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Financial Considerations at the Beginning of a New Year

Brittany Taylor, CFP®


The occasion of a new year can inspire us to renew our commitment to ensuring all areas of our lives are in order. Of course, I’m focused on my clients’ financial lives. Even for those of you who are retired—perhaps especially for you—we need to be diligent to ensure we make sound financial decisions and those decisions are in line with your financial plan. Here are some items to review at the start of the year to help you continue to stay on a path of financial success.

Review your budget: Review your current spending to ensure it aligns with the retirement spending goal in your financial plan. Make adjustments to your spending, or if you find your expenses increasing, work with your financial advisor to update your plan.

• Review your goals: Review your short-term goals for the year, such as travel, home maintenance, and charitable giving. Make sure they are in line with your plan goals and work with your financial advisor on how to fund them. Also, think about goals that might be longer term that you can start planning for now.

• Emergency fund: Confirm that you have an adequate emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. That picture might look different in retirement than if you are working. Work with your financial advisor to ensure you are maximizing your return on these funds and that you aren’t over- or under-weighted in cash investments.

• Investment portfolio: Review your investment portfolio with your advisor to make sure the amount of risk you are taking is in line with your goals and risk tolerance as expressed in your financial plan.

• Healthcare coverage: Review your health insurance policies and consider any changes based on your health needs. If you make changes to your coverage or have an increase in premiums, communicate these changes to your advisor to ensure your plan is up to date.

• Social Security: Provide your financial advisor with updates to your social security benefits. This can have an impact on your plan success and should be accounted for in updating your retirement plan.

• Estate planning: Review your will, trust, and other estate planning documents to verify they are still in line with your wishes. Update if necessary and review your beneficiaries to ensure they reflect your intentions. Make sure these are all accessible to the people who would be responsible for following your wishes. And share copies of these documents with your financial advisor so they can help your loved ones when you are gone.

• Tax planning: Understand any tax implications of your retirement income and investment withdrawals. Work with your accountant and financial advisor to see if there are tax-efficient ways to make withdrawals.

• Debt management: Evaluate and manage any outstanding debts, aiming to minimize them in your retirement.

• Stay informed: Keep up with financial news and updates to make informed decisions about your retirement investments.


The information included in this document is for general, informational purposes only. It does not contain any investment advice and does not address any individual facts and circumstances. As such, it cannot be relied on as providing any investment advice. If you would like investment advice regarding your specific facts and circumstances, please contact a qualified financial advisor.

Any investment involves some degree of risk, and different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, including loss of principal. It should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment, strategy or allocation (including those recommended by HBKS® Wealth Advisors) will be profitable or equal the corresponding indicated or intended results or performance level(s). Past performance of any security, indices, strategy or allocation may not be indicative of future results.

The historical and current information as to rules, laws, guidelines or benefits contained in this document is a summary of information obtained from or prepared by other sources. It has not been independently verified, but was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. HBKS® Wealth Advisors does not guarantee the accuracy of this information and does not assume liability for any errors in information obtained from or prepared by these other sources.

HBKS® Wealth Advisors is not a legal or accounting firm, and does not render legal, accounting or tax advice. You should contact an attorney or CPA if you wish to receive legal, accounting or tax advice.

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