Your financial health is important and should have an annual check-up. Your financial situation may have changed, your goals may have shifted, or perhaps you’ve reached a point where you can take a deep breath and relax in retirement. Regardless of what phase of life you are in, financial reviews are important to make sure the personalized financial plan created for you is still appropriate.
Is Your Portfolio Still Invested Correctly to Match Your Goals?
When you develop a financial plan, one goal is almost always to become financially independent and retire comfortably. With the market’s growth in recent years, many people may reach that goal sooner than expected. However, recent history is not an indication of future returns.
Investors should not assume last year’s portfolio returns will be the norm going forward. Instead, they should rebalance their portfolio to build in the appropriate allocation of stocks and bonds to match their goals. A portfolio that is overly aggressive can have a sharp downturn in a bear market, and financial goals can be thrown off.
What Has Changed?
If you have a financial plan, assumptions were made that may no longer be true. Here are a few examples:
The vacation home you planned on purchasing may have a much higher price tag
Planned college expenses may increase for law school, maybe they’ve decreased because of scholarships.
Tax laws changes may have affected your plan.
All of these changes need to be considered, so that your plan continues to stay on course, while having a real sense of what your financial future looks like. An up-to-date financial plan can bring much more clarity when big financial decisions need to be made.
Who is Counting on You for Financial Support?
Ten years ago, everyone in your family may have been healthy. Now, there could be an aging parent who needs financial support. If this is the case and you are willing to help, study your options and work with us to determine how much money is available to help your loved ones. And make certain you understand the impact to your personal financial plan.
What Keeps You Up at Night?
When asking clients this question, the answer isn’t always related to money. A response we hear often is, “I’m worried about taking care of my parents and my kids at the same time that I’m juggling my business.” Another common response is, “If something happens to me, does my spouse know how to manage the household?”
Sometimes it helps clients to talk through these concerns and hear stories of how other people have managed through similar life events. Financial advisers tend to have a diverse set of experiences in walking through life with different clients and can have an unbiased perspective to share.
Life, like investment returns, doesn’t move in a straight line. Make sure you periodically review your plan to ensure a successful and healthy financial future.