Topics include education, estate, insurance, investment, retirement and risk management planning as well as basic tips for budgeting.
The only constant in life is change — and chances are your life has changed since you last reviewed your investment portfolio with a financial advisor. Do you know if you are still on track to reach your goals? Or if your money is working as hard for you as it could be?
Markets go up and down, tax rules change and your personal financial needs and goals shift. That's why it's important to have your portfolio reviewed on a regular basis — preferably annually — to make sure you are on track to meet your goals. Spring can be a great time for organizing your finances. By getting your financial life in order now, you can enjoy the results all year long.
Request a meeting with your financial advisor to review your plan and find out if you are on track to meet your short- and long-term financial goals. To help you prepare for the meeting and make it more productive, here are some topics you may want to consider:
Your Personal Situation
Have any major life changes occurred during the past 12 months? Have you gotten married, had a child, started a new job or retired? Has there been a divorce or a child nearing college age? If so, you may need to make some changes in your plans and your investment portfolio.
Your Investment Portfolio Mix
Collect your recent investment records so you and your financial advisor can review your current asset allocation — your mix of stocks, bonds and short-term investments.
Has it drifted from the original asset allocation model that you had previously worked out with your financial advisor? Does it still make sense today? Have your investments lived up to your expectations? Have you met your financial goals during the past year?
Your financial advisor can help you compare your investment returns with appropriate benchmarks, evaluate your risk and make changes if necessary to keep your investment portfolio on track.
Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.
Your Tax Liability
How did you fare this past tax season? Were you happy with the amount you paid or are you looking for ways to lower your tax bill? Get tax smart. You may be able to minimize your tax liability by maximizing your tax deferrals.
Consider contributing more to your employer-sponsored retirement plan, 403(b) and/or IRA. These and other savings vehicles that don't require you to pay taxes on earnings every year allow more of your money to compound tax deferred until you withdraw it.
Your Retirement Accounts
Consider consolidating your retirement accounts to better track investment performance and ease of recordkeeping by rolling old retirement plan accounts.
If you have account balances in two or more employer plans, you may want to consider consolidating them into a single Retirement Solutions account available through Lincoln Investment for easier account management.
Prior to rolling over assets from an employer-sponsored retirement plan into an IRA, it's important that you understand your options and do a full comparison on the differences in the guarantees and protections offered by each respective type of account as well as the differences in liquidity/loans, types of investments, fees and any potential penalties.
Your Estate Plan
Schedule an appointment with an estate-planning specialist to ensure that all your documents are up-to-date and in proper order. A sound estate plan can help protect your family and minimize the impact of estate taxes.
Your Beneficiary Designations On Your Insurance And Retirement Accounts
Events such as marriage, divorce or a new child make it very important to review these designations annually. If you have no beneficiary designations on your accounts, make sure to ask your financial advisor to help you fill out the necessary forms. If your situation is complicated, you may want to enlist the services of an estate planning attorney or tax advisor.