It’s hard to believe we are half way through 2014. While we enjoy the relaxed pace of summer, we should make sure we are on track for a successful year. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself as a mid-year assessment.
- If the second half of 2014 looks just like the first, will it be a successful year?
This question shouldn’t be restricted to money. While the financial aspect of 2014 should not be ignored, there are other areas that may need assessing as well….health, work-life balance, fun…etc. I would suggest an honest evaluation of the question. If you don’t like your answer, develop a plan to make strides towards success in the second half of the year.
- What is your tax picture for 2014?
If you have not completed a tax projection for 2014, now is a good time to do so. There is plenty of time left to make changes to withholding rates or quarterly payments to positively impact your financial year. Tax planning is one of the most important areas of financial planning and should be used to create maximum financial traction. Remember taxes are the largest single expense we have each year, so proactive management is a must!
- Are you contributing at least 10% to your retirement plans?
This question focuses on the importance of savings for tomorrow, which may bring about tax savings. as well as, security for your future. Most retirement plan contributions (except ROTH and non-deductible IRAs) create a current year tax deduction, which can maximize your overall financial momentum.
- Are you following The Five Fundamentals?
I can’t stress how important it is to follow these five financial tenets. Simple as they may seem, the financial results are overwhelmingly positive. If you find yourself lacking in one (or more) of the five areas, there is still time to turn things around for 2014. If you are not familiar with The Five Fundamentals or have forgotten them, you can read about them here.
- Are you balanced?
Half-way through 2014 is a great time to ask yourself this question. Have you created balance within your world that leads to joy and happiness? While money can help us facilitate events and actions that can lead to happiness, we all know that money can’t buy happiness. And, sometimes happiness takes work. If you spent the first half of the year with your nose to the grindstone or feeling out of balance, now is the time to reassess.
As a comprehensive, fee-only financial advisor, I feel it’s important to step back and look at the big picture. These five questions will certainly get you started. If you don’t like you answers, make some changes. If you are on track, congrats! Now go out and enjoy the summer!!!