|Amid the disorder of a government shutdown and an unstable stock market (things that we cannot control), let’s keep focus on things we can control. As people tend to have a mindset of a fresh start in the new year by working out, eating healthy, or following through a goal, it’s also good to do a maintenance check on your financial aspects.|
|1 Insurance Check-Up|
|Even though the health insurance mandate is gone for 2019, it’s important to have at least the basic coverage insurance. Health costs are always rising and you never know when you’ll need it in case you end up in the hospital. Check your car, house, and life insurance. Is it still valid for your needs? Do you have an umbrella policy? Does your current policy cover hurricane and flood damage? What does the fine print say? It doesn’t hurt to shop around to see if you can get the best plan with the best cost for you.|
|2 Credit Check|
|Online shopping was at an all-time high this year, especially during the holidays. And with that thefts and hackings also increased. If you haven’t checked your credit report and score in the last 12 months, do so at a website like https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Does anything look odd on there? Is there a mistake you forgot about? Get things fixed as soon as possible because a good credit score is crucial.|
|3 Will and Estate Plan Check|
|I cannot stress enough on how important it is to have at least a Last Will and Testament (Will) in place and an Estate Plan if you have assets. This will help prevent you from going into Probate, which is a grueling and long drawn out process with the courts. These two documents help protect your beneficiaries and your assets. Also, it can help reduce taxes, time, money and additional stress after your death. Contact an estate lawyer to validate and customize your plan. A Will has nominal fees and an Estate Plan costs is determined on the complexities of your assets.|
|4 Financial Goal Check|
|Have you made strides towards your retirement fund? Take a look into different 401k or IRA options.
Do you have a savings account in case of emergencies? Doing a small automatic monthly transfer into an account helps increase this value systematically.
Do you know what programs and companies you are subscribed to or a monthly member of? Do you need/want all of them? These include multiple gym memberships, cable/satellite, magazines, or monthly product boxes that arrive on your doorstep so it feels like Christmas throughout the year.
Can you pay down a high interest debt? With so much uncertainty happening in the financial markets in the new year, it’s ideal to make sure we check our positions to be better prepared for our future.
About the Author
Nirali Chokshi is a CPA working at her family’s accounting firm Chokshi Accounting & Tax Services in Orlando, FL. She graduated with her Masters from University of Central Florida in 2009.