September financial checklist

Your September Financial Checklist

Summer has (nearly) come to a close. At APO Financial, we’ve got you covered with a brand new checklist to get you through the month.

Personal finance can be overwhelming. There’s so much to keep track of: tax planning, investments, retirement savings and more. That’s why it can be helpful to break the tasks down into bite-sized pieces throughout the year.

Whether you’re planning to retire in the next year or you’re still decades away from your golden years, it’s important to think about your goals and make sure they’re aligned with what you and your household will need. 

Now that September is upon us, it’s time to think about your fall and winter “to do” list!

Take Inventory of Your Assets

Before you can make a plan, or check your progress, you need to first figure out where you stand financially. This is an important step in retirement planning because it allows you to assess your current situation and plan accordingly.

Evaluate your current budget and write down every debt, liability, savings balance, income stream, and insurance policy you have. Don’t forget about properties, vehicles and other valuable possessions that affect your bottom line. A good way to do this is by creating a worksheet with your trusted financial advisor so that you can adjust on a regular basis.

As you review, keep in mind that you won’t be getting a paycheck once you retire. Experts often say you’ll need at least $1 million to retire comfortably. But some retirement planners say the new rule of thumb is $3 million. Whichever benchmark you use, you’ll at least have something to measure your current status against – and make adjustments if needed.

To determine your retirement savings goal, you should consider the following:

  • How long do you expect to live in retirement?
  • What are your estimated annual income needs in retirement?
  • How much can you realistically expect to withdraw from your investment portfolio each year without running out of money?
  • Are you comfortable taking on more risk to potentially earn a higher return on your investment?

Once these are answered and understood, you can hit the ground running with your advisor.

Tax Planning

If you typically make Federal income tax payments throughout the year, the due date for your third quarter estimated taxes is right around the corner

Keep in mind, your tax situation can change significantly in retirement, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay significantly less. Your required minimum distributions could bump you into a higher income tax bracket. You may even have to pay income taxes on your Social Security benefit. That’s why it’s so important to make sure tax planning is addressed in your overall retirement plan.

Revisit Your Estate Plan

Summer is a busy time, and many financial to-dos can get lost in the shuffle, so turn your attention to items such as updating your estate plan. This document may need a refresh if, for instance, there’s been a marriage or divorce, named guardians have died, there’s been a substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate, or your children have reached the age of majority.

Unlike more traditional estate plans developed by most estate attorneys, we help you look at the bigger picture and determine what kind of legacy you want to leave. What’s more, we’ll help you create an all-encompassing plan that not only executes your wishes after you’re gone, but helps protect your loved ones.

Your Retirement Wants and Needs

Before you can retire, you need to know what kind of retirement you want.

How much of your pre-retirement income do you expect to need in retirement? Before you answer, consider if you plan to maintain your current lifestyle in retirement. Will you stay in your home? Maybe you want to travel or try some new restaurants. Will you want to adopt new hobbies with all of your free time and do they cost money?

Retirement income planning is important, especially if you’re worried about making your savings last for the rest of your life. We can help you protect your nest egg from market loss, potentially grow your wealth, and create guaranteed income for life.

The more realistic you are with this assessment, the better prepared you can be for retirement! If you need help building or vetting this plan, consider finding a financial advisor who can assist you with these decisions like the Fiduciary advisors at APO Financial.

Bottom Line

The start of a new month and season is a great time to get your financial ducks in a row. Being prepared for retirement and life’s many obstacles takes some planning, especially ahead of time. 

Getting started on your financial checklist can be less daunting than you think. At APO Financial, we help you look at the bigger picture especially when it comes to planning your retirement and other life changing moments. Ready to get your Fall financial checklist in order? The first step of your journey is essential, so let’s get together for a complimentary visit to see if we want to travel down this road together. Contact us here to set up a meeting today!

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