Daily Dupaco

Friday, January 11, 2013

Annual exam

Much like an annual physical, not many people get excited to review their financial affairs. Even so, it's important to take stock of your financial house at least once a year – to review your budget, loans, saving habits, investments and insurance – and make any necessary adjustments.

While there's never a bad time to do this, now is a perfect opportunity to make sure your finances are on track for the new year, says Paula Ervolino, a financial service representative at Dupaco..

As you begin the review process, remember to re-evaluate these important parts of your financial house:

  • Credit card balances: "Pay attention to interest rates and how much you're paying, and see if there are lower options out there," Ervolino says.
  • Mortgage and other loans: "Interest rates are still at all-time lows. If you haven't taken the opportunity to refinance your home, now's still a great time to do that," Ervolino says. If you have other loans, verify that you're not paying more interest than necessary for those as well.
  • Account cards: The way your accounts are titled affects who has access to your money, how they can access it and when. "Things do change within a family, so make sure you have the appropriate people listed as beneficiaries and joint owners," Ervolino says.
  • Insurance coverage: Take the extra time to get a free insurance quote to make sure you're adequately covered. "It's one of those things that you have to pay for anyway, so why not get the best deal?" Ervolino says.
  • Investments: Meet with your financial planner to make sure your investments are still allocated according to your wishes and needs.

By Emily Kittle

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