As we start yet another year and ponder how fast the last 12 months have come and gone many of us find ourselves thinking about the new year and our aspirations for the future. You may have even thought of your New Year resolutions.
Let’s face it, you’ve worked hard throughout the past 12 months and now is the time to reflect on what you have achieved, where you want to go, and what you need to get there. These times of reflection are critical to your lives whether you run your own business, are employed or retired.
A financial checklist is an excellent tool to see how you are progressing towards your goals and to help identify any specific areas you might need to focus on in the immediate future.
6 New Year’s resolutions you need to work on now:
Home loan review
If you’re still making repayments, is it time to revisit your progress? Are you able to increase your payment amounts or frequency to save interest? With interest rates so low, should you refinance for a better deal or lock in a low fixed rate?
Review the amount of personal loans, credit card or other debts currently being paid off. If the total of all loans exceeds 10% of household income, you need to implement a plan to reduce them as a matter of priority. Consolidating debts could help reduce the amount of interest paid.
How much money did you save this past year? Are you spending first and saving what’s left? If your savings aren’t as healthy as you would have hoped, remember to pay yourself first by allocating up to 10% of your income to a regular savings plan.
When illness or accidents strike, most people are caught insufficiently protected. It’s important to regularly review your insurance policies to ensure that you and your family have adequate cover. When was the last time you reviewed your insurance cover?
What is the current value of your super? If you don’t know, now is a good time to check. Is it working as hard as it should be? Are the fees reasonable? Are you on track to meeting your retirement needs or should you start making extra contributions?
Making a will itself is not particularly difficult or even terribly expensive. It is a fact of life that people get married, have children, change relationships, get divorced or establish new interests. Left unaddressed, any of these may result in a will being legally challenged. Estate planning matters such as Powers of Attorney and Health Directives should be regularly reviewed in addition to your will.
The sooner you get started on your New Year resolutions the better so get started today, and you may find that your other resolutions are easier to achieve!
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