Participant Corner: Planning Financial Futures

Planning Financial Futures 2023Do you spend more time planning your annual vacation than you do thinking about your personal finances? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people put off financial planning or avoid it altogether.

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Personal financial planning is an ongoing, lifelong process. If we break it down into small, achievable tasks, it’s a lot less daunting and can pay huge dividends to you and your family.

Resolve to make yourself financially fit in 2023:
The following personal finance calendar may help you get started:

January February
  • Manage your debt. Start by paying off all high-cost and consider establishing an emergency fund.
  • Create a cash flow statement of prior year income minus expenses. Calculate personal net worth.
  •  Consider if your portfolio’s original target asset allocation needs rebalancing.
  • Evaluate your contribution amount and save enough for your goals and take advantage of any available employer match.
  • Review your insurance policies to be sure they are reflecting current needs.
March April
  • Consider using any bonus or similar windfall to pay down debt and/or build an emergency fund.
  • Check your credit report as improvements may allow lower loan costs.
  • File your income tax return by April 15 (unless extensions are available).
  • April 15 is the last day to make an IRA or Education Savings Account for the prior year.
  • Evaluate whether Roth after-tax or traditional pre-tax contributions make sense for your contributions.
May June
  • Create an inventory of your home and personal property for insurance or estate planning. Record a phone video of your valuable possessions and store the video in a secure, remote location.
  • Review your estate plan.
  • Consider a mid-year review of your finances to confirm you are on track year-to-date income and expenses.
July August
  • Consider reading one book on personal finance or investing.
  • Designate or update your own beneficiary on your retirement plan.
  • Compute if your vacation spending is as you projected.
September October
  • Consider establishing a Christmas/Holiday spending budget.
  • Consider beginning year-end tax planning.
  • Consider upcoming open enrollment season and any changes with your health insurance coverage and other employer benefits.
November December
  • Keep your holiday budget in mind. Plan for any charitable giving and tax-deductible gifts.
  • Consider rebalancing your portfolio allocations and contributions for the New Year.
  • Evaluate your past contributions into the Plan and decide if you can increase your contributions for the coming year.

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