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Projects To Do At Home

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No matter how busy you usually are, being home adds time to your day since you aren’t commuting, eating out or attending many impromptu business meetings. Here are some important things you can consider doing that are on most people’s list, just that they aren’t on any urgent list.

Insurance

  • Review your insurance coverage. This can be started by looking at the summary attached to your policy along with the charges. Compare this list to see if the coverage is consistent to what it was two or three years ago; consider if you feel the fee increases were reasonable; look for items that should be covered that aren’t such as workers’ compensation for people “working” in your house that you did not employ such as the helper for a new dishwasher installer; see if you got discounts you might be entitled to such as for safe driving, the newfangled airbags on your latest car or home alarms you recently installed; see if your homeowners’ coverage will reimburse you for damages that were in accordance with gradual zoning, law or ordinance changes; and that umbrella policy deductibles coincide with your regular insurance coverage.
  • Make sure your umbrella coverage is sufficient; and if you do not have such insurance, consider the need for it.
  • After your self-review, call your insurance agent and schedule a call to review your coverage, costs and anything that should be covered that isn’t.
  • Find out if you are covered for losses resulting from pandemics.
  • Review your life insurance coverage to determine if it adequate, or not necessary anymore.

Tax returns

  • For many people, income and payroll taxes are one of their top three annual expenditures. Review your tax situation to see if there is any way to save taxes.
  • An easy way to review your tax return is to place your last three year’s returns side by side and look at the changes and differences over the period.
  • Question anything you do not fully understand. If you use a professional preparer, call him or her with your questions.
  • If you are employed, find out if you are taking full advantage of all tax benefits such as employer-paid health insurance, cafeteria plan payroll reduction, 401k plan salary deductions at least so that you would get the maximum employer match. Discuss with a tax professional if you should contribute to a Roth 401k rather than a tax deductible 401k.

Your obituary

  • If you wonder what would be in your obituary, then write it now; and see if you like it. If not, you can start working on changes so that you would like it.
  • Prepare a list of who to call.
  • Review your wills and other estate planning documents. Are they current and do they fully reflect your wishes? Include in the review your durable power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, any trusts and instruction letter to your executor or trustees.
  • Do not forget to integrate any IRA and employer retirement plan designations of beneficiaries with your will. Also beneficiaries of life insurance policies.
  • Review company paid life insurance policy coverage and beneficiary designations.
  • Prepare a letter to your children and/or grandchildren about your values that you would like them to be aware of and to try to adopt. Perhaps also include a family history if there are some hidden gems in your background.

Personal financial statement

  • How much are you worth? You may have a very good idea, but you can have an even better idea if you prepare a balance sheet listing all your assets and any liabilities.
  • The balance sheet can also place reality on your situation. You can compare it to previous statements, or do some projections to see where you would end up at a given time based upon current saving, investment and spending patterns.
  • Review your spending and see if there are any areas that could be reduced or some that could be increased. During this lockdown period spending patterns have changed. Consider what could be continued after this period passes.

 

There are more things you can do. Use the above as a guide, but if you find yourself with free time, why not start one of the above.

If you have any business or financial issues you want to discuss please do not hesitate to contact me at emendlowitz@withum.com or fill out the form below.

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