Dust off Your Finances: Spring Clean Your Financial House
Spring is just around the corner, and with that comes the proverbial spring
cleaning. While most people recognize the value of scrubbing their homes, we recommend dusting off your finances as well.
Consider these tips to help ensure your financial house is cobweb-free.
Settle In for a Review
- Review the titling and ownership of all financial accounts. Make certain any accounts owned and titled in a trust, or have a Payable upon Death designation, will meet desired intentions if a transfer were to take place.
- Review your credit report to make sure
you’re in positive standing. You can request a free copy once every 12 months from annualcreditreport.com‡.
- Review insurance policy and retirement account beneficiaries. This is particularly important if there has been a recent change in marital status. A spousal waiver will be needed if the beneficiary is not the spouse.
Prepare for the Future
- Execute a will and a living will. If these documents already exist, they should be reviewed on a regular basis. Circumstances and viewpoints change, which can heavily impact desired allocations and intentions.
Check Up on Your Cards
- Check the interest rates that are being charged on all credit cards. For individuals who carry balances, consider consolidating to the card with the lowest interest rate or even contemplate a Home Equity Line of Credit as the interest may be tax-deductible.
- Utilize a credit card that offers rewards. Many of these now carry no annual fee and offer cash back in addition to the travel and merchandise rebates.
Evaluate Your Employer Benefits
- If financially possible, make the most of your 401(k) by contributing to the level that takes advantage of the full employer match.
- Review your health insurance coverage options to ensure you are making the best selections for yourself and your family. If you are currently enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan coupled with a Health Savings Account, review your contributions to make sure you are maximizing your saving options.
Examine Your Life Insurance
- Make certain existing coverage will meet the financial needs of your family if any member were to pass away, not just the primary income source for the family. Also, if the only secured life insurance is provided by an employer, consider pricing other term policies. Remember employer-provided insurance may not transfer if there is a change in jobs.
- Research long-term care insurance. Ask your insurance provider about this coverage to ensure it offers home health care in addition to nursing home care. Life expectancy is much greater than it used to be, and in-home and community care continue to rise in price.
Freshen Up on Your Investments
- Review or create an investment policy statement (IPS). This is an agreement with a financial advisor that states your investment purpose, time frame and risk tolerance. An IPS clearly states the investor’s goals and helps provide clear expectations, consistent communications and true accountability for both the advisor and the investor.
- Conduct homework for obtaining professional services from investment consultants, estate planning attorneys and certified public accountants. Seek references from trusted friends and colleagues and stick with specialists. Professionals will be able to offer insights and guidance that will help individuals succeed in reaching their financial planning goals.
When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.
As a Private Wealth Management regional manager, Brent is responsible for the growth and support of new customer relationships as well as supervision of regional sales associates. He is also responsible for oversight and delivery of the financial planning discipline within the region. With nearly 30 years of experience private wealth client relationship management, Brent is a seasoned banking professional with deep Texas roots. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance, and is a Candidate for CFP® certification. He serves as a board member of the Dallas Parks Foundation.