Every year, I set aside time to visit my doctor and take stock of my physical health. It’s important to me to make sure that I’m doing what I can to stay healthy for my kids as well as myself. And if my doctor should find any issues, I like the peace of mind that comes from knowing I’m getting ahead by taking good care of myself.
As the headline suggests, I also like to do the same with my finances. Even though there’s no way to know for sure what may be in our future, we can still take steps to ensure that our wealth is well-protected and give ourselves peace of mind.
This is especially true in times of economic uncertainty, like those we are experiencing right now.
On June 20, 2022, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing called inflation “the biggest poison for the economy.” And while CNBC reports that the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of England all move “to varying degrees to rein in inflation,” Yahoo Finance reports that BofA slashed its growth forecast yet again, saying, “The U.S. economy will grind to a halt in the second half of 2023, and the following year won’t be much better.”
As predictions of an economic slowdown and even recession continue to make headlines, it’s time for a midyear financial checkup.
When performing a midyear financial checkup, you’ll find that starting with your budget may be beneficial.
Inflation can take a real toll on our wallets. It seems like every week when I visit the gas pump or the grocery store, I wind up spending just a little more for the same amount of gas or the same essentials that I purchased last time. As inflation continues to impact prices, reexamining your budget may become necessary.
You can start by collecting your receipts or examining your credit card bills for one month to determine how much money you have going out, then separate those expenditures into categories like entertainment, groceries, and utilities. If you performed a midyear checkup in 2021 and saved your records, you can also compare one month’s expenses with one month’s expenses from a year ago to get an idea of how hard inflation may be hitting your wallet.
Once you have an idea of where your money is going each month, you’ll be better prepared to readjust your budget as needed to ensure that you have money set aside for essentials and can make more educated decisions regarding any extra spending on categories like entertainment.
Your midyear financial checkup is also a great time to reexamine your retirement contributions as well as charitable donations.
The winter holidays may be considered the most popular time for giving, but I’ve always believed that there’s no limit on when we can do our part to help support our communities and the causes we care about. With that in mind, your midyear financial checkup can also be a good time to examine how much you’re giving—both to yourself and others.
If you’re looking to put money away for the long term, now might be a good time to examine how much you’re diverting from each paycheck into any employer-sponsored retirement accounts and adjust as necessary to ensure that you reach your contribution goal or limit by the end of the year. In 2022, 401(k) contributions are limited to $20,500, though workers 50 and older are allowed an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions (for a total of $27,000).
The same goes for money you plan on contributing to any individual retirement accounts (IRAs). IRA contributions are limited to $6,000 for the 2022 tax year, with those 50 and older allowed an additional $1,000 in catch-up contributions (for a total of $7,000).
If you plan on giving back to your community or to any charitable causes this year, your midyear financial checkup can also be a good time to examine your finances and set goals for how much you would like to give.
If you’re considering adding funds to your retirement portfolio, consider a precious metals IRA.
One of the things I value most in times of uncertainty is the peace of mind that comes from knowing I did my research and took steps to protect myself and my loved ones. For many Americans, that means putting a portion of their wealth into gold or other precious metals as a form of wealth insurance against inflation, market downturns, or other factors that might negatively impact the parts of their portfolio made up of paper-based assets like cash or stocks.
If you finish your midyear financial checkup and discover a lack of proper diversification or find yourself wanting to learn more about protecting your retirement from the financial risks associated with a recession or other market factors, I suggest exploring the benefits of owning a precious metals IRA. This type of account allows you to benefit from the wealth protection offered by precious metals while also experiencing the benefits offered by a traditional or Roth IRA.
When I visit my doctor for a regular checkup, I’m not looking for problems. Instead, I’m taking stock of my current health situation and seeking any opportunities for improvement that will result in a longer, healthier life. I believe it’s important for us to do the same with our finances—especially if some expectations prove true and another recession is headed our way.
To learn more about precious metals IRAs, CLICK HERE to request a FREE copy of our Gold IRA Information Kit.