Six Financial Decisions that Deserve Your Attention Before and After Deployment

By Martin A. Smith, CRPC®, AIFA®, President, Retirement Planning Financial Advisor™, Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc.™

Preparing for or returning from a deployment might cause you to think about critical, last-minute financial decisions that need to be addressed.

Financial and retirement planning, whether it is reviewing the value of your Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to make sure it’s adequate or consulting  with a financial advisor, requires  time. This is also why it is so easy for people to put financial decisions on the back burner.

However, in order to ensure that you are on the right path, financially speaking, you should set aside the time and dedicate yourself to the important task of proactively managing your financial affairs.

Here are  seven six financial-related areas that deserve your time and attention.

  1. Saving through investments. Review your approach to investing and make sure it suits your objectives. Look over your portfolio positions and revisit your asset allocation.
  1. Saving and planning for retirement. Does it seem as practical as it did a few years ago? Are you able to max out contributions to IRAs and workplace retirement plans, like 401(k)s? Is it time to make catch-up contributions? Finally, consider Roth IRA conversion scenarios and whether the potential tax-free ret
  1. Saving money at tax time. How many potential credits and/or deductions can you and your accountant find before the year ends? Review any sales of appreciated property and both realized and unrealized losses and gains. Take a look back at last year’s loss carry-forwards. If you’ve sold securities, gather up cost-basis information. Look for any transactions that could potentially enhance your circumstances.
  1. Your charitable gifting goals. Plan charitable contributions or contributions to education accounts, and make any desired cash gifts to family members. This is basically estate planning 101. The annual federal gift tax exclusion is $14,000 per individual in 2015, meaning a taxpayer can gift as much as $14,000 to as many individuals as you like each year without tax consequences. A married couple can gift up to $28,000 tax-free to as many individuals as they prefer.
  1. Reviewing life insurance coverage, including your SGLI. Are your policies and beneficiaries up-to-date? Review premium costs, beneficiaries, and any and all life events that may have altered your coverage needs.
  1. Speaking of life events, did you experience one in 2014? Did you get married or divorced in 2014? Did you move or PCS? Buy a home? Did your Mom or Dad enter assisted living? Was there a new addition to your family this year? Did you receive an inheritance or a gift? All of these circumstances can have a financial impact on your life. They are worth discussing with the financial or tax professional you know and trust. 

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