Financial Planning for 2017

As we usher in 2017, this year feels different than previous years in many areas of finance. Even if you have formulated a financial plan in the past, it is definitely time to sit down with your financial advisor and iron out another one for 2017. Here are a few topics to discuss:

Keep Your Eye
on Tax Reform
Being flexible would be the best way to describe tax planning for 2017 and beyond. You want to be nimble enough that if tax-reforms get done quickly and actually apply for 2017, then you can use this money in an effective manner in your business or personal life. Bringing in your CPA will help in this part of your financial plan for the current and future years.

Retirement Plans
Maximize what you fund into retirement plans and forget you have it. Let your money make you money and grow without peddling in it. If you own your own business, this is an area that you can not only put money back for retirement, but also lower your taxable income substantially and take advantage of a lower marginal income tax rate. Continue to fund your retirement plan even in an up market as attempting to market time can be a big financial planning mistake.

Long-Term
Investments
I tell all of my clients to think 10 years out when making an investment. It is easy to get caught up in the daily ups and downs of the stock market, especially these days with information at your fingertips. Trying to keep a longer term outlook will help you develop a financial plan that you are comfortable with, and one that doesn’t have as much daily stress.
Estate Planning
This is something that will always be a topic in financial plans no matter what year it is. Where do my assets go when I am gone? This needs to be a question that gets asked every single year. Life insurance and trusts are usually topics that are discussed to ensure your assets are safe.
Financial planning is something that everyone should do and have a little urgency to do. Waiting around before developing a plan could cost you more taxes, less investment earnings, and the reassurance of safety in an estate plan. Do not let fear dictate how you invest your money in 2017. Talk to a trusted advisor with experience of how to deal with turmoil in the market.
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