Let’s face it, we have worked hard right through the year and now is the time to reflect on what we have achieved, where we want to go and what we need to get there.
These times of reflection are critical to our lives whether we run our own business, are employed or retired.
A financial checklist is an excellent tool to check on how you are progressing towards your goals and to also help identify any specific areas you might need to focus on in the immediate future.
The key issues to consider are:
home loan review
If you’re still making repayments, is it time to revisit your progress? Are you able to increase your payments or frequency of payments to save interest?
The amount of hire purchase, 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.
savings and superannuation – your retirement plan
What is the current value of your retirement savings, including superannuation? It is estimated that by the time you reach 65, your savings will need to be at least 7.5 times your annual household income. Are you on track or do you need to start putting more away?
How much money did you save this year? Are you spending first and saving what’s left? If your savings aren’t as healthy as you’d hoped by this time of the year, it’s time to remember to pay yourself first and allocate up to 10% of your income to a regular savings plan.
When accidents or illness strike, most people are caught insufficiently protected. It is important to regularly review your insurance policies to ensure that you and your family have adequate cover.
Everyone has heard of the importance of making a will and keeping it up to date. Making a will itself is not particularly difficult or even terribly expensive. It is a fact of life that people get divorced, form new relationships, change old relationships, or establish new interests. Any of these may result in a will being challenged through the legal system and create long-term animosity, anger, and considerable delay in finalising the estate. Estate planning matters should be regularly reviewed in addition to your will.
If you need help with your review make an appointment with one of ipac’s advisers.