3 Things to Check

Patrick Andrews |

Happy New Year to you! Another exciting year is ahead of us. One of my favorite things about ticking over the calendar is the anticipation of what is going to arrive in the coming year. That first day of the year is full of promise, hope, and opportunity for new beginnings. Early January is a great time to do a quick review of your important financial documents and strategies. Here are 3 things that I’d suggest for you to look at to make sure that you are reaching your financial goals for this year. 

Check your employer tax documents: 

This one is at the forefront of my mind because we added a dependent, and my wife is taking a break from work. Go look at your W4 form that is captured in your HR information system (OneSource for Cummins employees), and ensure that any new considerations for this year are captured. Do you need to add or change dependent status with the birth of a child or a young adult leaving the nest? Do your tax deductions and withholdings align with what you expected, due to a job change or salary increase? You can find the IRS’ Form W4 here. For Indiana filers, you can find the WH-4 form here.  

Check your estate plan and other important legal documents: 

For a lot of people, this may be more of a question of: do I have estate plan documents and powers of attorney in place? I am generally not big on resolutions, but if you don’t have these documents, take this as a sign from the universe (or at least from your financial planner) that you should add this to your resolution list. For those who do have these documents, when was the last time they were reviewed? Do you have new beneficiaries that need to be captured on your will or retirement account? Are there major assets added to the estate this past year or specific assets that you want to go to specific beneficiaries? Have your charitable giving needs changed? Are the right people named as your powers of attorney for health care decisions? This work can be daunting, but it’s going to pay dividends in the future for your beneficiaries. 

Check on your goals from last year: 

We like to have a myriad of goals over different terms: short, medium, and long. It’s good to take stock of how things progressed towards all your goals. It’s healthy for us, as we learn more about ourselves, our loved ones, and our surroundings to prune and adjust our goals. Are there any goals that can be checked off the list? (My wife loves the action of checking things off the list, so you know this one for sure happens in our household.) Are all your goals still serving you in the way that you want them to? Are your spending, savings, and investing habits making it possible to meet the goals that you set out for yourself?  

This is by no means a comprehensive list of items that would be worthwhile to check to ensure you’re on the right track for the new year, but it’s a great place to start. We spend much of our January, February, and March working on these exact questions and others to help our clients stay on track for their plans and goals. So, take some time to take stock and set yourself up for a great start for 2023!