On the 12 Days of Christmas
By Susan Hirshman
As I was driving the other day, the song … On the twelve days of Christmas my true love gave to me….came on the radio. It made me think – who really is our true love and what is it really that we want.
Who really is our true love? Well, I am not Dr. Phil but we must first start with ourselves. And what is it that we really want? From a financial perspective most people tell me it’s “ peace of mind.”
So I took a little literary license and came up with a new song for the holidays.
On the 12 days of Christmas I gave to me the best gift of all…peace of mind….
Here are twelve things you should think about and examine
Day 1 – Review your life insurance coverage. Is it working as projected? Is the pricing up to date? Is the coverage in line with your needs?
Day 2 – Examine (or create) your retirement goals. Are the assumptions realistic? Is it a priority? Are you on track?
Day 3 – Look at your emergency savings. Do you have any? Is it liquid? What do you want it to cover?
Day 4 – Review your disability coverage. Do you have any? Do you know what your policy covers, for example is it your own occupation or any occupation?
Day 5 – Go thru your estate plan (or lack thereof.) Are the guardians you named for your children still the right choice? Is the executor the right choice? Has your life circumstances changed and those changes are not reflected in your will?
Day 6 – Appraise your need for long-term care insurance. What is your family’s health and longevity history? Do you have family members that would be willing and able to take care of you in the manner that you choose?
Day 7 – Assess your diet. Studies have found that discrimination based on weight in the work place is more prevalent for women than men, especially white women in professional occupations.
Day 8: Study your portfolio performance. Are you an emotional investor? Do you end up buying high and selling low? How long do you usually hold on to a mutual fund?
Day 9: Take a break from TV. Reduce your TV watching by less than 8 hours a year and you can gain financial success. Snookie won’t be able to help you but by taking a few hours to get financially educated (read Does this Make My Assets Look Fat? A woman’s guide to finding financial empowerment and success), then take around 5 hours to get organized and develop a plan, and then take an hour 2x a year to review your plan.
Day 10 – Re-evaluate your umbrella policy. Do you have one? Is it sufficient? When was the last time you revisited it? Experts report that only 10%of people have the proper umbrella policy.
Day 11: Make sure you are familiar with all your finances. Do you know what would happen to you financially if you were to get divorced? 25% of couples married for twenty years get divorced. Furthermore, the “grey divorce” (people over 65) is the fasting growing group of people to get divorced
Day 12: Go over your credit cards. Understand your interest rates, payment options. Make sure you are not paying more than you have to.
Susan Hirshman, CFA, CPA, CFP,