-Eric Swick, CPA & president of Payroll Specialists, LLC / Swick & Associates, Inc.

During challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to look at your personal finances and review your financial goals. And with tax time just behind you we feel there can not be a better time for you to review your current financial affairs. This is something we recommend you do at a minimum annually. We feel tax time is appropriate since you have to gather information to have your tax return prepared anyway. Why not take one more step and do something positive for your financial well-being, and provide yourself peace of mind during a tough economic time?

Here are just some suggestions to get you started on your financial review:

Hold a discussion with your spouse and children to share and prioritize all of your financial aspirations.

  • Write down your financial goals. How much money will you need to meet each goal? When will you need the money, and how will you get it?
  • Do a net worth statement (a list of your assets and debts), and compare it to last year’s statement. Are you gaining or losing ground?
  • With your goals (and the effects of inflation) in mind, review the performance of your various investments.

Take steps to protect what you already have. Goals may become instantly unobtainable if you lose your present assets or your income potential.

  • Do you have adequate disability insurance coverage to replace take-home pay if you become incapacitated?
  • Do you have enough life insurance if you or your spouse should die?
  • Do you have replacement value property insurance on your home and is it properly valued?
  • Do you have adequate insurance for calamities such as automobile accidents or lawsuits?

This also works the other way in that you should review your insurance to make sure you still need all of the insurance that you have. You should review your coverage annually and do not automatically renew since circumstances could have changed.

Review your will and your estate plan. Did your situation change during 2007 (marriage, divorce, births, deaths or relocate for example)? These changes may require some type of change to your will and estate plan.

Review your credit use. Keep your credit card bills current. If you’re finding that hard to do, it is probably time to cut up some of those credit cards and get your debt under control.

Organize your records. If you have trouble assembling data for your financial review, you may need a better system.

While this is not an all inclusive list of items to review it serves as a good starting point. As always we recommend you work with the appropriate professionals to assist you with your various investment and insurance needs.

If you have suggestions or comments, please feel free to contact Swick & Associates, Inc. by visiting our web site at /, email us at, or call us at 303-987-1700.

Eric Swick is president of Payroll Specialists, LLC and Swick & Associates, Inc, located in Denver, Colorado specializing in payroll and accounting.

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