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A 7 Point Financial Checklist While You Are Sheltering at Home!

Posted by Admin Posted on Apr 27 2020 you find yourself sheltering at home, check out our 7 point financial checklist.


1. “Smart Spending”

* Reflection on spending habits - Review your checkbook and quarterly credit card summaries for where and what you spent money on.

* Back to Normalcy - When we push the “On” button again in all our lives, are these items something we need to spend money on? Want to spend money on? Or we can live without moving forward?


2. Debt Management

Gather Mortgage Statements - Pull your most recent mortgage statement and 2019 Form 1098.

Mortgage Audit/Refinance - Does it make sense to consider starting the process to refinance your mortgage, given how low mortgage rates have fallen?

Consolidation of Debt(s) - If you have credit card, student, or any other miscellaneous debt and are refinancing, does it make sense to cash out a portion of your equity to eliminate the credit card debt?

Strategize Your Debt - Can you rank all your debt from the highest to the lowest balance or the highest to the lowest interest rate loans? Do you have a strategy to eliminate your debt by highest balance or highest rate loans first?


3. Cash Reserves

Liquid Accessibility - If your income has been reduced or you have been laid off or furloughed, have your prioritized how you will access your cash reserves by type of account, accessibility and tax treatment?

Future Cash Needs - Have you considered a plan to replenish or build up cash reserves starting in late 2020 and into 2021?

Reassessment of Current Cash Needs - If you are still working full time, are you comfortable with your cash reserves in the event you need to access them for 90 or 120 days?


4. Protection Strategies

Covid-19 Test - Testing is now free for all Americans with no co-pay or application of deductible. Are you comfortable with all the provisions of your health insurance if you or a family member ends up in the hospital under care for COVID-19?

Short/Long Term Disability Insurance - Do you have short-term and/or long-term disability to cover an extended absence from work?

Long Term Care Review - If you have long-term care insurance, do you know how those benefits could be utilized with a positive COVID-19 test?

Healthcare Directive and POA - Do you have a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney for yourself and your spouse? For your kids over the age of 18? Do your adult children and their spouses have both?

Will and Trust Audit - When was the last time you updated your Will and/or your Living Trust? Has it been updated for the current ages of your children? Your grandchildren? Have your parents done this?

Personal Insurance Summary - Do you have a summary of all your life insurance policies? Are the beneficiaries updated? When did you last review the amount of coverage?


5. COVID-19 Relief

Individual and Small Business Owners CARES Act Summaries - In previous weeks, we have sent emails regarding the Individual and Small Business summaries with all the provisions of the COVID-19 legislation.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Are you familiar with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its sick leave and medical leave provisions?

Advanced Rebates of 2020 Tax Credit - Are you eligible for a cash payment from the stimulus bill?

IRA & 401(k) Distribution Changes - Are you familiar with the IRA and 401(k) provisions to ease restrictions on access to these funds?

RMD Suspension - Are you familiar with the suspension of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020?

Tax Filing Extension - Are you familiar with the extension of the tax filing deadline?

Unemployment Benefit Increases - Are you comfortable with the additional unemployment benefits and medical benefits provided?

Student Loan Payments - Are you aware that student loan interest has been temporarily suspended?


6. Consider “Risk On”

Picking up where we left off - When the economy stabilizes, the market will stabilize. When the economy rebounds, the expectation is that the market will follow on. Many feel this rebound will continue to follow any economic “boom” from pent up demand, stimulus relief, and further expansion of manufacturing in the United States.

Check-up on your Portfolio Mix - Have you considered revising your portfolio strategy and target mix to capitalize on any potential rebound in the market?

Increasing Your Periodic Savings - Have you considered how much more you could commit to your regular, monthly contributions to your retirement, savings, and investment plans?


7. Financial and Tax Strategies

Roth Conversion Opportunities - Have you considered converting your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA while the value is down, and the tax associated with a conversion is lower?

Tax Harvesting Opportunities- There will be opportunities for tax loss and tax gain harvesting now and into the recovery. Have you considered strategies to take advantage of the tax laws associated with your portfolios in 2020?

RMD Suspension Strategy - With the suspension of RMDs, have you considered utilizing the planned payment for another financial strategy?

Additional Investment Opportunities - If your spending evolves over the next few months, have you considered what you would do with an additional monthly surplus of cash flow?


If you should have questions about any items on this list, please contact one of the professionals in our office to discuss in more detail.  Stay safe and healthy!