Personal Finance Calendar - Third Quarter
Managing your personal finances is an ongoing process that requires discipline.� Most people are successful at making sure the bills get paid and often saving a little on a regular basis.� However, managing your finances effectively is more than just handling the daily or monthly tasks.� Here is a monthly calendar for July through September that can serve as a guide to addressing some of these other issues.�
Review your planning for retirement.
- There three fundamental questions - What will it cost to live after I retire?� How much do I need to have saved before retirement?� What should I be doing now?
- Many financial advisors suggest that living expenses after retirement will be about 70% to 80% of what they were just before retirement.�
- Doing all the math can get complicated so use an online retirement calculator to determine how well you are doing in accumulating the funds needed for a financially secure retirement.
- If the calculation indicates you need to save more, create a plan to do so.
- Contribute as much as you can to your 401(k) plan at work and try to get the full employer match contribution.
- Make annual contributions to an IRA.
- Increase your other savings by establishing an automatic savings plan at your financial institution to transfer a certain amount from your checking account into your savings account each month.
Use some spare time to learn more about investing or handling your finances in general.�
- Making thoughtful and informed financial decisions is more important than ever.
- Financial responsibilities will continue to shift from institutions to individuals.� You are responsible for your financial future.
- The financial environment seems to be getting more complex.
- Talk to your financial advisor or an informed friend more often to better equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to make better financial decisions.
- Read the "financial advice" columns in the newspapers or online.� You will probably find that many others face similar issues.
- Subscribe to a personal financial magazine to improve your financial literacy.
As school is about to begin, consider how your children's or grandchildren's college educations will be financed.�
- College costs have been increasing faster than the general inflation rate.
- Enabling a child or grandchild to graduate from college without student loans can help them live a better life once they leave college.
- Custodial accounts are simple and easy to establish.
- Coverdell Education Savings accounts are often used and offer some tax advantages.
- Section 529 Plans have become attractive because they allow larger amounts to be saved with some tax advantages.
Review your estate plan.�
- Recent changes to the estate tax laws have raised the threshold on what size estates are subject to tax.� But estate planning is more than just taxes.�
- Be sure you have other documents that are important - durable power of attorney, power of attorney for health care and living will.�
- If you have moved, divorced or had new children or grandchildren, you should be sure your estate plan has been updated.
- Be sure that your estate planning documents can be easily found by your family or estate executor.
- Discuss your plans with your family.
Make sure your beneficiaries are still appropriate.
- The beneficiaries you designate for your retirement plan and your IRAs will determine who would get the funds if you die.
- You may have chosen those beneficiaries years ago and it may make sense to change them.� For example, if your spouse or children do not necessarily need the funds, designating grandchildren may be more appropriate.
- The same holds true for life insurance beneficiaries.� Having someone other than your estate designated as beneficiary on a life insurance policy will shorten and simplify the process of the payment actually getting to the person you choose.
- If you have a favorite charity, you may want to designate the charity as beneficiary for a portion of the proceeds of your retirement plan or IRA.
- Choosing a beneficiary is important and you may want to consult with your attorney or advisor.
These suggestions on this calendar may not match your personal financial schedule.� However it can serve as a reminder to make sure you address important issues.