This short questionnaire is designed to help you better understand your level of preparation in the most important areas of financial life planning. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions below. Then, add up your points in order to determine your Financial Life Index score.
5 – I have the knowledge and have completed the planning to feel comfortable with this topic.
3 – I have done some planning and have some knowledge about this topic but I could use help to feel more at ease with it.
1 – I have done no planning on this topic (or “I don’t know”).
If your financial considerations impact a significant other, it can be helpful to have both parties complete this survey.
|Your Work and Employee Benefits||5||4||3||2||1|
|1. Do you understand the benefits that are available through your employer and do you take advantage of those that fit your situation?|
|2. Have you identified goals that require planning, money and time to accomplish in the short, medium and long term?|
|Cash flow/Daily Money Management|
|3. Do you have a fund set up for emergencies that is earning interest in a liquid account?|
|4. Do you make sure you don’t carry monthly balances on your credit cards?|
|5. Do you live within your means and save at least 10% of your income?|
|6. Do you know your credit score and annually check your credit report for accuracy and potential identity theft issues?|
|7. Do you have a good idea of the size of the retirement savings nest egg that you will need to fund your expenses over the length of your potential retirement?|
|8. Are you contributing at least enough to you employer retirement plan to earn any available match? Or, are you covered by a defined benefit retirement plan at your place of work?|
|9. Are the assets in your taxable and retirement accounts well diversified?|
|10. Do you understand the level of risk in your current mix of investments?|
|11. Are you effectively using tax-deferred accounts that fit your situation (IRAs, employer retirement plans, 529s, Health Savings Accounts, flexible spending accounts)?|
|12. Are you aware of the tax impact of your current investments?|
|13. Are you withholding the correct amount for taxes each paycheck or quarter?|
|14. Do you have an amount of life insurance consistent with your philosophy for the use/need of this insurance?|
|15. Are you insured against the loss of your ability to earn income with adequate disability insurance?|
|16. Are you protected from catastrophic loss (health/long-term care, liability, property insurance)?|
|17. Do you have a valid will that has been updated in the past three years?|
|18. Have you prepared a: living will, health care power of attorney and/or child care guardianship document?|
|19. Are the beneficiary designations on your accounts and policies up to date?|
|20. Finally, do you enjoy managing your financial life?|
|Totals by Column|
Total Score: _____________________
If your score is:
- 90+ points – You have a thorough foundation for managing your financial life.
- 60 – 90 points – You likely have a strong sense of where you’d like to be but could use the help of a trusted expert to address specific areas of improvement.
- Less than 60 points – You may enjoy the help of a financial professional who can identify opportunities and implement plans to improve your confidence in your financial life.
© Copyright 2009-16 Brooks, Hughes & Jones, Inc., a Washington state Registered Investment Adviser.