From time-to-time, you ought to stop and take stock of your financial life. Some people do that at the beginning of the year while others do it at the end of the year. With money, any day is as good as the other. Actually today is the best day of all. So how are you doing financially – right now?
You may have had some goals that have passed their due-dates; but if you take failure as the opportunity to begin again more intellegently, you will go back and dust those goals (or better versions of them) and move forward. Revise your goals today and go after them again one more time.
While you are at it, below is a Financial Checklist that I know will assist you in setting the goals for the current or the next decade of your life. The aim is for you to finish every year on a high note and start the New Year with the same momentum – whatever your age.
In Your 20s and 30s
• Write your will
• Set up a savings account (ISA in the UK)
• Buy a house
• Invest for growth in at least one Unit Trust (or Mutual Fund)
• Get disability insurance, and life insurance (if you have dependants)
• Begin contributing to a retirement plan
In Your 40s and 50s
• Do all of the above if you haven’t already
• Invest for income as well as for growth
• Put part of your portfolio in tax-exempt investments
• Fund your retirement plan to the max
• Draw up a durable power of attorney or living trust, and a living will
• Consult a Solicitor if your estate is worth more than the Inheritance Tax threshold
• Pay off your mortgage before you retire
In Your 60s and at retirement
• Invest more for income but keep some growth stocks
• Aim to reinvest income and gains to beat inflation
• Review your will and estate plan
• Revise your will if it is out of date
• Investigate retirement housing
Though not comprehensive, but I hope this checklist will help you measure your financial progress and use it as a platform for leaping forward.