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Fall Is Time to Take Stock

Summer is past and the kids are back in school. That makes the Fall a good time to review your personal financial plans and make some decisions about what’s next for you, your family and your money. Here is what we suggest to our clients now:

Check your money mindset. Are you positive and feeling abundant or negative and feeling scarce? If the former, reaffirm your good feelings; if the later, consider why you’re feeling negative and in scarcity mode.

Review your protection plans. Have you updated your estate documents, need to change beneficiaries, or even reviewed your insurance policies recently. For example, if you son or daughter are away at school, check with your insurance agent to see if you can reduce your car insurance costs while they are away by taking them off your policy for now.

Review goals tied to your values. Has anything changed to suggest a change in your goals? Are you still on track? If not, now is a good time to think about what changes you need to make now to get yourself back on track. For example, do you spend too much and saved too little over the summer? Take action now to cut back on spending and save more.

Evaluate your cash flow and debt. Do you need to start tracking your spending for a month or two to see if you’re over-spending or under saving? Would it benefit you to refinance now? How about applying for  HELOC if you don’t have one.

Determine how your retirement savings plans are coming along. Are you on track to reach your retirement numbers? Have you saved 75% of your total savings goal for the year? If not, figure out how you’re going to get back on track.

Review your investment portfolio. The recent market gyrations may have un-balanced your once well-balanced portfolio. Do a review of your portfolio against your target asset allocation and if your portfolio is out of alignment, make changes to rebalance it to your target asset allocation. Fight the tendency to guess what might happen to the world stock markets. You can’t know and neither can anyone else.

So what do you say? Now is an excellent time to review your financial plans and make changes. We have often found that the Fall is the best time of the year to make improvements and changes to financial plans. Take this opportunity to review and take action now to help you reach your financial freedom goals.