Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Now that the romance, flowers, candy, and loving cards have had their day, many people turn their thoughts to finances. If you live in the northern hemisphere you are pretty well hunkered down inside anyhow. In fact, some people even think of February as the month of finances since it’s a good time to be indoors and tax season is just getting started.
Many people get more serious about pulling their paperwork and documents together for their tax preparers. And, sometimes, the most romantic thing for couples to do is to think about their financial futures. They dream about their goals, how they would like to retire, the things they would like to accomplish, experience, and own. This often leads to discussions about financial planners, wealth management, and retirement plans.
With COVID-19 taking some of the wind out of many family’s financial planning dreams, this is still a time to keep dreaming and planning. We will come to the end of this challenging time and we will keep moving forward. Having a plan to follow will help you get to your dreams, no matter how you may have to scrimp and put some things on hold right now.
Review Your Spending
Since we are still keeping our social distance, there has been very little travel in the past year. You might have been able to continue building your travel fund or continued contributing to your retirement fund if you are still working. Wherever you find yourself, this is a great time to investigate more ways to save on your monthly bills. Can you cut back on your cell phone plan? How about your auto insurance?
File Your Taxes Early
It’s always a good idea to file your taxes sooner rather than later. Especially if the IRS owes you a refund! Other good reasons include avoiding getting scammed, being able to relax and turn your attention to other more enjoyable things, and, since it looks like a third stimulus payment is likely to be approved, you’ll have your taxes done and the IRS will have your banking information which means you’ll get your stimulus payment sooner.
Interview Fiduciary Financial Planners
If you are considering hiring a financial planner for the first time or are looking for a new one, this is a great time to schedule either in-person or virtual meetings. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can enhance your current circumstances and it might even feel good to have another financial advisor tell you that you’re in good hands with your current advisor. A fiduciary advisor is more likely to give you that kind of news, since they are bound by law to act only in your best interest not theirs.
We are still being advised to practice social distancing and wear masks in public. So, please stay safe and stay well. And let’s hope the spring brings us closer to the end of this unprecedented historic event and to an extraordinary time of renewal and growth.