Reviewing your finances mid-year

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Mid-year is an ideal time to review your finances. Often, during the summer, the demands on your time are fewer, and the planning opportunities greater, than if you wait until the end of the year.

Think about your priorities

  • Are any life-changing events coming up soon, such as marriage, the birth of a child, retirement, or a career change?
  • Will your income or expenses substantially increase or decrease this year?
  • Have you managed to save as much as you expected this year?
  • Are you comfortable with the amount of debt you have?
  • Are you concerned about the performance of your investment portfolio?
  • Do you have any other specific needs or concerns?

Take another look at your taxes
Completing a mid-year estimate of your tax liability may reveal tax-planning opportunities. You can use last year’s tax return as a basis, then make any anticipated adjustments to your income and deductions for this year. Check your withholding, especially if you owed taxes when you filed your most recent income tax return or you received a large refund. Doing that now, rather than waiting until the end of the year, may help you avoid a big tax bill or having too much of your money tied up with Uncle Sam. If necessary, adjust the amount of federal or state income tax withheld from your paycheck by filing a new W-4 Form with your employer. To help avoid missed tax-saving opportunities for the year, set up a system for saving receipts and other tax-related documents.

Reconsider your retirement plan
If you’re working and you received a pay increase this year, don’t overlook the opportunity to increase your retirement plan contributions by asking your employer to set aside a higher percentage of your salary. In 2015, you may be able to contribute up to $18,000 to your workplace retirement plan ($24,000 if you’re age 50 or older).

If you’re already retired, consider your income needs and whether your current investment and distribution strategy will continue to provide enough income.

Review your investments
Review your portfolio to make sure your asset allocation* is still in line with your financial goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. Though it’s common to rebalance a portfolio at the end of the year, you may need to rebalance more frequently if the market is volatile.

Identify your insurance needs
Do you know exactly how much life and disability insurance coverage you have? Are you familiar with the terms of your homeowners, renters, and auto insurance policies? If not, it’s time to add your insurance policies to your summer reading list. Insurance needs frequently change, and it’s possible your coverage hasn’t kept pace with your income or family circumstances.

*Note: Asset allocation is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss.

 Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

 

 

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