We are officially into the New Year, and you know what that means: Resolutions! For many of us these resolutions center around our physical well-being, like building an exercise habit or eating healthier. But don’t forget about getting those finances in shape, too!
Here are some helpful items to help you start 2018 with financial wellness and alignment.
1. Your Investment Portfolio
We all begin our portfolios with a specific asset mix catered to our strategy and risk profile. Then, for some of us, five years go by and we don’t change a thing! Over the course of time our asset mix will naturally change as different investments over- or under-perform. What’s the solution? Rebalancing. Have you rebalanced your portfolio to meet your current risk profile, strategy, and market trends? It’s recommended you do this every 6 months to a year, but stick with a plan that works for you as long as you don’t forget about it for too long. One easy way to make sure you don’t lose track is to schedule a meeting with your advisor 6-12 months in the future to review and rebalance your portfolio.
2. Estate Planning Documents
This is one of those things that often gets overlooked but is very important. Don’t forget to keep your various estate planning documents up to date! While our finances change over time, so do our personal and family relationships. So take some time to review your various accounts, as well as your wills and trusts, and make sure that your assets and your intended beneficiaries are still set up the way you want them to be.
In case you missed it, there are going to be some major changes to the tax code beginning in 2018.* If you are used to seeing your CPA in the first quarter of the New Year, be sure to discuss how the new tax code affects your finances. If you are not used to seeing your CPA, it is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with them to review the big changes and protect yourself from getting blindsided later this year. If you don’t have a CPA, it may be beneficial to work with one to guide you through the nitty gritty tax requirements and changes.
When it comes to creating a strategy to pay off your consumer debt, there is no time like the present! The days of ultra-low interest rates appear to be coming to an end, so a great way to jump start your debt pay off is to find balance transfer promotions for credit card debt. [Editor’s Note: Unitus is offering a balance transfer promotion with no transfer fee and an introductory APR** of only 2.99%.] Plus, mortgage rates are expected to begin rising so if you are a homeowner paying off a mortgage, refinancing at a favorable rate is an attractive option. This is especially true for those with adjustable rate mortgages, considering interest rates are expected to increase throughout 2018.
*Not to be taken as tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor before taking any action.
**APR = ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE. Rates are variable and range from 9.24% to 16.74% as of 1/1/2018. Rates are adjusted quarterly and are based on the U.S. Prime Rate plus a Margin. Maximum Rate is 18.00%. When you open your account, the applicable APR is based on creditworthiness. After that, your APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate. We may change the rates, fees, and other cost information at any time in accordance with applicable law, along with the Credit Account Agreement and Disclosure, that will be sent to you. Foreign transaction fee: up to 2% of the U.S. dollar amount of the foreign transaction.
Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.
Posted by: Todd Micciche
About the Author: Todd Micciche, a financial advisor like his father before him, is driven by the positive change he has seen in the lives of his clients. He earned his MBA at Portland State University and has built 12 years of experience advising clients to help them reach their specific financial goals. He holds various FINRA securities registrations and is currently studying to attain CFP® certification.