“This is the big one!” “We will never recover from this.” “Life will never be the same.” Sound familiar? Well, we have heard similar rhetoric before, and we are still here. We continue to press on. But 2020 has been a lot to digest. How do we make sense of all that has transpired? COVID. An Election Year. Market volatility. Race relations. We could hardly catch our breath before another event or moment rose to the surface that captured our attention.
Are there any financial lessons or takeaways in all of this? Yes! Here are four things you can review today to be better prepared for whatever may come in 2021.
1. Remember what is important. Stop. Look around. Count your blessings. There is so much beyond our control, and it is so easy to get lost in the endless cycle of information that we can forget what life is all about. Money is just a tool – it can be here today and gone tomorrow. Invest in the people and moments that matter while you still can.
2. Take inventory of what you own. 2020 was a wake-up call for many investors. The stock market dropped in March and April, scaring many investors, and quickly reminding us how volatile investing can be. As you reflect on your experience as an investor do you feel like you own investments or just stuff? Does every investment you own serve a purpose? Do you have a plan or just a house of cards?
3. Get your house in order. Do you have a will, health care proxy, or power of attorney? Have you recently reviewed these documents? Has anything in your life changed, and have these documents kept up with the changes? One of the biggest mistakes individuals and couples can make is failing to coordinate their estate documents with their investment accounts. Check your beneficiaries and ensure every investment account has a designated beneficiary – make sure your money and assets go to those depending on you the most.
4. Understand how legislative changes affect you. Are you charitably inclined? Were you able to deduct your giving? What if you could? Did you take advantage of the CARES Act universal deduction in 2020? Did you hold off taking your Required Minimum Distribution? What happens next year when you do take it? Is there any way to minimize your taxes? Spend some time learning how to use recent legislative changes to your advantage.
Control what you can control and let go of everything else. Address these four areas today and take confidence in knowing you are better prepared for whatever may come.
From all of us at S.E.E.D. Planning Group, wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year.
Did this article resonate with you? Would you like to speak to our team? We offer a no-cost, no-obligation first discovery meeting to learn if planning is appropriate for you. We have video-conferencing technology and are not limited geographically. Wherever you are, if you need help, we can help you! Connect with us by filling out our form at www.seedpg.com/contact.
S.E.E.D. Planning Group LLC (S.E.E.D.) is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with the Securities Exchange Commission. S.E.E.D.’s team provides investment fiduciary and fee-only financial planning services to clients. Our fees are disclosed, easy to understand, and not predicated on product sales.
Steve is a partner at S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC, and serves as the Director of Community Engagement and Head of Client Experience. He is responsible for ensuring all clients feel welcomed, heard, and appreciated. Humbled by faith, Steve is a community-minded business leader who believes that serving others through giving time, talent, and resources may change someone’s life forever and recognizes that each individual has the capacity to make a significant impact on their community