By Louise Albert, CFP
The spring blooms are upon us as we finish up tax returns and begin contemplating spring projects. A financial “house cleaning” may, literally, pay dividends for you this spring. A few suggestions to get started are listed below.
Become familiar with your credit report.
You can get an annual credit report for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. A credit report contains information about your credit and loan history and is used by lenders to determine your credit worthiness. Review carefully for negative information and file a dispute if you find errors.
As you go through your paper files, shred all papers that you no longer need. Consider scanning important papers and keeping digital files to avoid this task next year.
Update your will or trust.
Have you experienced a major life event in the last year such as a marriage, divorce, or addition of a new family member? If so, you may need to make adjustments to your will or trusts to account for this event. If you do not have these documents, now is a good time to have the issue reviewed. Also, make sure your accounts are titled appropriately.
Rebalance your investment portfolio.
You may have gone through a risk tolerance questionnaire to determine the appropriate mix of asset classes for your investment accounts. Your asset allocation may now be askew due to the equity market run-up we have experienced over the last two years. Rebalancing your account is one of the best ways to ensure that you “buy low and sell high.”
Review college savings.
As college acceptance letters are mailed out this month, review the college savings accounts you have set up. Do you have a 529 plan? If not, now is a great time to set one up in order to benefit from some of the tax advantages. You also may need to do some rebalancing in this account as well.
Louise Albert is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and also holds the ChFC® and CLU® designations. She is currently a Financial Planning Specialist at Samalin Investment Counsel in Chappaqua.Prior to that, Louise spent 13 years at TIAA-CREF specializing in retirement planning and assisting individuals in reaching long term financial goals.