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Financial Checklist

Start 2023 Off Right!

As the new year begins, it’s a great time to think about your personal and financial goals. Maybe you are at a place in your life where you’ve successfully paid off your debt and you’re saving consistently or, perhaps, you went off course and spent a little too much over the holidays. Whatever the case, there are some good things to check off your to-do list as you ring in the new year and focus on the year ahead.

REVIEW OR UPDATE YOUR BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS

Make any needed updates to the beneficiary portion of your bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities. Choosing a beneficiary for your life insurance policy is a decision you should carefully consider because beneficiaries trump who’s named in a will.

Keep your life insurance records in at least two places — preferably inside and outside the home — in case there’s a fire or flood. It’s a good idea to give your beneficiaries all the details too (policy numbers, the amount of the death benefit, the name of the agent who sold you the policy, etc.).

REVIEW TAX WITHHOLDINGS

Review your tax withholdings and payments. Major events in the last year — such as marriage, divorce, or having a child — are good reasons to adjust your withholding. 

Check out the handy Tax Withholding Estimator from the IRS to help you determine the ideal income tax to withhold. 

It’s also a good time to start prepping for tax returns by making sure your financial institutions and employers have your correct address. Start gathering the documents you’ll need to file your taxes (prior returns, receipts, bank and credit card statements) and create a spot for them and W-2, 1099, 1099-G (for unemployment) or 1098-E (for student loans) documents.

REVIEW YOUR HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE

Homeowner’s insurance rates can fluctuate due to crime and bad weather near your home, which can have a negative impact on rates. There are things you can do to decrease the cost of your premium. One way is to raise your deductible. The higher the deductible the lower the monthly premium will be, but be sure it’s one that you can afford to pay out of pocket if something does happen.

Other ways to lower your premium include bundling your homeowners and auto coverage, boosting your credit score, and adding security features in your home — such as an alarm system and cameras.

CHECK YOUR EMERGENCY SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Ideally, it’s good to have three to six months’ worth of emergency savings set aside, but we don’t live in an ideal world. It’s important not to fall into the camp of the 56% of Americans who don’t have the cash to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill. An emergency, such as a car repair or medical expense, could set you back financially. To help ensure that doesn’t happen, build up your savings by automatically depositing some money from your paycheck into a dedicated savings account.

More financial resources can be found online at Greenpath, our financial education partner. We are also always happy to assist you. Give us a call at 208-746-7233, and we will help you plan and achieve your goals because we’re here to help you make the most of your financial life!

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