by Blake Herzog
If you’re looking at the bottom line of your bank accounts and investments and feel as if things are going pretty well, first of all, let yourself be thankful for that feeling.
Second, dig into the numbers you have and make sure your financial present and future really are as secure as you think they are given the short- and long-term challenges you could face.
Some of the questions you should ask are:
- Do you have enough cash to put aside in a savings account or short-term CDs to cover three to 12 months of expenses? This is critical for protecting yourself against unexpected job losses or medical bills. Try to save even more if you’re working in a field in which job openings are few and far between.
- Know how much you want to save for retirement; many experts suggest saving 10 times your annual income. The number depends a lot on what kind of lifestyle you want to have once you are done working.
- Look into every type of retirement savings account available to you, whether it’s a 401(k) plan at work, an IRA (either traditional or the Roth version) or whichever product works best for your future.
- Don’t be shy about putting some of your savings in the stock market where it’s likely to multiply faster and further than most savings accounts, at least for the immediate future.
- Carry all the insurance you’re going to need, including life, health, home, and vehicle.As we approach the end of 2021, here are a couple to-dos so you can start the next year on firm financial ground:
- Consider the impact of any major life, work or net wealth changes on your taxes and insurance coverage. Even a large appreciation in your home’s value, not an uncommon position to be in this year, could affect how much home insurance you need.
- Reassess your investment portfolio to make sure it will continue to agree with your risk tolerance and future goals.
- Seek financial advice about “inflation hedge” investments such as government inflation-protected bonds and CD ladders to see how they may benefit you.