Tag Archives: holiday preparation

Financial Checklist Fall 2022

Five Tasks for Fall Finances
  • Quick and Dirty Tax Planning Check your W4, review your year to date retirement contributions, update year to date business expenses, check for any tax losses in your taxable investment accounts
    • Catalysts for Action: Did you welcome a new family member? New job? Second job?
  • Speaking of Retirement Contributions: what about planning to Save More TomorrowTM ? This simply means to up your retirement deferral percentage next time you get a raise or COLA. Or you can increase your automatic contributions to savings in a similar manner.
    • Catalysts for Action: new job, promotion, COLA, side hustle
  • Organize Your Files for yourself, your business, your family. If you are hit by the proverbial bus, where is everything kept? Online in a folder labeled _____, in a home safe, safety deposit box, behind a password vault, under the mattress etc. This means life and death papers, but also the financial minutiae of daily life.
    • Catalysts for Action: a broken shredder, new caregiving tasks, becoming self employed, working from home
  • Mitigate Risk Did you have a big life event this year? (marriage, divorce, birth or adoption, commitment, new business etc.) Check for proper insurance coverage (s) and confirm that your written beneficiaries match your wishes. Retirement accounts and life insurance policy designated beneficiaries take precedence over a different designation in your will. (meaning they will supercede your written will wishes)
    • Catalysts for Action: How old is my will? Do I have a will? Do my children have guardians?
  • Check Your Spending [Plan] Winter family holidays can be expensive, as they can involve family obligations (real or perceived), special food and drink, travel, and gifts. What is your spending plan? Experiences, gift cards, or wish list items from an online shopping cart? Practical, homemade, high quality, fast fashion? Do you tithe or make additional charitable donations at the end of the calendar year? Are any of those decisions made by the entire family? Some families involve their children in their charitable choices, which allows for immersion, learning, and connections to the world around them.
    • Catalyst for Action: What holidays are celebrated on your family calendar?
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Filed under Everyday Financial Tasks, Family Lessons About Money, Habits

Pass the Turkey and the Aging in Place Planning Please (2021 update)

Grandpa, Mom, please pass the sweet potatoes; pass the turkey; pass the financial/aging planning? Welp-the holidays are upon us. Next up are Hanukkah-begins November 29, school concerts, pantos, Christmas, and other winter holidays. Kwanzaa begins December 26 with Unity day. January brings Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas (6-7) The Super Bowl is February 13, and Chinese New Year is from February 1-15, 2022. 

Will you be seeing a lot of family in the next 8-12 weeks? I reckon, so let’s plan for it! Call it Family Sleuthing 101.

art birds business card
(Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)

Some family members you’ll see once a year; others you see more regularly and then there are the chosen family that ‘pop in’ for a Turkey/Black Eyed Peas/KaleSlaw dinner. Much can change with your parents or other family elders in a year, even six months. Since the pandemic started, it may have even been longer since you’ve seen each other IRL.

Some things to consider:

  1. 1.If your relatives are asking for some help, or ruminating about how they are having trouble “keeping up with the paperwork” this year, pay attention. Broken things, burned out light bulbs are additional clues.
  2. Listen carefully to any stories about telephone fundraising for groups you have never heard of. Be patient so you can get the entire story.
  3. Urge relatives to never give to groups they are not familiar with, or who have called them first, or groups that sound like established non-profits (but aren’t). Do ask them about their favorite charities, and why they are important!
  4. You can help check groups out here at give.org or at Charity Navigator  or another charity evaluator organization.Do share this link from the Federal Trade Commission on avoiding scams.
  5. if you can, take a look at the mail, the bills, and the online accounts (if you have access.)
  6. Save and Invest.org has an informative PDF called Fighting Fraud 101 that you may wish to read or share this year.

Another family dinner topic is a family member’s health, or deaths of other loved ones. This can also be a good opportunity for you to ask some hard questions of your elders. (It is often hard for both parties, but you are doing it because you wish to respect their values as much as possible).

  1. Where is your will located?
  2. Who is your doctor and do you have a current Health Care Directive (they are different for each state-here is the WA one)  or POLST on file? You can upload them to a patient portal.
  3. Do you have a Long Term Care (LTC) insurance policy and what company is it with? Did you purchase the inflation rider?
  4. What are your thoughts on “heroic measures”, “ventilators”, quality of life and palliative care?

Please take the time to add a financial planning course to your holiday meals and visits this year.

Your family members will  thank you (perhaps not right away!) and it is time well spent.

Sun.Valley,Snowflake.Edited.
From the Roundhouse, Mt. Baldy. 2014 photo credit: Dana Twight

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Filed under Be Prepared, Family Lessons About Money, Learning About Finance