November 12, 2018

10 Things I Know About ... High-impact personal finance moves

Ryan Kittredge

10) Track your worth. Take an inventory of your assets (and liabilities) to create a clear picture of your net worth and consider using aggregation software to track it over time.

9) Don't miss your window. It's open enrollment season, so take the time to select the right health insurance plan for 2019 by weighing out costs and benefits. Consider utilizing tax-advantaged health savings vehicles such as the health savings account.

8) Insure your paycheck. Confirm you have adequate long-term disability insurance to protect your future earnings.

7) Shift your allocation. Consider a contrarian approach to your investments by taking advantage of beaten-down asset classes such as emerging market stocks, gold and energy master limited partnerships.

6) Don't leave money on the table. Ensure your group retirement plan contributions are taking advantage of any company match.

5) Shop it out. Given interest rate increases, now is a smart time to look for more competitive rates on bank deposits, CDs and money market accounts. Ask your bank if you're eligible for an increase.

4) Save your accountant from surprises. Provide your tax preparer with an estimate of capital gains and investment income to save you from an unexpected tax bill. Be aware of any capital gain distributions made from mutual funds in non-retirement accounts.

3) Remember your Roth. Roth IRAs can provide tax-free accumulation and distributions, and their appeal has grown given the recent federal tax cuts.

2) Keeping score. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain free credit reports to identify any issues. Credit cards can help track FICO scores.

1) Call on your confidence. Be your own advocate and ask more questions of the professionals in your life. Financial health is improved by understanding where you are in relation to where you want to be. Do your own research to gain a base understanding and use your advisors as resources to build a plan, scheduling periodic reviews.

Ryan Kittredge is a partner and financial planner with Carr Financial Group in Worcester. He can be reached at ryan@carrfinancial.net.

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