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Formerly Lannom Law LLC

Mid-Year Financial Health Checkup: A Step-by-Step Guide

As we reach the midpoint of the year, it’s an excellent time to review your finances and ensure you’re on track to meet your financial goals. A mid-year financial health checkup allows you to make necessary adjustments, plan for the future, and avoid any surprises. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you conduct a thorough financial health checkup, including estate planning considerations.

1. Review Your Budget

Assess Income and Expenses

  • Income: Start by reviewing your income sources. Have there been any changes? Are you earning more or less than expected? Ensure your budget reflects your current income.
  • Expenses: Track your expenses over the past six months. Categorize them into essential (rent, utilities, groceries) and non-essential (entertainment, dining out). Look for areas where you can cut back or reallocate funds.

Adjust Your Budget

  • Reallocate Funds: If your spending habits have changed, adjust your budget accordingly. Allocate more funds to categories where you’re overspending and reduce funds in areas where you can save.
  • Savings Goals: Ensure you’re on track with your savings goals. If not, identify areas where you can save more.

2. Check Your Savings Goals

Evaluate Your Progress

  • Emergency Fund: Your emergency fund should cover 3-6 months of living expenses. Check if you’ve reached this goal or need to make adjustments.
  • Short-term and Long-term Goals: Review your savings goals for vacations, home purchases, or other significant expenses. Ensure you’re contributing regularly and adjust if necessary.

Increase Savings if Possible

  • Automate Savings: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account to ensure consistent contributions.
  • Increase Contributions: If you’ve received a raise or have extra funds, consider increasing your savings contributions.

3. Update Your Investment Portfolio

Review Your Investments

  • Performance Review: Evaluate the performance of your investments over the past six months. Are they meeting your expectations? Are there underperforming assets that need attention?
  • Rebalance Portfolio: Ensure your investment portfolio is diversified and aligned with your risk tolerance and financial goals. Rebalance if necessary to maintain the desired asset allocation.

Consider New Opportunities

  • Market Trends: Stay informed about market trends and consider new investment opportunities. Consult with a financial advisor if needed.
  • Retirement Accounts: Maximize contributions to retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs. Take advantage of employer matches and catch-up contributions if applicable.

4. Plan for Taxes

Review Tax Withholding

  • W-4 Form: Ensure your W-4 form is up to date and reflects your current situation. Adjust withholding if you’ve had significant changes in income, dependents, or filing status.
  • Quarterly Payments: If you’re self-employed or have other income sources, ensure you’re making quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid penalties.

Tax-Advantaged Accounts

  • Contributions: Maximize contributions to tax-advantaged accounts like HSAs, FSAs, and retirement accounts. These contributions can reduce your taxable income.
  • Deductions and Credits: Keep track of deductions and credits you’re eligible for. Plan for charitable donations and other deductible expenses.

5. Review Insurance Coverage

Assess Current Coverage

  • Health Insurance: Ensure your health insurance coverage meets your needs. Consider any changes in your health or family situation.
  • Home and Auto Insurance: Review your home and auto insurance policies. Ensure you have adequate coverage and consider bundling for discounts.

Update Beneficiaries

  • Life Insurance: Review your life insurance policy and update beneficiaries if necessary. Ensure your coverage amount aligns with your current financial situation.
  • Disability Insurance: Consider disability insurance to protect your income in case of illness or injury.

6. Evaluate Debt Management

Assess Debt Levels

  • Credit Cards and Loans: Review your outstanding debts, including credit cards, student loans, and mortgages. Ensure you’re making timely payments and reducing balances.
  • Debt Repayment Plan: If you have high-interest debt, consider consolidating or refinancing to lower your interest rates. Create a repayment plan to pay off debts efficiently.

Improve Credit Score

  • Credit Report: Check your credit report for errors and address any discrepancies. Regularly monitoring your credit can help you maintain a good credit score.
  • Payment History: Ensure you’re making all payments on time. Set up automatic payments or reminders to avoid late payments.

7. Plan for Future Expenses

Upcoming Expenses

  • Anticipate Big Purchases: Plan for upcoming significant expenses, such as vacations, home renovations, or tuition fees. Start saving in advance to avoid financial strain.
  • Holiday Budgeting: Begin budgeting for holiday expenses. Set aside funds each month to cover gifts, travel, and other holiday-related costs.

Financial Goals

  • Set New Goals: Evaluate your long-term financial goals and set new ones if necessary. This could include buying a home, starting a business, or planning for retirement.
  • Track Progress: Regularly review and track your progress towards these goals. Adjust your plans as needed to stay on track.

8. Incorporate Estate Planning

Review Your Estate Plan

  • Wills and Trusts: Ensure your will and any trusts are up to date. Reflect any significant life changes such as marriage, divorce, births, or deaths.
  • Beneficiaries: Confirm that beneficiary designations on accounts and policies are current and aligned with your wishes.
  • Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directives: Verify that your designated power of attorney and healthcare directives are still appropriate for your current situation.

Consult with Professionals

  • Estate Planning Attorney: Regularly consult with an estate planning attorney to review and update your estate plan. At Beacon Legacy Group, our experienced attorneys can help you create and maintain a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your needs.
  • Financial Advisor: Work with a financial advisor to integrate your estate planning with your overall financial strategy.

Conclusion

Conducting a mid-year financial health checkup, including reviewing your estate plan, can help you stay organized, make informed decisions, and achieve your financial goals. By taking the time to review and adjust your finances, you can ensure a more secure and prosperous future.

At Beacon Legacy Group, we are here to assist you with all aspects of your financial and estate planning needs. Our team of professionals is dedicated to helping you achieve peace of mind and a secure financial future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the next step towards financial wellness.

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