Now is the time to sit down and map out the financial changes you want to make in your life. Whether you have resolved to pay off lingering debt or finally create a budget and stick to it, here are some tips to help you get started on the path to financial success.
Update your beneficiaries. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to verify your beneficiaries are up to date. Beneficiaries are the individuals you select to receive money or other benefits upon your passing. Many life insurance policies and retirement accounts ask you to name beneficiaries. If you’ve had major life changes in the past year, such as a marriage, a new addition to your family, a move or a divorce, double-check your beneficiary information to make sure your wishes are carried out the way you intended. To update these at CapFed® call 1-888-8CAPFED.
Make sure important documents are in order. If something happens to you, do your family members know where to find your will, life insurance policy and information for retirement and bank accounts? It’s a good idea to keep a master list of all the important accounts and policies in your name and where those documents are stored.
TIP: Take pictures of the documents and store them on your computer or make copies for safekeeping with trusted family members.
Consider opening a safe deposit box. If you have ever found yourself scrambling to find a birth certificate or passport amidst all the drawers in your home, a safe deposit box may be the answer to help you get more organized this year. A safe deposit box will also ensure your important documents and valuables are safe should your home ever be damaged by a fire or severe weather. Make sure you ask your bank to designate a secondary person who can access the safe deposit box if you are indisposed.
Check the progress of your retirement savings. Look over your retirement savings accounts, at least once a year, to gauge their progress and verify you’re still on track to meet your goals.
TIP: Use a retirement calculator to determine the amount of money you’ll need when you retire.
Develop a plan to tackle debt. If you started the year with debt, you’re not alone. According to NerdWallet, the average American household carries $15,355 in credit card debt. Make this the year you start saying good-bye to debt. First, determine how much total debt you owe. Then, carefully look at your monthly expenses to find areas where you can cut costs and create a budget. Finally, choose a strategy for how you are going to eliminate the debt. The Motley Fool offers a list of several different methods for paying off debt. It’s up to you to decide which plan for eliminating debt will work best for you. The most important thing is to make a plan, start and stick to it.
Do you have additional tips for getting your finances in order? Share them here!