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5 Ways to Assess Your Financial Goals

Many people don’t regularly look at their investment, retirement and savings accounts. To help you reach your financial goals, it may also be a good idea to get in the habit of doing a periodic checkup. Here’s a financial checklist to help you measure your progress toward reaching your financial goals.

1. Your Budget
If you do not have a budget, create one. Your budget should be an accurate snapshot of your income and expenses to highlight where you could adjust savings allocations, investment choices and debt payments. The goal is to show a monthly positive cash flow, which is key to achieving your short- and long-term goals.

2. Your Investment Accounts
During your checkup, revisit your contribution allocations to your retirement savings, any college savings plans, or emergency funds. You may also want to re-evaluate retirement accounts to make sure you are maximizing your contributions—within the constraints of your budget—and capitalizing on any employer contributions that may be available. Keep in mind that employer contributions are essentially “free money” for your retirement that you should fully take advantage of.

If any circumstances have changed in your life, you may need to re-balance or re-strategize your budget to ensure that it reflects what’s important to you and your goals down the road.

3. Your Debt
Take a look at how much you owe on your mortgage, home equity line of credit, car loans, student loans or credit card debt. Make sure that you are paying more than the minimum payment on your credit cards—or, if possible, try to pay your credit card balance each month. Also, it may be worthwhile to look into any opportunities to lower the interest rate on your outstanding debt. Paying down debt faster and decreasing your interest payments can help increase your cash flow.

4. Your Credit
A checkup may be the perfect time to get a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus as a low credit score can increase your borrowing costs. Take the time now to make sure your credit report does not have any errors and review it carefully for any fraudulent activity.

5. Your Estate
The term “estate” can conjure up ideas of countryside manors filled with antiques. However, an estate is simply the net worth of a person at any point in time, made up of your assets less all liabilities. Depending on those assets and liabilities, you may want to make sure your Will and any power of attorney paperwork are up-to-date and in compliance with state and federal laws. Take a look to see if all the beneficiaries on your accounts are listed and/or updated.

A periodic assessment may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have multiple IRA and 401(k) or 403(b) accounts from your former employers. At Jemma Financial, we can make this process more convenient for you by providing you with a summary of your cash, investment and retirement balances, all in one place. No matter your financial situation, talk to one of our experienced Financial Advisors today.

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