Reducing Financial Clutter

Financial experts are unanimous in saying that this is the best time of year to get rid of the financial clutter in the average household — after the Holiday rush is over and before the dreaded April 15th deadline starts looming. It’s time to look around your home, and your investment and savings strategies, to see just what deserves to be jettisoned and what needs to be kept and enlarged. Here are the guidelines that financial planners most often discuss with their clients:


Make sure your accountant knows the new tax law

Everything from what qualifies as a charitable deduction to how to avoid capital gains tax is in flux. A tax accountant who is too casual about knowing the new ins and outs, who blithely relies on some kind of ‘Turbo Tax’ computer program to keep abreast of events, is heading for a fall — and can take clients with him. Big time.


Play hide and seek

It’s surprising, say financial experts, how many people completely forget about old 401(K) accounts from previous jobs that have never been rolled over and are just sitting there, waiting to be cashed out or put into new plans. Smart money managers will take a moment to review previous job benefits to see if there’s any of the green stuff still lying around.


Review insurance plans

Chances are if a person has not reviewed their insurance plans in the last two years they are either over insured or under insured. Either way, it’s a messy way to work investments. This includes insurance plans at work, as well as private plans.