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How well are you doing financially this year?


Summer recently arrived, and we are already halfway through 2024. You may still be looking forward to that long-anticipated vacation or thinking up new ways to stay cool, but this is also a perfect time to review your financial planning goals. Are you still on track for 2024 or do you need to make a few adjustments?

Let’s review the plan you created in December for saving, borrowing and preparing for your later years:


  1. Savings: Financial institutions are competing more heavily for money on CDs of two years or less. Are you earning the best returns available in South Florida? And how much interest is your savings account earning? Shop around for higher-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit.


  1. Emergency Savings Account: Inflation continues to drive up your cost of living. That’s making it harder to save. It also means you must put more money away in an emergency savings account. It’s time to check how much you added between January and today and whether the current balance will cover unanticipated expenses related to your health, home and vehicle.


  1. Loans: As of late June, we were still waiting for the Federal Reserve to lower its bank lending rate. Has your financial institution taken the lead and cut its loan rates? Check what Tropical Financial quotes on home equity loans, lines of credit, and car loans. You may be able to save on a new or refinanced loan.


  1. Credit Cards: One of your resolutions should have been to slash or eliminate debts on your highest-rate credit cards. How well have you done? How much more can you pay down on those balances in the next six months? Your best action plan could be to consolidate those debts into a lower-rate personal loan or line of credit.


  1. Student Loans: If you have been following the news, you know you or a dependent could be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Did you follow up on that opportunity? If you were not among those receiving relief, talk to a Tropical Financial loan officer about ways to pay off your college debts.


  1. Stocks: The S&P 500 Index climbed 14.57% between Jan. 1 and June 21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose a more modest 4.2% between those dates. How well have your stocks done? Review your portfolio to see which stocks have performed the best and worst. Now may be the time to rebalance your portfolio. Want help? Talk to a financial advisor at Tropical Financial.


  1. Insurance: Like most South Floridians, you have seen or are holding your breath to learn how much your home and car insurance premiums will rise this year. Read through your policies for ways to save money and shop around for better provider quotes.


  1. Retirement Planning: How well is your 401(k) or similar retirement plan performing? Are you putting away enough money for your retirement? What about your Social Security contributions? Check your retirement accounts to determine whether your balances and future benefits are keeping pace with inflation and meeting your long-term goals.


  1. Taxes: If you’ve received a raise or a bump-up in pay from a new job, it’s time to check whether you could face a personal income tax penalty. If you take action now, there’s plenty of time to make minor adjustments. You could withhold more or increase your contribution to your retirement plan to reduce your liability. If you have experienced a significant change in your income or expenses, consult with a tax professional on what that will mean for your 2024 return.


  1. Estate Planning: As you get closer to retirement age, you should update the provisions of your will, trusts, power-of-attorney and other documents. The same applies if you have had changes in marital status or if a child or grandchild has or will be added to your family. Take time to ensure your papers are in order and that all your wishes are reflected in them.

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