Tamara Gurney, President and CEO of Mission Valley Bank
Start the New Year by taking control of your finances and streamline your financial future by planning.
The first step is looking back. Major changes in your personal life in the past year can affect this year’s finances. Review and revise financial and legal considerations that may arise. Estate planning can be difficult but is crucial for financial peace of mind. Update documents and review major changes in your professional life. If you started a new business, changed jobs, or retired, adjust your budget accordingly.
Reevaluate retirement plans and compare how much you have now and how much you need in the future. Consult your Trusted Advisor to ensure saving and investment strategies align with personal goals, particularly if a change in your life or circumstances has occurred. Review and update all insurance policies. Compile a comprehensive list of online bank accounts, usernames and passwords for your reference, and store the list in a secure location.
Conduct a mid-year review of income and expenditures and adjust accordingly for the remaining months. Check your credit information and report any discrepancies to appropriate agencies. Request a Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement from the Social Security Administration that summarizes your social security earnings history and provides an estimate of the benefits to which you are entitled. Be sure to verify you have been credited for all your earnings.
Get a jump on your taxes in October. Estimate taxes and take the steps to minimize them before years’ end. Consider making gifts and charitable donations in the fourth quarter to ensure timely deductions. Resolve major issues before Dec. 31. Finally, review your progress for the year, recalculate net worth and compare against the beginning of the year to see how well you did.
Professional guidance is always advisable to determine whether, how and when to implement any financial strategies. If you are not already doing business with an independent, community business bank, consider making the switch. This gives you the ability to take advantage of the services of a Trusted Advisor who can assist and advise every step of the way. ν
Mission Valley Bank is a locally-owned, full service community business bank headquartered in Sun Valley, California with a branch office/business banking center in Santa Clarita. Tamara Gurney is past president of the California Independent Bankers and can be reached at (818) 394-2300. www.MissionValleyBank.com.