Jason Spicer
Jason Spicer
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5 Steps To A Solid Mid-Year Financial Check-Up

5 Steps To A Solid Mid-Year Financial Check-Up

We're officially halfway through the year! Now's an excellent time to look at your finances and ensure you're on track to reach your year-end goals.

But what does that involve? How do you make sure that you are reviewing everything you need to?

Here’s a quick list to help you get started.

Evaluate The Progress On Your Top Financial Goals

Do you have both short and long-term goals? Of course, you do! Which of your goals “come due” during the year? Take a look at some of the top financial goals you set for this year and check out your progress.

Say one of your goals was to max out your 401(k). This means that you can contribute $20,500 (plus another $6,000 if you are at least 50 years old). Are you on track to meet that number?

If not, it’s good to find out now so that you can rechart Does this need to be re-chart? your course. Maybe all you need to do to get back on track is increase payroll deferrals by another percentage or two. That’s better than waiting until the end of the year and realizing you are thousands of dollars behind.

Checking in on your goals is a fantastic way to gain motivation and celebrate how far you've come. It’s no secret that many people thrive on positive reinforcement. Even if you don’t need to correct anything—show that achievement to yourself and let yourself feel good about it. That action could be the push you need to keep going.

Shore Up Your Cash Flow Plan

Did you encounter any extra spending over the last six months? Maybe your kid started piano lessons or wants to join a travel hockey team. Or perhaps you've been doing more traveling than you're used to. Those types of expenses can come out of the woodwork and get rather costly.

If these costs are going to need a permanent place in your budget, it's time to account for them. Adjust your financial plan to incorporate them going forward, so they don’t creep in and derail your other goals.

But, maybe you have extra expenses that aren’t so good. Clean up spending that's not serving you or your goals.

And of course, don’t forget to plan for upcoming spending—holidays, travel, gifts, etc. It can be demoralizing to think you’re making good progress only to take a step back for something you saw coming but didn’t account for.

Boost Your Emergency Fund

Many people had to tap their emergency funds throughout the pandemic. That's okay! In fact, that’s exactly why you have an emergency fund. But, if you dipped into your rainy-day fund, now's the time to start filling it up again.

Don’t worry about doing it overnight. Like every other financial goal, give yourself an appropriate amount of time. Establish regular deposits into your emergency fund via a checking account. You may be surprised what a couple of hundred dollars a month can yield.

Analyze Your Investments

Unless you are the most conservative investor, you’ve almost certainly had investment losses this year. But, the question you need to ask yourself is as follows,

Is your investment strategy still working overall?

There will be ups and downs along the way but is your portfolio still the right one for you?

If not, think about how you want to tweak it. Is there anything you want to add to your portfolio, like real estate, private equity, or venture capital?

Perhaps you want to start investing more. If you're able, consider increasing contributions to a brokerage account. Considering the market pullback, a Roth conversion might make sense because you are taxed on the value of your conversion. You can convert while the market is down for a lower tax bill and let your rebound happen inside the Roth.

The recent volatility is also cause to check your allocation. Not in the sense of thinking about changing your desired allocation but putting it back into place. Has your current allocation drifted too far from your target because of gains and losses? Now might be a good time to rebalance.

Investment Distributions

If you take regular distributions from a trust or retirement account, consider reviewing those to see if you need to make any changes. Doing so could protect your principal and reduce the risk of depleting your savings.

Protect Yourself and Your Wealth

Don’t forget about your insurance coverage. Take a look at your policy and see if it still protects you adequately. In particular, check your homeowner's insurance. Current prices and rebuild costs have gone up. Would you be able to afford a new home if yours were destroyed? You may want to increase your limits.

What about liability and or disability coverage? If you’ve had a career change or even a significant change to your work environment (like working remotely!), you may need to address that.

If you need help with your mid-year review, give us a call, and we will help!

Disclaimer

First Dakota Wealth & Trust is the fiduciary investment department of First Dakota National Bank with trustee powers to serve clients during their lifetime, during incapacity, and after death. We help clients develop a financial roadmap to help simplify their financial future.

Please note that neither First Dakota National Bank nor First Dakota Wealth & Trust Department or its employees provide tax or legal advice. This is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult your attorney and/or tax professional for advice related to your specific situation.