A Simple, Annual To-do List to Track Your Financial Progress

As we review our financial information to finish the annual ritual of filing our income taxes, we are presented with the opportunity to check on our personal financial health holistically.

As we review our financial information to finish the annual ritual of filing our income taxes, we are presented with the opportunity to check on our personal financial health holistically.

I would recommend getting in the habit of going through the following exercises right along with putting together your taxes.

1. Create/update your net worth statement

True financial progress is measured not by how much is in your bank account, but your net worth—the list of your assets minus the sum of your liabilities.

With your accounts growing from your contributions, employer contributions, market growth, etc., and the steady progress of paying down your mortgages, student loans, etc., it may be an eye-opening experience (good or bad) on the progress you have made since this time last year.

2. Check in on your credit score

This should be monitored at a minimum of once per year, but it’s recommend to do so 2 to 3 times per year. Identity theft services such as Legal Shield and Lifelock may also be something to add to this checklist.

3. Retirement projections

Is the sum of your monthly/annual retirement contributions realistically keeping you on pace for the timing of this goal.

4. Create 1 or 2 key financial goals for the year

Having too long of a list becomes harder to track and easier to push aside, but not having a goal or an action plan tends to lead to careless spending and aimless decisions.

Jon C. Ylinen is a Financial Advisor with North Star Resource Group and offers securities and investment advisory services through CRI Securities, LLC. and Securian Financial Services, Inc., Members FINRA/SIPC. CRI Securities, LLC. is affiliated with Securian Financial Services, Inc. and North Star Resource Group. North Star Resource Group is not affiliated with Securian Financial Services, Inc. Please consult a financial professional for specific advice in relation to your individual circumstances.

This should not be considered as tax, specific loan repayment for an individual or legal advice. Please consult a tax, loan or legal professional for specific advice regarding your specific situation. 896023/ DOFU 04-2014.