Retirement Guys: Spring clean your financesWritten by Nolan Baker Mark Clair | | email@example.com
Spring is a great time of year, especially for us here in Northwest Ohio as we watch the seasons change. After a long and cold winter, a few warm days and we are ready to go out and start spring cleaning.
Recently, I (Nolan) along with my wife and our two boys went out with Waterville Cub Scouts Pack 101 and helped clean up the winter damage in Side Cut Metropark. We also watched many excited people out on the annual walleye run that had just kicked off. Down at the SeaGate Convention Center, the PRO Home Improvement and Garden Show was going on that weekend. Bobby Parker, co-owner of Sandman, told me about all of the great booths that would be on display to help homeowners become ready this year. It was an exciting time.
Before the sugar rush of Easter candy wears off, take time to enjoy everything Northwest Ohio has to offer, but use that energy to also spring clean your finances. Taking just a few hours can be a very financially beneficial exercise. Putting in a little time right now can also give an investor confidence knowing that he or she has prepared for the next season of investing. Here are some tips to spring clean your finances.
- Take an inventory of everything. Looking at my garage right now, tons of stuff has accumulated over the winter. The only way I can actually move everything back in order for the year is to take it all out, take inventory of what I have, eliminate the junk and make a list of what I’ll need for the next year. The same basic process applies when reviewing the current investment plan for this year. Take a look at each account and ask yourself, “What is the purpose of the account?” “How much does it cost to maintain the account?” and “Is it generating the desired results?”
- Protect what you have. Unfortunately, in the market, the seasons aren’t as predictable as the weather locally. The potential damaging effects that Wall Street might have on an investor’s finances might not be as obvious as the winter weather in Side Cut Metropark, but a silent storm could be brewing in the markets. The last several years the markets have been enjoyable for most investors. Rebalancing is a strategy that although doesn’t guarantee against loss, it can help control an investor’s level of risk. Rebalancing once a year can help an investor keep their asset allocation in line with their personal investment goals. We expect the effects of winter to be damaging on our landscaping. Expect the unexpected will happen when investing.
- Identify how to grow. Around the house it is pretty easy in the spring time to jumpstart everything growing again. After the yard has been cleaned up all a person usually needs to do is put down some fertilizer and then water the plants, mix that in with a little sunshine and Mother Nature takes over. Growing investments aren’t as easy, but growth is usually very important for many investors. One area that we recommend taking a look at if you want more growth is reviewing the inventory that was created and identify specific accounts where there could be better opportunities. Finding more growth could be as easy as getting the right mix.
- Dust off the estate plans. For any family that has had change occur during the past year, a review of the estate plans is a smart idea. Those changes could be the addition of a new family member, a marriage or a loss of a loved one. Even if no changes have occurred in the family it is also advantageous to review the current beneficiary forms on file with each account. Call and request a copy of the beneficiary forms in writing and make sure they match your wishes. If not, take action and request it in writing before something happens.
For more information about The Retirement Guys, tune in every Saturday at 1 p.m. on 1370 WSPD or visit www.retirementguysnetwork.com. Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through NEXT Financial Group Inc., Member FINRA / SIPC. NEXT Financial Group, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice. The Retirement Guys are not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group. The office is at 1700 Woodlands Drive, Suite 100, Maumee, OH 43537. 419-842-0550