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Now is the Time for an Annual Wealth Checkup

It’s valuable to perform an annual wealth checkup with your wealth advisor. This post discusses the areas you should focus on while conducting a wealth checkup.

This is the time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions. Resolving to lose weight or exercise is certainly a worthy goal, but here is an even more beneficial New Year’s resolution to consider: Performing an annual wealth checkup.
“Circumstances in your life may have changed over the past year that necessitate changes in your wealth plan,” says Cadence Bank Executive Vice President and Regional Wealth Services Executive Jamie Burns. “This makes the beginning of a new year the perfect time to sit down with your wealth advisor for an annual wealth checkup.”



Where to Focus

Burns recommends that you and your wealth advisor concentrate on the following areas during your wealth checkup:

Estate planning documents— Material changes in family dynamics — like births or deaths, a marriage or divorce, shifting of assets, or a family move — may necessitate changes in your key estate planning documents. These documents include your last will and testament, revocable living trust, power of attorney, and healthcare directive.

“For example, if you have moved to another state or gotten married, your will may no longer be valid,” says Burns. “And if you have gotten divorced, you probably need to change the beneficiary on your life insurance and retirement accounts to someone other than your ex-spouse.”
This also is a good time to take a fresh look at whether your executors, trustees and guardians are still capable of serving in these roles. In addition, if your financial situation has changed drastically over the past year — for better or worse — your will may need to be updated to reflect these changes.

Anticipated asset sales during the upcoming year — As you plan financial strategies for the new year, consider now how any large anticipated asset sales should be handled in order to minimize the tax impact. “The same goes for any capital gains you anticipate realizing in 2015,” says Burns. Also think about your charitable giving strategies for the year and how you plan to financially support causes you’re passionate about while also reaping the maximum tax benefits allowed by law.

Financial and personal goals for the New Year— This is a good time to set some goals for yourself and your family, in both the financial and non-financial areas of your life. For example:

  • How much income would you like to earn this year?
  • When would you like to retire? Are you on track financially to meet this timeframe?
  • How much money would you like to contribute to your retirement plan and your children’s college education funds this year?
  • Would you like to pay down some debt this year? If so, how much?
  • Do you want to travel this year? If so, where and when would you like to go and do you have the financial resources to make these travel dreams a reality?
  • Are there any special family events or milestones you would like to celebrate this year?
  • Perhaps a child’s wedding or a landmark anniversary? If so, have you planned for these celebrations and how you will pay for them?



Keys to Successful Planning

Burns says the most important keys to successful wealth planning are knowing where you stand from a financial, wealth and estate planning perspective and anticipating how future events might impact your current planning. “You should meet with your wealth advisor annually to review these and other areas, and there’s no better time than the start of a new year,” he says.
Contact your Cadence Bank Wealth Advisor today to schedule your annual wealth checkup.
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-Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency -Not a Bank Deposit Securities are offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA (link sends e-mail)/SIPC (link sends e-mail).The opinions expressed in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

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