By FPA member, Henry J. Ramirez, JD, CFP®
Last Updated: January 14, 2013
It’s the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year. Now is a good time to review your estate documents, insurance policies and investment accounts, to see if anything needs to be implemented, updated or revised. For example, have you experienced any “life changes” in the past 12 months— births, deaths, marriage, divorce, new job, etc.? If so, here are a few tips to consider:
- Update your wills to include any newborns. Make new wills if you have recently been through a divorce or are a newlywed.
- Do your choices for executors/trustees/guardians still make sense? Make changes if necessary.
- If you are a new parent, review your life insurance coverage. Buy additional coverage for yourself and spouse to replace lost income, cover any outstanding debt and plan for college should you or your spouse die prematurely.
- Just divorced? Review beneficiary designations on your life insurance policy to see if you want to make changes, if allowable (some financial settlements require that the ex-spouse remain as a beneficiary for a determined amount of time).
- Just engaged? Check your homeowner’s insurance to see if you can get a rider on that big diamond. When you tie the knot, look to combine auto policies, as an example, for discounts.
- Are you going to buy a new home? Review your portfolio allocation to make sure you have the appropriate cash reserve for a down payment, moving expenses, etc.
- Did you get a raise or reach the age of 50? You may want to take advantage of an increase in your employer contribution plan.
- Do you want to set up a college savings plan for your new child or grandchild? It is never too early to start.
- The market has fluctuated vastly over the last few years. Review the asset allocation and diversification of your portfolio to ensure it remains consistent with your overall strategy and objective.
Here’s to a Happy Review Year.
FPA member Henry J. Ramirez, JD, CFP® is a Financial Advisor with Wescott Financial Advisory Group, LLC, an SEC-registered, fee-only investment advisory and wealth management firm, with offices in Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Miami and San Francisco.