We’re not trying to stress you out here. Honest. We know that in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, you have little or no time to check up on your own personal financial wellness. And, when you do have the time, you may not know the myriad of important questions that you should be asking yourself.
But instead of leaving these financial issues dangling over your head, it will give you a tremendous peace of mind to begin to address these questions one by one.
Think of it this way, heading to the doctor for that annual physical keeps you on top of personal wellness. So, why wouldn’t you annually check up on your financial wellness? Take some stress out of your life by regularly having a good understanding of your overall financial situation.
Here are the top questions you should be asking yourself regularly as you check-up on your financial wellness. Some you can answer right now. Some may require some digging or assistance. Consider this a checklist, and set yourself the goal of looking into the ones you don’t know.
- How much do I save or spend each year?
- What is my current net worth?
- Am I borrowing money most efficiently?
- Do I have an emergency fund, and do I have the proper amount in it?
- Do I have the proper amount of insurance to take care of my family if I die or become disabled?
- Am I saving enough for my retirement?
- Do I have the proper investment choices in my retirement or 401(k) plan, and is it enough to allow me to retire when I intend?
- If I have several 401(k) plans with past employers, should I consolidate them or keep them as they are?
- What is my risk tolerance, and how much risk am I taking now?
- What is my current asset allocation with all of the investments I own, and is it right for me?
- Am I up to date on the latest investments like Exchange-Traded Funds and Alternative Investments that may be negatively correlated to the stock market?
- Am I investing enough in myself, my kids or my grandkids for today’s and future increased earning power?
- What type of long-term care planning have I done? Does long term care insurance make sense for me?
- Does my employer offer a High Deductible Health Insurance plan? If yes, am I taking full advantage of the Health Savings Account (HSA)?
- Have I done all I can to reduce my income taxes?
- Is my estate plan up to date–my will, a durable power of attorney, a healthcare proxy or a trust?
- Have I recently reviewed the beneficiary designations I have made on my insurance and retirement accounts, and are they as I wish?
Once you have gained clarity and answers to these questions, take the next step… Look toward your future and start to envision what you’d like it to be. Financial Wellness check-ups like this one–answering these questions–will give greater assurance of meeting today’s and future financial needs.