Summer Time Check-In: Review, Evaluate and Execute on Yearly Planning Goals
Summer is an ideal time to evaluate the progress of your annual financial goals, and get an early start on executing goals with a calendar year-end deadline.
Summer is an ideal time to evaluate the progress of your annual financial goals and get an early start on executing goals with a calendar year-end deadline. With slower work environments and the busy fall on the horizon, take advantage of some downtime to ensure your financial success. Although financial planning might be the last thing on your mind as you sip a cocktail on the beach, giving some thought towards the end of year planning can mean all the difference between proper executing and falling behind.
There are many seemingly small annual tasks that should be part of any sound financial plan, and while these tasks are conceptually simple, effective execution can require effort and planning. Now is the time to check in on progress, and start crossing things off the list.
Here are a few tasks to complete during the slow summer months before we head towards year-end.
- Rebalance Investment Accounts: After six months of volatility, it’s time to ensure that your asset allocation hasn’t drifted into an area that doesn’t match your risk profile. Have equities outperformed while bonds lagged, or vice versa? Has Europe outperformed the US? It’s time to make changes and bring the asset allocation back to target.
- Review Year to Date Spending and Savings: Take a gander at the first six months of spending to see if you’re on track with budgeting or savings goals. Any outlandish spending categories on the credit card? As mentioned above, it’s important to understand exactly how savings will be funded. And for those that seek to max out their company 401(k)—track that progress as well.
- Initiate Time Sensitive Transactions, such as Roth Conversions: Year-end is the due date for Roth conversions, but why wait? Take a few minutes over the summer or early fall to (1) initiate the transfer and (2) set cash aside to pay any additional taxes due as a result of conversion.
- Review Company Equity Vesting: For individuals with equity compensation such as stock options, restricted stock units (RSUs) or employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs), make sure that you’re cognizant of any items that have vested year to date and will vest by year end, and plan for it. Also, be wary of any stock options that might expire by year-end. Lastly, in the event of recent volatility in the stock price, your entire situation may be different than it was six months prior—and a full review is in order to possibly develop a different plan.
- Track Medical Spending and HSA Activity: With employee benefits open enrollment just a few months out, it makes sense in the summer and early fall to understand whether the benefits chosen are best for your individual situation. If you’re contributing to an HSA, is it an appropriate amount? You will be prepared to make a more informed benefits decision come open enrollment.
While these all sound like standard operating procedures for diligent individuals, even the best-laid plans fall victim to poor execution due to the business of life, work, and family.
These are just a few minor financial planning items to consider as you progress through the summer into fall. Of course, if you work with a capable financial planner like Claro Advisors, you shouldn’t have to worry about these things. If you need help, contact us today.
Disclosure: Claro Advisors, LLC ("Claro") is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Information contained herein is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered investment advice. Claro provides individualized advice only after obtaining all necessary background information from a client. Information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. It is for informational and planning purposes. Nothing herein shall be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Nor is it legal or accounting advice. Investing carries risks and expenses and involves the potential loss of investment. Past results are not indicative of future results.
About the Author
Robert Dockendorff is a Vice President of Claro Advisors, LLC. Bob serves as an Advisor at Claro, where he helps clients achieve financial goals through careful analysis and the development of long-term plans that encourage consistent, achievable actions. Bob also enjoys sharing helpful financial planning insights on his blog and is an active contributor on Investopedia's Advisor Insights website.
Prior to joining Claro, Bob was a Senior Associate Financial Counselor at The Colony Group, supporting a team of financial counselors with research and analysis on all areas of wealth management and financial planning for high net worth individuals. He also focused on the implementation of investment, estate, and tax planning tailored to the specific goals of diverse clients. Prior to joining The Colony Group, Bob worked as a Tax Associate at the international accounting firm Ernst & Young, where he conducted tax research for multi-national businesses. Bob received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Vermont. After college, Bob earned a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, Cum Laude, and an LL.M in Taxation from Boston University Law School. Bob has previously passed the FINRA Series 65 and the MA Life and Health Insurance Producer Exam. In his spare time, Bob enjoys the mountains, the beach, and playing golf. Bob resides in Hingham, MA with his wife Caitlin and two sons, Charlie and Tommy.