Reach your financial goals with an annual review

Asian woman review and sign on application for health insurance

YEAR after year, people promised something for themselves to improve with every new year. As a result, it’s the most exciting time of the year for gym owners. No, we’re not referring to the holiday season; instead, we’re referring to the January gym surge. In this crucial month, resolutions are formed and broken every year. And they are all focused on the same unwavering goal — this time to lose weight.

In my more than a decade as a financial planner, I’ve seen many admirable and inspiring goals fail — not because people don’t have the money to support them, but because they lack the drive to do something worthwhile.

At the same time, I adore many of my mentees because they dare to focus and adhere to our established goals, leading to an entirely different version of how they live in all parts of their lives.

The adage “Set it and forget it” may be appropriate for long-term investments, but if you want to be confident that your financial objective will be achieved, you need to adopt a different mindset. Your financial plan should serve as a road map, which you should periodically review to ensure you are still on the right path to success.

Establishing a good relationship with your financial planner and scheduling regular reviews is an excellent idea. Since lives are rarely static, this should be done at the beginning of the year and ideally, every three months or as necessary.

What is covered in an annual financial review?

Since this is a comprehensive view of your current financial situation, you should be looking not only at the income that you generated for the past 12 months; you must also check your assets, liabilities and net worth — how much they grew, and did you meet your expected growth rate?

A financial review is the best time also to check for your retirement account. Is it keeping up with the inflation rate? Do you need to rebalance your investment portfolio? How much were you able to save for last year? Is it within your expected saving formula?

In terms of debt, how much do you owe, and what percentage is it compared with your assets? Is your borrowing within a healthy level?

You will assess your existing financial strategy, including savings targets, retirement dates and other significant goals, as part of this process to see if you’re on course to meet those targets at this time — or if adjustments need to be made.

Additionally, a financial review offers the chance to discuss changes to your objectives, such as shifting your target retirement date or raising your funds for a child’s college expenses, while making adjustments to help you achieve those goals.

Your annual financial review is the best time to review your will and other estate planning matters. If you have yet to start doing this plan, this is the best time for you to start this. The right succession strategy is an ideal New Year’s gift and a way to start the year with peace of mind, knowing you have taken care of your loved ones.

Is it essential to do the review on your own? The answer is obviously — Yes! But if you go to the gym regularly, you see improvements. Still, if you go and hire your trainer, you will experience different levels of muscle soreness, for someone is pushing your limit in the right way.Having a trusted financial planner will help you push yourself to become a better version of yourself by breaking you beyond your scarcity mindset. You know you are working with the right financial planner when they are willing to disagree with you or at least walk you through how you can maximize your financial strategies.

You will experience a manageable adjustment to your financial goal by taking the time to observe changes in your life, changes in your priorities, and developing family dynamics. If you wait too long between reviews, you might need to make significant or radical changes to get back on track. Tweaks are far more straightforward to adopt than substantial changes. St. Francis of Assisi reminds us, “Start doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the Chris’ Cervantes webinar: “Financial Planning for the Fast Changing World.” Register on this link: