There is actually sunshine outside! (I don’t want to say it too loudly and scare the blue skies away.) Other than rain and snow, what did March bring? The Dow Jones Industrial Average started the month at 32,661 and is hovering around 32,432 with a few days remaining. The S&P 500 started at 3938 and is a bit above that at 3977. Looks like we could start Spring in the Green. What does the future look like? We don’t expect a big increase anytime soon. If employment is any indicator, a major entertainment company announced 7,000 lay-offs over the next week in preparation for Summer. This of course is in addition to other announced lay-offs in the Tech Sector. The unemployment numbers remain low, but should start heading upward. Inflation remains the battle cry of the Federal Reserve with them announcing a 25 basis point increase in the most recent meeting. All in all, we think we are headed toward a rocky Spring and Summer.
Spring is often a great time to air things out and freshen up. Tax time is a little different in California this year given the change of dates due to torrential rains. We recommend moving ahead with your taxes on a normal schedule and take the little extra time to make sure you get all the numbers right. While you are looking through things, it’s time for review your life insurance. We can hear the collective excitement at the thought of looking over those valuable papers - HOWEVER, for every ‘it’s just fine’ we see plenty of ‘oops, forget to make that change’. Here’s a few things to look for.
- Are the beneficiaries correct? Children grow up, partners separate and mortgages get paid down.
- Is your policy ready to lapse? Term policies are inexpensive for a reason, they only cover a specific period of time and when that’s up, the premium can sky rocket.
- Does your policy offer a conversion feature? Maybe you don’t need as much death benefit but you’re older and there have been changes to your health. Can you convert a portion of your policy without a new health exam?
- Circumstances change – Perhaps you bought a policy when you were first married and just got some basic coverage. Two children later, 3 job changes and a new house; circumstances change.
Let’s have a brief conversation about the coverage you have to make sure those benefits cover what is important to you.
Mortgage refinance and home ownership titling. Sometimes banks don’t want to refi with a trust and ask that you take the house out of the trust, refi and then you can put it back in the trust. Ahhhh, that last little step. If you have recently refinanced and had to take your house out of the trust, PLEASE take a few minutes to make sure the title went back into the trust.
The market is not really moving, life insurance is boring and why would anyone refi with these rates. Friends, we write this to remind and to ensure everything is in order. We see mistakes occur too often. So just as we advise you to stop and smell the roses, also stop and check. Unexpected thorns are never fun.