HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 Financial Checklist by @AZanswers

by Ann Zuraw | Featured Contributor 

HSA—Check if you are eligible for a Health Savings account.  An HSA is a medical savings retirement account and can be started with pretax money and withdrawn to pay medical expenses without taxes.

Asset Allocation—Review your overall investment portfolio.  What percentage do you have in stocks, bonds, or cash and how did it change over the year?  Do you need to rebalance?

Protect yourself with an emergency fund to plan for the unexpected – An expensive car repair, having to replace your air conditioner, or a leaky faucet is stressful enough.

  • Not having to worry about the expense b/c you have an emergency fund can really lower stress and allow you not to put off repairs which can cause even more damage

Prioritize your personal need for spending vs. saving– Start tracking your expenses and group them into two categories: fixed and discretionary. Everyone’s income and expenses are different – there are no two budgets the same.  You have to find what works for you and what your comfort level is – decide a minimum amount to keep in checking/minimum for savings/ and look to invest the rest.

Your risk tolerance—learn what it is and understand what it means for your investments.

  • Everyone has a different tolerance for risk – figure out your own.
  • Know your limits – how much are you willing to lose before pulling back on your investment.
  • Find a strategy and stick with it over the time horizon
  • Diversify, diversify, diversify!

Never Give Up and keep trying even if you fail at times.  Success is not going to happen if you do not try.

Estimate your realistic profit and cash flow for the upcoming year. Do this both for your business and for your personal life.

What concrete steps are you taking to achieve all your financial goals?  Are your goals Identified, Implemented or Ignored?

Your investment style—What is your personal style and preference?  Regarding both managing your business and how your retirement account is invested?  Where are you investing your assets and what are the gaps?

Estate Planning – The new tax code means significant changes for estate planning for passing on assets to the next generation. Talk to your financial or trusted advisors today about what it means for you.

Attitude—there are no “stupid” questions.  Have a positive attitude about your ability to handle money and ask for help when you need it.  You deserve it.

Realistic goals—Don’t overwhelm yourself and get frustrated by trying to solve everything at once. You need to take baby steps, establish your targets with a clear head, and can get started on this today.

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