Money chores can be time-consuming, but there are some that can be done a lot quicker than you may think.
The Washington Post’s recent article, “Got an hour? Chalk up 4 quick financial wins,” gives us a couple of financial tasks that could save you a lot of money and stress in the future. Each of these can also be accomplished in 15 minutes or less, once you’ve decided on a plan and have your information ready.
Adjust Your Withholding. With the tax reform legislation passed last year, you should look at the new tax brackets and the elimination of deductions. It could mean that you’re withholding too much or too little.
Draft Powers Of Attorney. You should have at least two estate planning documents. You grant the authority to those you name to make decisions for you, if you become incapacitated. With a medical power of attorney (also known as an advance health care directive), name your toughest advocate—the person who’s devoted enough to carry out your wishes and stand up to doctors or any of your relatives who disagree. With a financial power of attorney, you designate the individual who’s good with money and extremely ethical. You should also name backups to both positions.
Start College Saving. If you have children, they’re going to need some schooling or post-secondary training to succeed. Consider a state-run 529 college savings plan to save. You don’t have to use your own state’s plan, so if you don’t qualify for a tax benefit in your own state, look at one of the plans Morningstar named as best in the country. These were Illinois’ Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program, Nevada’s The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, Utah’s my529 and Virginia’s Invest529 plan.
Roll Over A Retirement Account. If you have a good 401(k) plan at work, ask if they’ll accept a rollover from your previous job’s account. If they do, ask for assistance in getting started. You can also roll your old 401(k) into an IRA, where you’ll typically have more investment options.