What are the Seasons of Planning?
Financial health check-ups can help you make sure your portfolio and your plan reflect life’s latest changes. The Seasons of Planning checklists help to make these “important, but rarely urgent” check-ups part of your routine, as a complement to the account review conversations that you usually have with your financial advisor.
1. Financial education
Take some time to learn a little more about financial planning and investing topics. Check to see if your employer offers a financial wellness program, which may give you access to budgeting and savings tools, and financial education courses, among other features.
Even learning just the basics, such as how to build a budget or what your credit score means, will make it easier to manage your day-to-day finances and can give you the confidence you need to take a more active role in building long-term financial security.
Tip: Speak openly with your advisor about the financial topics you’d like to learn more about. And for a personalized playlist of financial education modules, check out ubs.com/thecode.
2. Estate planning
Estate planning is essential to ensuring that you and your family are well prepared. A good place to start is a review of your beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts and insurance policies to ensure they still reflect your wishes.
This type of planning involves specifying what you are planning to give, and to whom. But that’s not all. It should also involve considerations for incapacity, such as how you would like to be cared for in time of need and who you would like to have advocate for you on your behalf.
Tip: Once you turn 18, your parents may no longer have access to your medical records and can’t make medical decisions for you. Designate a healthcare proxy (sometimes called a “medical power of attorney”) to authorize a person to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you are unable to make such decisions yourself.
3. Insurance: disability, life, and LTC
Permanent—and even temporary—shocks to your income can damage your financial situation, making it more difficult to reach your financial goals. Taking the time to confirm that you have enough disability and life insurance coverage can offer peace of mind that your family will be taken care of in the worst-case scenario. What’s more, life insurance can also be a tool to help you manage federal or state estate taxes and boost the after-tax wealth you are able to leave your family.
Long-term care (LTC) can be difficult to plan for because the actual level of expenses incurred is very uncertain. LTC insurance strategies can help to reduce the need to self-insurance against the risk of incurring high LTC costs.
Tip: These planning vehicles help mitigate risk in some of the most unfortunate events. Review any existing life, disability, or long-term care insurance policies to determine whether the coverage is still appropriate for your current and future lifestyle.
Questions to get you started
- What topics regarding your finances would you like to learn more about?
- What do you want your money to do when you’re gone?
- If you had to stop working, how would your family sustain its lifestyle?
Read the original report Seasons of planning: Spring, March 2022
This content is a product of the UBS Chief Investment Office.