A solid financial plan gives you a strong foundation to achieve financial milestones and prepare for the future. But when, and how often, should you set and review your goals? Your Liberty Bay experts have put together 5 signs that tell you it’s time to reassess your financial plan.
1. It’s been a year or more since you last took a look
While there’s no single “right” time to check your financial plan, you should at least review it annually. This could be around the new year, while you’re preparing for tax season, when you’re rebalancing your investment portfolio… as long as you’re regularly looking at your plan, you’re in a great place.
Not sure how to get started? Think about the goals you had set: have you reached any of those goals, or have they changed? What else has changed in your life? Check out our FA$Ttrack course on Setting Your Calendar Every Year for Good Financial Health for more tips.
2. A major and/or unexpected event has occurred
Some things are out of your control when it comes to your finances. While it can be hard to prepare for major or unexpected events, such as a pandemic, changes in your job situation, or medical bills, you should definitely reassess your financial plan to take these events into consideration. One safe way to prepare for an unexpected situation is to make sure you have strong savings. Review the Liberty Bay courses on Building Emergency Savings and Health Savings Accounts.
3. Your family size has changed
Family size can have a great impact on your finances. This can include things like getting married or divorced, adding a new child, becoming the financial caregiver for a parent or relative, or losing a loved one.
What new expenses do you have to consider, both short-term and long-term? What other factors may have changed? Consider our guides to Budgeting for Families and Financial Caregiving to help you ask and answer the important questions.
4. A large purchase is in the near future
While you may already have considered large future purchases such as a car or house in your financial plan, once those plans get closer, it’s a good idea to reassess and make sure you’re in a good position to move forward with the purchase.
Our FA$Ttrack courses on Buying and Owning a Home and Car Loans can help you prepare for large purchases. You’ll also want to think about what comes after making those purchases! For example, will you have to readjust your budget to cover mortgage payments or maintenance expenses?
5. You’re making more (or less) money than you thought
It’s possible for taxes and pre-tax deductions to cause the actual amount of money coming into your pocket to be smaller than you expected. Other factors like workplace bonuses, financial gifts, or simple miscalculations (don’t worry, we’ve all been there!) may mean you have more money to work with than you thought you would.
If you’re not working fulltime, it can be even more difficult to estimate how much you’re making at any point in time. Whatever your situation, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your plan and make sure it aligns with how much you’re actually making. Read our article on Managing Volatile Income to help with this.
Are you experiencing any of these 5 signs? Then it’s time for you to take a fresh look at your financial plan. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! Your Liberty Bay financial advisors are here to help. Contact our experts or visit our FA$Ttrack portal for some on-demand education.