Karl Eggerss was interviewed on CBS discussing how to create a New Year’s Financial Checklist. This is the best time of year to establish a financial plan.
Sharon Ko: 2020 is fast approaching. How about kicking off your fresh beginning by getting your finances in shape? Here’s your top five Money Smart checklist.
Karl Eggerss: Check your beneficiaries. There’s changes in life and you may want to check your beneficiaries on your 401ks, your life insurance, your retirement accounts. Are they still who you wanted them to be when you set them up? I think the second thing you need to look at is your retirement plan. Look at the allocation. In a year where the stock market goes way up, you may have too much stocks than what you originally intended, so you may need to rebalance, they call it. Even if you do that annually, it’s a good time to do that. I think also take a look at your debt. Do you have some smaller debts out there that you could pay down or pay off? Get rid of those. It’s a nice time to start fresh in the new year and get some of those smaller debts paid off.
I think the other thing is, look at your employer benefits. If you are working for a company, this is the re-enrollment time, generally, the late part of the year, in terms of how much you’re putting into your 401k. Is there life insurance available to you free or at a very low cost? Have you checked your deductibles to see are they too low or too high? And then, I think checking your wills and your legal documents, just again, to make sure that things are going to go where they’re supposed to if something were to happen to you or, if you become incapacitated, who’s going to make those decisions on your behalf? So, the legal documents kind of time to the life insurance and the insurance in general, but it’s a good time to check all five of those things.
Sharon Ko: Would you recommend maybe setting financial goals just as much as we maybe set our weight goals?
Karl Eggerss: Personal goals?
Sharon Ko: Yeah.
Karl Eggerss: Yeah, the gym memberships tend to go up in January, because everybody sets these personal goals and it’s a great thing to do, but financial goals, to your point, excellent time to do it. It’s just a good reset at the end of the year to say, “What did I do right or wrong? Did I get a raise? And if I got a raise that’s going to kick in January 1st, am I going to save that money? Am I going to spend it? Am I going to pay down debt?” So, again, it kind of goes back to budgeting, but also just kind of assessing the cash flow and financial goals.