Five planning ideas as you prepare for 2019 Posted January 4, 2019 by Brandi VanAntwerp


Jeremy Loftin

By Jeremy Loftin, Chief Administrative Officer
Missouri Trust Company

As 2018 ends, it’s time to start thinking about goals for the new year. The peace of mind achieved by taking control of your finances can be priceless as financial stress is a major concern for many Americans according to a study conducted by PwC in 2017. Here are five topics worthy of consideration as you enter 2019.

Set financial planning goals

What are your financial goals for the new year? Creating a household budget, starting an emergency fund, paying off debt, starting a retirement plan or planning for a retirement date are just a few goals that might hit your radar. A comprehensive financial plan can help you identify a proper savings rate, a plan to pay down debt and a spending plan to help you stay on track to reaching your financial goals. As with almost all worthwhile objectives, planning is a critical component toward reaching goals.

Tax planning

This is also the time of year to start planning for the preparation of your tax return. This is the first year of a new tax law which may have an impact on your tax return. A meeting with your tax professional to discuss how these changes may affect you personally will be prudent. Use this opportunity to be proactive about your tax planning for the upcoming year.

Risk management

How long has it been since you reviewed your insurance policies? It’s important to review your policies on a periodic basis to make sure you have adequate coverage. Set a meeting with your insurance advisor to make sure there are no gaps in your coverage.

Meet with your financial advisor

It’s been a volatile 2018 for the stock market. Has your portfolio weathered the storm? Meet with your financial advisor and make sure you are still on target to meeting your financial goals.

Review/create your estate plan

Do you have an estate plan? If so, how long has it been since you reviewed your estate plan? Everyone needs a written estate plan and if you already have one, it might be a great time to review it. This is an opportunity to evaluate any changes in your family situation or changes in the law that may impact your plan.

Make sure you choose a manageable number of goals for the year. Write the goals down, prioritize them, track your progress throughout the year, and don’t forget to celebrate your victories as you achieve them.