Your Financial Fitness Checkup

Every year you should have a physical. When you go to the doctor, you receive a questionnaire asking you questions regarding your health since your last visit.

When you are called back to be examined, you are measured for your height and asked to step on a scale to see how much you weigh. Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature are taken. Your physician will ask you questions like:

  • How much sleep are you getting?
  • How many times a week and for how long are you exercising?
  • How much water are you drinking?

In addition, blood is drawn, and a specimen is collected to be sent to the lab for testing. All of these things are done to determine your health status. Your financial status should be reviewed on a regular basis as well.

Standard of Living

  • Where do you get income—from a job, business, retirement income, investments?
  • Do you have enough income?
  • What are you doing to increase your income?

Cash Flow Management

  • How are you managing the money coming in and going out of your home?
  • Do you have a budget? Do you live within your budget?
  • How much debt do you have?
  • What is your credit score?

Risk Management

  • Do you have health insurance?
  • Do you have enough life insurance to replace your income, pay off debt and take care of any other obligations, e.g., your children’s education?
  • Do you have short- and long-term disability to replace your income in case of sickness or injury?
  • Do you have long-term care insurance?
  • Do you wear a seat belt when you drive?

Savings

  • Do you have 3–6 months of your monthly expenses saved for emergencies?
  • Have you started putting money away for the new car you are interested in?
  • Are you saving money for your vacation so you will not have to use your credit cards?

Retirement

  • Are you participating in your retirement savings plan at work?
  • Are you contributing enough to receive the full match you can receive from your employer, or are you leaving “free money” on the table?
  • If you own your own business, have you set up a retirement plan for yourself and your employees?
  • Are you saving money in a college savings plan for your children?
  • Are you investing in long-term savings vehicles such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds or real estate?

Estate Planning

  • Do you have a will?
  • Are your beneficiaries up-to-date on your retirement plan, life insurance policies, annuities and other plans?
  • Do you have written instructions regarding the custody and care of your children?
  • Do you have a living will?

This is a lot to think about, and you can easily become overwhelmed. However, now is a great time to answer these questions and begin to work on those areas you need to address.

The good thing is that you do not have to go through the process by yourself. There are professionals who can and will help you. Begin with a qualified financial advisor you can trust, and go from there.

Here’s to Your Financial Fitness…!

About the Author

Marla V. Brady is a fully licensed financial advisor with strong business background, analytical and problem resolution skills that ensures achievement of team and individual goals. Versatile, results-oriented leader and developer of people, processes and relationships with expertise in human resources, consulting and compliance.  Specialties: Financial Planning, Deferred Compensation, Structured Settlements.

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