With a month to go until the ball drops and we flip to 2019 (a.k.a. the year in which Blade Runner and its flying cars are set — we’re just a bit behind!), now is the time to make sure all your year-end tasks get done. Without further ado, here’s your year-end financial checklist.
A secret last will and testament, a fifteen-year fight to remove a comatose woman’s feeding tube, a last-minute model wife who sues for the late billionaire’s estate — this is the stuff of John Grisham novels, Supreme Court cases, and Us Weekly. For the rest of us, estate planning may be less dramatic (hopefully), but it remains an essential piece of ordering your financial world.
In response to Equifax’s news of a massive security breach affecting 143 million people (which is nearly half the U.S. population), I’ve prepared a brief action plan to help protect your identity and personal information.
How much cash should you keep on hand? That’s a question that comes up with every client, and rightfully so: too little and you’ll be unprepared for emergencies or unexpected expenses, but too much and you won’t be investing your money wisely. While the answer depends on your goals and personal circumstances, here are some rules of thumb that apply to just about everyone.
Spending your money in the right way starts with understanding how you’re spending your money. Reviewing credit card and bank statements or using an online expense-tracking tool will help bring awareness to how you’re spending your money. If you don’t currently have a system in place, I recommend you give Mint a try. Check out my recommendations for best practices with Mint.
There’s a wide spectrum of professionals who call themselves financial advisors. You need to know how to tell the difference between pure salespeople selling products and advisors committed to providing quality advice and acting in your best interest. Also, if you or a loved one works in public service, don’t miss the New York Times article below highlighting the pitfalls of some 403(b) retirement plans.