This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS' MoneyWatch.com.
The Saints won the Super Bowl; health care passed; the I-Pad launched; Greece nearly imploded; BP's oil spewed throughout the Gulf; and the stock market ended the first half of the year down more than 7% lower than where it started in January. Ladies and Gentlemen, it's half-time and that means you need to stand up, stretch your legs and figure out how you're doing with your financial life. Here's the half-time pep talk with my friends at CBS .
Here are the tips-print them out and get going!
Cash Flow: Start tracking expenses to determine what's available to fund various goals, including debt pay-down; college funding and retirement planning.
Estate Planning: Hire a lawyer and complete a will (including guardianship instructions), power of attorney and health care proxy
Retirement: Time to visit your retirement plan web site, or use one of these on-line calculators to see how close you are to hitting your "number."
Investments: It may not be as bad as you think, but to finds out where you stand:
- Compare your returns to the most relevant stock, bond or blended index
- Set a target asset allocation by taking a risk assessment questionnaire
- Rebalance all retirement and non-retirement accounts quarterly to keep allocation in check
- If you work with an advisor, book an appointment to review your progress
Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.