If you’re reading this you probably have a few questions about your finances. You’ve come to the right place!
So, you’re clearly interested in gaining more knowledge about your own personal finances and we’re glad you’re here. “Financial wellness, put simply, is the ability to have a healthy financial life. It means your debts are payable and you have ample emergency, college and retirement funds. You’re well prepared to handle any financial crisis.” —Forbes, Oct. 11,2019
We’ve got a few questions for you. A Financial Wellness Checklist to get you on the path toward a healthier financial life. So let’s get started!
It can be overwhelming to think of your finances when you don’t really know where to begin. So, this list of questions related to your finances can help to lighten the load of uncertainty. Now we know, for some, the questions posed here are not new. Yet for others, many if not most of these questions are things you’ve never really considered. But, regardless of where you are, it’s time to begin.
It’s a good time to take a fresh look at your finances and hit the ‘restart’ button if needed.
Taking that financial physical every once in a while is an integral part of financial wellness. And, it’s important for all of us to remember that digging that hole and sticking our head in the sand about our finances just isn’t going to make it better. Truly, the only real way to improve your financial wellness begins with gaining a better understanding of where you are today so you can learn more about what you need to do to get where you want to be tomorrow.
So, rather than leaving financial issues dangling over your head, why not start to gain some peace of mind by beginning to address them now? By that, we mean, beginning to gain the knowledge of how well you are financially. Consider one important way to do that…answering the questions we’ve posed. But, you don’t have to do it all at once. Take time over the next several weeks and pace yourself getting to the answers.
Think of it this way, heading to the doctor for that annual physical keeps you on top of personal wellness. While some may not really want to go, we know that if we don’t, issues may arise that will then force us to go see the Doc. So, why wouldn’t you annually check up on your financial wellness? In a similar way, gaining more control over your situation as that knowledge is power. 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 away. Other questions may require some digging or assistance.
- 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?
Okay, so it’s not our intention to leave you overwhelmed with these questions.
We realize that just might happen if you’ve never really checked up on your financial wellness. But please don’t stop here. Take your time in answering these questions. And set a goal of 4 to 6 weeks to get your answers. You may want to consult with someone you know and trust who you believe has handled their money well–find a good mentor. Or, get a financial partner like an adviser or planner. It will be worth the money spent to get to a place where you have peace of mind that you’re heading in the right direction toward being financially well.
Once you’re on track toward being financially well, it’s important to stay on track!
After all, you’ve put the time in to get there, consider how you’ll stay there. We believe in mindfully monitoring your spending by using a spending plan. Using a spending plan will help you to continue to pay attention regularly to your spending habits. Not sure what a spending plan is? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a spending plan template. And, check-out our blog: Fresh Start: Tips for a spending plan vs. budget.
Financial Wellness check-ups like this one–answering these questions–will give greater assurance of meeting today’s and future financial needs.