Autumn Transitions and Opportunities
29 August 2018
As Labor Day approaches, many of us are facing back-to-school and other transitions or new beginnings, whether we are students, parents of students, or just re-focusing ourselves as Fall begins.
I know I am facing them – my wife and I have just returned from settling in our daughter, Meghan, for her freshman year at Center College in Danville, Kentucky. This is a new phase for us – an empty nest. Change can bring with it the need to deal with feelings which sometimes aren’t comfortable. When that happens, we need to remember that this can be an opportunity for growth.
Those of us who’ve gone through many years of schooling – almost all of us, in fact – can have “Fall = new beginnings” almost programmed into us.
With that in mind, Fall approaching, and significant tax reform enacted recently, it might be time for many of you to take a look at:
• Your financial plan. Is it up to date? Have any significant life events occurred between your last review and the present? Do you need to make any adjustments?
• Your asset allocations. In individual non-qualified investment accounts, qualified retirement accounts, and IRA accounts, asset allocations should be reviewed regularly.
• Your will. Do you have a will in force? If not, you may not want to delay having one drafted. Everyone, in my opinion, needs a valid will. If you do have one, is it up to date? Make sure! Aretha Franklin recently died without a will and is not even buried yet; however, lawsuits by family members have already been filed.
• Powers of attorney. These, both medical and durable, provide confidence that, should you become incapacitated, your affairs will be in the hands of someone competent.
• Beneficiary designations. Review all life insurance policies, as well as qualified retirement plans and IRAs, to ensure you have up to date beneficiaries, both primary and contingent, designated.
• Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. How might this tax act impact your 2018 income tax return? Have you considered the ramifications and whether making changes to your tax strategy before year-end could save you money?
Yes, Jennifer and I must get used to our empty nest. But this is an opportunity for us to spend more one-on-one time together, as well as getting used to allowing Meghan more freedom to make her own decisions, as she moves into adulthood.
What does autumn’s advent prompt you to review or to reflect on?
Until next Wednesday –