Though it may not be as fun as cake and ice cream, your birthday is the perfect time to perform a financial checkup and make sure you are on track to reach your goals. With another year under your belt, this is the chance to look back at the financial milestones you met and look to the future to see what you need to adjust to stay on track.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop in the middle of your party to lay out your yearly budget, of course. Your checkup doesn’t have to happen on your exact birthday. But the ten-or-so days surrounding your birthday are a great time to call your financial advisor. Here are some things you should discuss:
Retirement Accounts and Status
Retirement gets closer every year, which makes your birthday a great time to check in with your retirement calculator. Account for things like the past year’s inflation and lifestyle changes that you may have gone through during your latest trip around the sun. Even if not much else has changed, your age certainly has.
After doing your retirement calculations, talk to your financial advisor about your results. Maybe you need to recalculate your employee 401(k) contributions. Maybe you need to consolidate a few retirement accounts and roll them all into one great investment vehicle. Or maybe it’s time to review some catch-up options and do some Social Security planning. Regardless, retirement should be top of your list of finances to review on your birthday.
Retirement gets closer every year, which makes your birthday a great time to check in with your retirement calculator.
Life Insurance and Beneficiaries
Did you go through any major life changes this year? If you found a new relationship, look at what financial goals you want to achieve together. If you got married, this is a great time to review your joint income. If you or your spouse had a baby this year, be sure you checked our financial to-do list for this exciting time. Or if you got divorced, double check that you’ve accounted for all the financial pieces in the process. All life changes have one thing in common: they are all reasons to check up on your life insurance and make sure your beneficiaries are up to date.
Investments and Cash Value
You should look at your portfolio mixture and adjust your percentage of stocks and bonds as you get older. There are many different strategies, but a common one assumes that the younger you are, the more capable you’ll be to afford risk because you have more time to make up for market downturns. The flip side of this is that each year you will want to get more conservative with your investments too.
Of course, if you have cash value in an indexed life insurance policy, you never have to worry about this risk. In this case, you should simply check in with your cash value and see whether it is on track with your goals. If you withdrew any cash value this year, consider whether you should replenish it with higher payments in the future.
All life changes have one thing in common: they are all reasons to check up on your life insurance and make sure your beneficiaries are up to date.
Loan Repayment and Debts
Just as every week you go over your budget, every year you should check in with your debt repayment plans. Maybe you want to make a more aggressive payment plan this year. Maybe your goal is to become debt free. Regardless of your specific goals, getting rid of debt is a surefire way to make each birthday better than the last. And if you made last year your debt-free year, congratulations! Be sure to celebrate your milestones as well.
Now, It’s Time to Celebrate
These are the factors you should think about when you schedule your financial checkup. Making an appointment with your financial advisor on your birthday is important, financially healthy, and will give you peace of mind for the year to come. And after you have your financial checkup, get yourself a birthday treat! Do something fun to celebrate yourself, whether it’s a spa day, a trip to the aquarium, a fancy dinner, or a walk in the park. This day is for you and your bright future. And, of course, happy birthday from First Financial Security!