Article provided by Devin Loughlin, September 21, 2016

We have reached the end of summer and the feeling of fall has started to sink in. School has started, football has kicked off, and we’re starting to see the leaves change color. Soon, they will be falling into our yards for us to rake. Falling leaves signify that winter is coming and we must make sure our homes are ready to handle the cold winter months. Taking the time to do maintenance projects now will save us time and money come spring. I think most of us have managed to put off fall projects, knowing we may run into major issues down the road. Simple things like disconnecting hoses and covering outdoor faucets, can help prevent your pipes from freezing and potentially bursting.

Just as we must maintain our homes for winter, we must keep up the maintenance with our finances. Although we can’t predict daily iterations of the stock market, or monthly interest rate movements, we develop a plan for our clients designed to help them avoid major setbacks that could prevent them from accomplishing their goals. The key to being successful with your finances is to plan ahead and take action. After meeting with families of all sizes and different situations, I’ve found the biggest impact is helping clients gain clarity on what they truly want to accomplish, and creating workable steps to help reach them.

Here are some of the things you can do to help ensure that your financial house survives the winter:

  • Keep, maintain and stick with a budget - easier said than done, but this can be one of the biggest factors in having a successful financial plan.
  • Create and maintain a financial plan - As each winter is different, our lives change and so will our plans. It is important to update your plan as goals and life changes.
  • Pay yourself first - Save money automatically each month to help accomplish future goals. Look to increase your automatic savings when you get raises, or expenses decrease.
  • Review all of your insurance coverages to make sure the coverage is still appropriate. Ask yourself, “Am I properly insured, so an unexpected setback will not derail my long-term plans?”
  • Review your investments to make sure that they are still in line with your goals and risk tolerance.
  • Review your previous year’s tax return and look at options for overall tax efficiency.
  • Verify that all of your beneficiary designations are up to date, and estate documents are in order. I’ve found this is the most neglected area of financial planning and can often be the most impactful.

At Mainspring, we continue to work at being the driving force of action in change with our clients. Let us know if we can help you rake some leaves in your financial plan.

Devin Loughlin, RICP®
Financial Planner
Mainspring Wealth Advisors

Any opinions are those of Devin Loughlin and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.