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3 Simple Steps To Take Stock Of Your Finances

Jai M Dev

The new year is a good time to review and update your financial picture. Here are three key steps you could take this month.

Update your beneficiary designations

It’s critical to name beneficiaries on all your financial accounts, regardless of size. That’s because your retirement assets will pass on to your beneficiaries, not to the heirs named in your will or other estate planning documents.

Designating beneficiaries could be considered an act of kindness for your loved ones. It allows your assets to transfer outside of probate, a court process that is both time consuming and costly to your heirs.

Replenish your emergency savings

In general, strive to keep three to six months of living expenses in a safe, liquid cash reserve. This enables you to cover an unexpected, urgent expense or a setback such as job loss — without dipping into retirement savings and derailing your progress.

If you used some of your cash reserve recently or your circumstances have changed — higher expenses with a new child or aging parent, for example — it’s worthwhile to replenish it.

Review your investment portfolio

Your portfolio should always align with your financial goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Schedule time to revisit it with your Ameriprise financial advisor, especially if your goals changed or you want to adjust your level of risk. Given markets also change over time, your advisor can help ensure you remain aligned to your long-term investment strategy. 

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