An annual review of your financials is vital. It is important because the information your advisor has should be as accurate as possible. This will help your plan to stay on track. A lot can change over the course of a year and your advisor needs to be updated on it. In this article, we discuss 6 things you should go over at your annual review with your advisor.
1. Personal Information
During your annual review, you should go over the address, phone number, and email that your advisor has on file. Outdated information could lead to missed correspondence from your advisor or custodian. You may also want to verify the bank account information you have on file if you direct deposit or withdrawal to or from any of your investment accounts.
2. Beneficiary Designations
You should double check the beneficiary designations on all your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities. If you have a trust, you should also check if any accounts without beneficiaries are properly titled into the name of the trust. This is extremely important in order to avoid probate. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked.
3. Cash Flow
Has your income increased over the last year? Or have your expenses been reduced? If so, you will want to go over with your advisor ways to redirect that extra money into your investment portfolio. They may suggest utilizing your 401k more fully, depositing to a Roth IRA, or a non-qualified investment account. Their suggestions will be based on your unique situation.
4. Emergency Fund
Unexpected expenses may cause you to dip into long-term savings, which affects your retirement plan. You can help to avoid this with an emergency savings fund. It is suggested to have 5-6 months set aside. But the higher that amount the better. Your advisor can help you calculate how much you should have set aside.
5. Insurance Coverage
Each year you should have your advisor go over your life, disability, long-term care, and health insurance policies. Since your situation may have changed, it is important that you make sure you still have adequate insurance coverage. It is also an optimal time to make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date.
6. Changing Goals
As time goes by and your circumstances change, your financial goals may also begin to change. You may reconsider the age at which you want to retire. Or you may have gotten married or had another child. Such changes very likely will alter your financial plan and investment strategy. Mention such changes to your advisor during your annual review so they can alter your portfolio accordingly.
Do not put off your annual review with your advisor. By taking the time to meet with them at least once a year they will be able to better understand what is going on with your finances. This will help them to fine-tune your financial plan and investment portfolio, which will help you increase your net worth.
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