How to get fiscally fit in 2014 – Guestblog: Lori Siegel, CFP

by | Jan 22, 2014 | Community Circle, Route to Profits®

Each year, Americans start off January making resolutions, and many individuals focus on financial issues. This may including household budgeting, planning to review their investment portfolio or, more broadly, a making pledge to align and monitor their investments on a consistent basis to ensure that they align with their life goals.

This holistic wealth management approach is often most effective for successful families.

This year, when you set resolutions around financial issues, ask yourself where you’d like to be in five, 10 or 20 years. What are the life goals you value the most?

Focusing on investments is just one part of it. True wealth management not only includes investment management, but also includes advanced wealth management strategies and ongoing relationship management. You can’t only concentrate on the investments.

Follow this 2014 plan to achieve your true wealth management goals and become fiscally fit.

1st Quarter

To start the year off strong, you must figure out your spending and what you do with your money before you can make a plan. In the first quarter, evaluate your money. How are you spending, saving, borrowing and investing it? Do you like what you see? If not, it’s time to make some changes.

  • Start monitoring your spending through programs like Quicken or Mint.
  • Update your asset and liability analysis.
  • Assess the effectiveness of your current portfolio allocation and investment strategy.

2nd Quarter

Now that you have assessed your habits and goals, you can assemble a road map. Successful families will want a good team to help make decisions around advanced wealth management concerns.

  • Make sure your wealth manager has assembled a network of competent professionals to help you achieve your goals. These could include, but are not limited to, a CPA, estate attorney, tax attorney and property and casualty agent.
  • Reassess your short, intermediate and long term goals to ensure you are on track for success.
  • Update your financial plan to account for changes in your personal or professional situation.

3rd Quarter

This quarter you and your advisers will assess your wealth enhancement, the protection of your wealth and the transfer of your wealth to loved ones and valued charities.

  • Discuss mitigation of taxes with your wealth adviser and CPA.
  • Assess your wealth protection through insurance coverage for home, auto, liability, life, health and long-term care. If you haven’t taken a look in two years, or if something has changed in your life, it is time to review existing policies.
  • Review and update wills, medical directives, estate planning strategies and charitable gifting.

4th Quarter

It’s time to review your paper and electronic files.

  • Update your document locator (all your personal and financial information) to help your loved ones in case anything happens to you.
  • Work on your internet account security by changing passwords to include letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Shred any outdated documents.

Breathe a sigh of relief. You are now fiscally fit and ready for 2015.

This article originally ran in the Houston Business Journal’s HoustonBizBlog. Lori Siegel, CFP, is senior vice president of wealth management with UBS Financial Services,

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