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Give yourself a gift of confidence

2021 isn’t over. So, before you wave goodbye to the trials and gains of the past year, consider opportunities you could embrace as you look into the future.

Review your plan.

One truth we’ve all noticed over the past few years is anything can happen. Anything. Does your plan account for that?

  • Consider if there are goals you put on hold over the past few years that you’d like to reassert.
  • Take a look at your spending patterns.
  • As we try to get back to “normal,” is there spending you can reconsider or eliminate?

Are you rebalanced?

The markets rose significantly this year. In terms of your asset allocation, review your investment mix of stocks, bonds, alternative investments, and cash to determine if it all still aligns with your goals.

Rebalancing may be necessary. You may find you are “overweight” in securities – which means you may want to consider bringing your portfolio back to your predetermined allocations.

Look back, and look ahead. 

Review your beneficiaries – are they still capable of acting on your behalf if needed? Or perhaps your relationship has evolved, and you want to change beneficiaries. Contact your estate planning professional to help.

Perhaps you’re aware the new year will include a large expense, or maybe you received a large sum of money this past year. Think of what steps you can take to manage those circumstances. Consider if you should hold on to that cash during this time or make arrangements to have cash available at some point in the future.

Remember, if you did experience any life transitions this year, your tax status may have changed. Marriage, birth, divorce, retirement – all can change your withholding status.

Study and optimize your benefits.

  • Consider any changes your employer has made to your benefits, and if any new decisions are required on your part.
  • If your employer matches contributions to your 401(k), consider contributing to that match, or if you’re there already, exceeding it.
  • Take a look at your 401(k) allocation. Does it align with your plan?
  • If you haven’t already, think hard about your health insurance and if your plan reflects your life situation. Perhaps it’s time to consider an HSA and high-deductible plan, or to better understand what your annual deductible is.

These suggestions may seem daunting but spending some time thinking about where you are may have its own reward. It may help you gain a sense of direction, and a stronger idea of where you are and where you’re headed.

If some of these tasks exceed your abilities, make sure you find a professional you trust to help you walk through your plan and goals. Close out the year – and enter the new year – with confidence.

 

Brandon Lehman is the Director of Branch Development at Annex Wealth Management. As Director of Branch Development, Brandon is responsible for the growth and advancement of Annex’s branch offices. He oversees relationships forged at individual branches and ensures every client is experiencing the Annex Wealth Management difference there. Brandon has over 10 years of financial services experience working with clients and advisors alike. He has spent the majority of his career working with clients to help them reach their financial objectives with a focus on outcomes. Prior to Annex, Brandon worked as a Wealth Advisor for a national RIA, Investment Consultant for a global asset management firm and a financial consultant for a national insurance and investment firm. Brandon graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2009 with a degree in history and political science. He passed the General Securities Representative (Series 7), and the Uniform Combined State Law (Series 66) and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®).