5 Financial Items to Review Annually

A lot can change in one year. To help ensure that your financial documents stay in sync with what’s going on in your life, it’s a good idea to review the following documents at least once a year.

  1. Estate Planning Documents. To help ensure that your wealth ends up where you want it, look over your will, trusts, and other estate planning documents once a year to see if anything should be updated.
    Has your marital status changed? Have you added a new child to your family? There are many life events that can have an impact on these documents.  It’s also important to take the time to review your documents and ensure that the people you selected to manage your finances and health care if you ever become incapacitated are still the right choices for your situation.
  1. Beneficiary Designations. Reviewing your beneficiary designations annually and when a major life event occurs is just as important as reviewing your will and other estate planning documents. That’s because the individuals you named as the beneficiaries on your various financial accounts and life insurance policies will generally inherit those assets regardless of any instructions to the contrary in your will.

  2. Credit Reports. Not checking your credit report regularly could cost you. Errors that creep into your report and that are not caught may results in you being denied credit or paying higher interest rates than necessary on new credit cards or loans. They may also put the kibosh on a new job offer if a prospective employer checks your credit history before making a hiring decision.
    Regularly checking your credit reports will also allow you to identify any suspicious activity or new accounts opened in your name by an identity thief.
  1. Social Security Statement. Even if you are decades away from retirement, it is important to review your Social Security statement annually to make certain that your earnings for the prior year have been accurately recorded. Why is that important? Your earnings record determines the amount of your monthly Social Security benefit in retirement. If there are any earnings missing from your record, you may receive lower benefits than you deserve. You can review your statement online at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

  2. Life Insurance Policies. Things can change quickly in life, and the life insurance coverage that was sufficient to protect your family five or ten years ago may not be enough in your current financial situation. To help ensure that your life insurance coverage keeps pace with changes in your life (marriages, new children, new home, new business, pay increases, etc.) it’s a good idea to review your coverage at least once a year.

Need assistance with your financial to-do list? Contact Copper Leaf Financial. With offices in Rutland and Williston, Vermont we develop a customized wealth management plan designed to integrate every aspect of your financial life. Call us today at 802.878.2731 to schedule a strategy session and begin building your road map to financial success.

Article published in January 2020 edition of Eye on Money. If you would like to be added to our mail list please email jennifer@dh-cpa.com.