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Is It Time for a Mid-Year Financial Review?

July 13, 2021

This summer looks remarkably different than last year. As pandemic-related restrictions are lifted, retail, sports, travel, dining, and entertainment venues are welcoming consumers back in droves. It’s likely that you’ve experienced changes in your life and your finances in recent months, as well. These may be subtle changes in your savings and spending habits as you resume travel or social activities, or more pronounced shifts that impact your goals and priorities. When faced with change, ensuring you remain on track toward your goals is critical. That’s where a mid-year financial review can help.

Why Now?
By mid-summer, you’re far enough into the year to gauge progress toward your goals, but still have time to make important adjustments to savings and spending, as well as your tax and investment strategies. A financial checkup can help you optimize your planning by:

  • Reassessing your spending needs
  • Reevaluating your financial priorities and goals 
  • Confirming alignment between your investment strategy, time frame and risk tolerance
  • Identifying new opportunities

Consider the following tips to ensure you get the most out of your mid-year financial review:

1. Gather and review all relevant paperwork and account statements prior to your scheduled review. This may include a list of action steps from your last meeting or review.

2. Write down any questions you may have about specific accounts, strategies, or fees.

3. Document any changes that have taken place in your life since your last checkup. Have certain goals or priorities changed? What about family dynamics, such as marital status, welcoming a new grandchild, or becoming an empty nester? Did you recently change jobs or receive a promotion? If you’re retired, did you sell a home, experience a change in health status, or make changes to your estate plan?

4. Consider your future plans. Maybe you’re thinking about changing careers, retiring earlier than planned, purchasing a vacation home, or moving closer to family members. Be prepared to share any new goals or changes in your priorities. This will provide an opportunity to discuss how your current plan may support these goals, or if adjustments are needed.

The past 18 months have been marked by rapid change, which can take a toll on your physical, emotional and financial health. Taking time now for a mid-year review can provide the confidence that you’re still on track toward the goals you have established for yourself and your family. To learn more about the benefits of regular account reviews, call the office today to schedule time to meet.

Are You Ready to Fully Retire?
The United States experienced a flood of baby boomer retirements in 2020. According to the Pew Research Center, 1.2 million more Americans born between 1946 and 1964 retired last year than the historical annual average. Rising home prices, a surging stock market, and robust savings account balances have all played a significant role in the uptick in retirements. In addition, a growing number of workers, tiring of web conferencing and remote work, are also reluctant to return to grueling commutes, cramped office spaces, or rigorous business travel schedules.1 If you’re nearing retirement and thinking about joining them, take some time to determine if you’re ready to fully retire—or just need a break.

What’s Your Plan?
Transitioning to life after work is not without challenges. It’s important to understand how you will spend your time and who you will spend it with. Will you become bored or lonely if your spouse, other family members, or friends are still working? Do you plan to pursue a hobby or sport, join a club, or spend time volunteering for an organization? Having a plan for how you will spend your days is important for remaining mentally and physically engaged, which contributes to a sense of overall wellbeing. If you’re not sure if you’re emotionally prepared to retire, consider a trial period, such as a sabbatical or extended vacation. Other opportunities to test the waters may include part-time work or consulting in your field of expertise.

Before pulling the plug on work, you also need to understand how you will replace your paycheck and how long your savings may last, especially if you retire earlier than originally planned. That can be a hard question to answer without a comprehensive plan in place for how you will receive taxefficient income in retirement. The planning process provides an opportunity to model various scenarios to determine the probability of meeting different goals and helps to identify any adjustments or tradeoffs that may be required to accomplish your objectives. It can also help provide answers to important questions, such as:
 

  • How will you cover your healthcare expenses if you are under age 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare?
  • When is the optimal time for you to begin receiving Social Security benefits?
  • What if you have outstanding credit card debt or a mortgage?
  • Can your current strategy withstand one or more financial market or economic downturns, especially if one occurs during the early years of your retirement? If you have questions about whether now is the right time for you to retire, contact the office to schedule time to talk.

1http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-30/more-americans-are-considering-retirement-because-of-covid 

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