There may never be a perfect time to get your finances in order, but except for our friends in Florida, this time of year sure seems like it could be the best time. With the holidays over and only the NFL playoffs to distract us, getting a financial checkup early in the year is a great move to set your family up for financial success. We’ve listed some things that will help get your new year off to a right start and empower you to take control of your finances in 2024.
One of the first things we do for our clients is to help them organize their financial life. Note: this does take some work on your behalf, but just like when your house is clean, you will feel a lot better when you finish it. Being organized is not just a good habit; it is a crucial element for achieving long-term financial success. You should not make significant decisions with your money until you understand how much you are saving, spending, and investing.
Have a Plan
If there is one consistent theme we have heard from clients, it is how much better they feel after they have organized their financial info and have a plan in place for both short and long-term goals. Whether it's saving for a home, funding your child's education, or planning for retirement, an organized approach increases the likelihood of achieving these milestones. Organizing your financial life and talking to a fee-only financial planning firm will help to kickstart your plan into reality.
Consolidate & Simplify
Streamline your financial accounts by consolidating where possible. You probably don’t need to have seven 401(k) plans or multiple IRA’s. Fewer accounts mean less paperwork and easier tracking. We help our clients and prospects work through this and provide guidance on what makes the most sense for them. We also utilize technology to access consolidated financial statements and monitor your overall financial health.
Most people we talk to have no estate plan in place, and if you don’t have a plan, your state will have one for you. An estate plan includes having a will or trust, designating beneficiaries, and ensuring your loved ones are protected in the event of the unexpected. If you do not have an estate plan in place (and especially if you have young children), this should be one of your top priorities in the new year.
Life happens, so your plan will likely need some flexibility. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your financial plan enables you to navigate the complexities of the financial world, seize opportunities, and mitigate risks as they arise.
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start organizing your financial life so you can make better decisions in the new year. We constantly work with clients to help them navigate an ever-changing financial landscape and offer free consultations for folks to help get them on the right path…even if they don’t become clients! Please do not hesitate to contact us or another fee-only financial planning firm that can help you get started.
Authored by Stephen Blahovec and Michael Rausch of North River Wealth Advisors. We are an independent, fee-only financial planning and investment management firm located in Pittsburgh, PA servicing clients locally and across the country. To learn more, contact us here.
This content is developed by North River Wealth Advisors from sources believed to be providing accurate information. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.