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Six Tips for Your Financial Plan

March 28, 2022
By: Bill Van Sant, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Relationship Development

Couple sitting together at home looking at a tablet.

Many people begin the year with financial resolutions, but with the first quarter of 2022 behind us, it’s quite possible those good intentions have already fallen by the wayside. Now is a great time to freshen up your goals and refocus on your financial plan. Consider these six tips. 

    1. Beware of Passing Trends: Investing is all about the long game. While it may be tempting to jump on the meme stock bandwagon, fear of missing out shouldn’t drive your investing strategy. Invest in a way that fits your goals, values and larger financial plan, and make sure you’re well informed about trends before you participate. If you do want to dabble in speculative investing, only allot a small portion of your overall funds.
    2. Get your estate plan in order: You don’t have to be a retiree, a senior citizen or ultra-wealthy to start thinking about an estate plan. Whether you’re new to the job market, have a young family, are an empty nester or are enjoying your golden years, you should put together an estate plan in conjunction with a lawyer consisting of a will, a financial and medical power of attorney and, potentially, a trust. Additionally, make sure beneficiaries are designated on each of your accounts, including retirement accounts.
    3. Deal with debt ahead of rising interest rates: Interest rates will continue to rise this year and you should work to get outstanding debt under control by taking advantage of currently low rates. Prioritize high interest rate debt, credit card debt and non-tax-advantaged debt.
    4. Review your investment portfolio: Coming off double digit returns in 2021, the beginning of 2022 has been a roller coaster for stocks. As such, it is important to revisit your asset allocations to ensure they’re still aligned with your risk tolerance and your long-term investment goals. Once you’ve reviewed your allocation, look at the location of your assets. With possible tax law changes always on the horizon, individuals should work with their advisor to ensure assets are housed in the most tax-efficient way possible.
    5. Reassess college savings: 86% of families use parental savings to help pay for college according to the Education Data Initiative. Have you considered if this is a priority in your family? The earlier you can begin saving the better, but creating a plan is important even if time is limited. One popular option to consider is investing in a 529 plan. These plans are a versatile way to save for education expenses in a tax-efficient manner. A financial advisor can help determine how saving for college fits into your overall financial plan and provide options for saving towards your goal. Pro Tip for PA residents: Pennsylvania residents can receive a tax deduction for contributing to their child’s 529 education fund. Consult your advisor and tax professional about how this factors into your financial plan.
    6. Unsure? Just ask! As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. If you’re unsure about what to incorporate into your financial plan or have questions about how to adapt an outdated plan, don’t be shy about asking. Any question you have is valid and worth asking. Becoming well informed will allow you to build a solid financial framework. 

The advisors at Girard, a Univest Wealth Division are here to help incorporate these tips into a comprehensive financial plan. Contact us to have a conversation.

 

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This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. The information in this article, and any opinions expressed therein, do not constitute a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any security or financial instrument. Viewers should consult with their financial and/or legal professionals before making any financial decisions.