invaluable in this process, providing you with the guidance you need to make informed decisions and secure your financial future.
Checking in on your retirement plan doesn’t just entail making sure you are saving enough money. It also means helping ensure the savings you’ve worked so hard to accumulate will be there when you need it. Remember, it's never too late to take control of your finances and make adjustments as needed. Start your December financial checkup today, and may you enjoy a prosperous and stress-free retirement in the coming year.