The New Year is right around the corner. If your personal finances have been on your mind more than usual, now is a great time to assess what changes have occurred in 2008, to prepare yourself for tax time, and start strategizing on how you can achieve your financial goals for 2009. Remember to include a review of your life insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage, while determining if you have the right type of life insurance to meet your short and long term goals.
The Year of Change — Review Your Finances
The word “change” was more than a campaign slogan this year. The state of our economy has led to numerous changes in people’s financial lives. Although these changes have increased stress levels, reviewing your finances will empower you with the knowledge to make the necessary changes that will benefit you and your family next year.
Your financial review checklist should include:
- Gathering all your financial documents, including your insurance policies (life, home, auto, health), savings and checking account statements, investment accounts, and your 2007 tax returns.
- Did you change jobs? Get a pay increase or decrease?
- Did you move, sell, or buy property, including a home?
- Did you buy or sell a car?
- Did you get married or divorced?
- Did you have a child or send a child to college?
- Did you purchase a new life insurance policy, home insurance, auto insurance or health insurance?
- Do you expect any of these life changes to occur in 2009?
Review Your Life Insurance Policy
Once you’ve reviewed your finances, determined your assets, and built a list of expected changes for next year, it’s smart to review your life insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage.
Reviewing your life insurance policy with your insurance agent will also enable you to receive valuable information from a professional who can work with you to:
- Determine if the type of life insurance—whole life vs. term life—and the amount of coverage in your life insurance policy supports your short and long term financial goals, especially if you’ve had significant changes in your finances and debt level.
- Put in place any changes that may be needed regarding your life insurance beneficiaries.
- Review the potential need for disability or long-term care insurance.
- Provide information on new insurance products that may be available in 2009, in addition to any expected changes in existing policies.
While you’re working with your insurance agent, or if you’re shopping for life insurance online, it’s a good idea to take a look at your other insurance policies as well, including your home insurance, auto insurance, and health insurance.
Reviewing your life insurance policy and finances is one New Year’s resolution you’ll want to keep—one that will start your 2009 off on the right foot.
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