An Annual Review of Your Finances
Follow these six steps and make any necessary adjustments. Doing so will help you stay on course toward your financial objectives.
A comprehensive assessment of your financial plan will enable you to see how far you've come toward reaching your goals. You'll need to ask yourself some basic questions, then determine whether the actions you' re currently taking still align with those goals.
Taking a Holistic View of Financial Planning
You probably have a variety of investment accounts to meet specific financial goals, such as a 401(k) plan for your retirement and a 529 plan for your child's college education. But those accounts aren't independent of each other. Investing additional assets into your child's college fund means you're putting less toward your retirement savings goal. And buying a new car every few years may mean you have less cash available for other spending priorities, such as family vacations. "To ensure you are making the best decisions, you should step back and take a holistic view of your financial plan," says Stuart Ritter, CFP®, a senior financial planner with T. Rowe Price. Every financial decision requires a trade-off. But with a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve with your money, you can ensure your spending and investment strategies help support your goals.
- Write down all your financial objectives, ranking them according to importance. Include when you want to meet each goal and its projected cost.
- Review your budget to identify areas where your spending does not reflect your personal priorities.
- Realign your spending plan and reallocate dollars into investment accounts that better reflect your goals.