We’re half way through the year. It’s a great time to do a mid-year checkup of your financial situation. Here are a few of the topics that I like to revisit in the summer to make sure that we are on track!
1. Asset allocation rebalancing. Have you rebalanced your portfolio lately? With the decline in the market lately you could be overweighted in bonds. With stock prices down, you will be forced to sell your bonds high and buy your stocks low, just like you are supposed to!
2. Adequate insurance coverage. Do you have enough insurance? (Health, Disability, Life, Car Homeowners, Umbrella, and Flood).
3. Long term goals. Have you set long term goals and put a plan together to achieve those goals? No time like the present to work on them!
4. Set aside money for the holidays. Now is a great time to start saving for the holidays. By December you’ll have money ready to go. If you are a bargain shopper, make your lists now and keep your eye out for sales.
5. Use your vacation time. Make sure that you are using vacation. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in work, they don’t take time off. Instead of being forced to use it all at the end of the year, spend some now while the weather is nice. (As I write this… I’m enjoying my 2+ week vacation!)
6. Read your social security statement. Depending on when your birthday is, you may or may not have received your statement this year. When you get it, did you review all the numbers?
7. Tax withholding. Are you making the amount of income you estimated when you set your withholding level? Now is a great time to make an adjustment using the IRS withholding calculator.
8. Reduced capital gains tax. If you are planning on taking advantage of the 0% capital gains taxes this year, have you sold your stock yet?
9. Update your beneficiaries. Don’t get caught with an old beneficiary on your account. Make sure your retirement accounts and life insurance policies are up to date.
10. Backup your files. Have you made a backup of your important files?
Do you have additional tasks you’d like to add to the list? Feel free to add them in the comments.
This article is included in: Carnival of Personal Finance #161: The “Feeling Renewed” Edition
Thanks for the reminder… and the link. 😉
Great post – and thanks for the link! Speadking of backing up data…My home PC went down just last week, and thankfully I had backed up most of my data. A quick format and OS reload and I’m back in business.
2008 reduced capital gains tax. If you are planning on taking advantage of the 0% capital gains taxes in 2008, have you sold your stock yet?
The long-term goals, that’s a good one. Those always get lost in the trees with me
Great tips. I have two others. Update your budget and monitor it monthly. Update your personal financial statement (net worth) and monitor it at least once a year but better yet would be twice a year or quarterly.
@ Frugal Dad: Yikes! Glad you backed up that data. I’m much more comfortable now that we have automatic weekly backups offsite.
@ Mark: Great additions to the list!
I have my own 2 cents to add… mainly because I just made a mid year to do list myself!
Document In Case of Emergency Information. Does your spouse know how to access your accounts if you are incapacitated? Make a hard copy for your home, and one for your safe deposit box. As part of this you could simplify your passwords on various websites. If you are paranoid like me this means changing them and setting separate ones for for bank accounts, email accounts, bills and yet another for retirement accounts or other employee benefit sites.
Cash on Hand and Jump Bag. Are you prepared for a region wide disaster? As thunderstorms and tornadoes often roll through my neck of the woods, this got pushed to the top of the list recently. The bag contains anything you think you might need if you had to get out of your house in 5 min or less. Flashlight, food, water, change of underwear are some of the basics. A flash drive with a password protected spreadsheet listing both spouse’s accounts and how to access them is going to be in mine!
Evaluate your current retirement savings. Can you increase it at this time by even a small amount?
These are all fantastic reminders. It is so easy to let these things slide. I suppose these things are the difference between those that win with money and those that don’t!
Thanks for the link!
@ Danielle: Great additions to the list! I love the jump bag idea.