I first would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or even just the change of seasons, I hope that you spend time with your loved ones enjoying their company and remembering what’s important in life.
As we celebrate the holidays and look forward to a new year, there is no doubt 2017 will be a year of change and that we will see a fair amount of ups and downs, twists and turns and probably everything in between. In other words, situation normal.
It is one thing that I have been talking about for years and that is people have to accept that everything is changing and that the pace of change is faster than ever before. Whether we like it or not, and in many situations I don’t; we all have to accept the reality of the world that we live in. That being said, it is important to remember that just like we can’t ignore change, we also can’t overreact. Overreacting can be just as detrimental to your financial health as putting your head in the sand.
One change that I do believe is on the horizon is tax reform. After Mr. Trump takes office there will be all sorts of speculation as to where the tax laws will go. My advice is to never react to the speculation because it’s a fool’s game. When it comes to any legislation and particularly tax laws, you never know what’s going to happen until the law is actually passed. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to speculate, and the better course of action is to wait until the law actually passes.
Despite all the changes in our society there are still some things that haven’t changed and that is the importance of keeping your financial house in order. Whether you use technology and some of the great new apps to help you keep your personal financial affairs in order, or do it the old-fashioned way with paper and pencil, it’s a task you cannot afford to ignore. In this ever-changing world that we live in, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your personal financial affairs. At the beginning of the year I believe everyone should prepare a personal family balance sheet.
A personal family balance sheet lets you know what you have and what you owe. It is important that periodically you take a look at your assets and liabilities. Remember, assets less liabilities equals net worth. Doing the first family balance sheet is always the most difficult. However, by doing the family balance sheet it lets you know where you are financially and also allows you to compare future years.
Doing a personal family balance sheet is easier this time of year because we all are going to get year-end statements with the balances of our account. Therefore, it’s a great idea to do a family balance sheet.
One other thing you can do that will help you keep your finances in order is a cash flow statement so you know exactly what is coming in and what’s going out. For all investors, and in fact, for all people, it is extremely important to know what it costs you to live a month. It helps in determining how to invest and even if you can afford to retire.
Change is coming and whether we like it or not it is import that we embrace it.