The move into a new year is a good reminder to check some things off your financial planning checklist. Here are 5 simple things everyone should be doing.
Sharon Ko: A new year brings a new time to commit to goals. We’re now mid-January, so tonight, KENS5 is checking in on your financial fitness.
We asked on Twitter, “Are you on track with your financial resolutions?” This many people voted, “Yes, high-five to me,” this many for “Kind of, trying at least,” and this many for “Nope, not even close.” Wherever you stand, here are the questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re on the right track.
Number one, did you review your expenses?
Karl Eggerss: Look at all the money you spent in 2020 and see and kind of lump it together in different categories and really see how much things were necessities and how much were wants and desires and was it out of proportion.
Sharon Ko: Number two, are you putting in money to an emergency savings account?
Karl Eggerss: Three to six months is a general rule of thumb. Some people might need higher than that, if they have a one-income household or they have a job that may be a little more fragile.
Sharon Ko: Next one, are you saving 10 to 15% of your income?
Karl Eggerss: You know, during the pandemic, there was a lot of fluctuation in people’s jobs and their income, but during a normal year, that generally is going to get you a long way when it comes to living off of your retirement savings.
Sharon Ko: Number four, did you refinance your debt?
Karl Eggerss: Check to see on any of your debt is there an opportunity to switch credit cards or an opportunity to go to your mortgage company and refinance that debt? There might be a cost of doing so, but it still may be beneficial given where interest rates are.
Sharon Ko: Last one here, did you check your beneficiaries?
Karl Eggerss: And review them on all of your retirement accounts, your 401k, your IRA, your Roth. If you’re self-employed, you might have a SEP IRA. All of these have beneficiaries on the account.