Planning for the Future


Mid–Year Resolutions

Who says you can only make new year’s resolutions on January 1?  The goal of a resolution is self improvement — and that’s a good idea at any time of the year.  Here are a few suggestions for improving your financial picture now and in the coming years:

Review your investments — Make sure your investments are proper for your age and financial situation.

Prepare documents — You probably have a will, but have you reviewed it recently?  Ask your attorney whether any changes are needed, especially in light of higher federal estate tax sheltered amounts ($11.18 million in 2018).  Consider other documents, such as a living will or health care power of attorney.  Review the beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, IRAs and other financial accounts, keeping in mind that you can name charity as a beneficiary for any of these accounts.

Make a list — Do family members know where your will is kept?  The names and phone numbers of your tax adviser and attorney?  What life insurance policies are available?  Compile a list of important documents, names, addresses and phone numbers and leave it in an easily accessible place or with a trusted family member.  Don’t forget to include the user names and passwords for access to online accounts.

Look at insurance coverage — Make sure you don’t have too little — or too much — life insurance.  Review other types of policies, too (auto, health, homeowners, umbrella liability, long-term care coverage).  If you find you have a life insurance policy that’s no longer needed for family security, consider making a charitable gift of the policy, for which you’ll be entitled to an income tax deduction.