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Give Your Finances an Annual Checkup

review financesWith the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s a good time to take a look at your finances and see what you can improve for next year. Whether it’s looking at where you spend your money, how you can lower your monthly expenses or how you’re saving, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Household spending

  • Do you have a household budget?
  • Have you looked at your monthly spending to identify ways to save?

Income taxes1

  • Are your withholding and estimated tax payments at the right level?
  • Have you considered deferring income to next year or accelerating deductions to this year to delaying paying tax for a year?
  • Are you possibly subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)? Stock option exercise, large deductions or the phase out of the benefits of personal exemptions at high-income levels could subject you to this tax.


  • When was the last time you reviewed your life insurance policy?
  • Are you properly insured?
  • Are your beneficiaries up-to-date?


  • Could you reduce your monthly mortgage payments by refinancing your mortgage?
  • Should you consider a different type of mortgage that corresponds with how long you plan to stay in your current home?

Retirement planning

  • Are you taking full advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan or other retirement plan?
  • Do you have a savings plan for your retirement fund?

College funding

  • Are you regularly saving for a child’s college expenses?

Estate planning

  • Have you had your estate plan reviewed recently? If you have moved, had a change in your family situation (births or deaths) or a change in your financial status, you may want to schedule a review with your advisor.
  • Does your estate plan provide for the naming of the guardians for your children and the executor of your estate you wish?
  • Does your estate plan reflect the changing estate tax laws?1

Taking control of your financial future is an on-going process that requires consistent monitoring. At South State, we’re here to help with you with all your financial decisions. Talk with a local banker to see how you can make the new year a good one for your wallet.