It’s a new year and if you’re like millions out there, you’ve made resolutions to improve many areas of your life. It’s the best time to set goals to save money, and review your financial accounts. An annual review will prepare you for the unexpected ‒ an emergency, long-term illness, or even death.

Let’s face it, we’re busier than ever, and it’s easy for small things to slip through the cracks. This can be due to complacency ‒ we believe we have everything in order ‒ or old-fashioned procrastination. A review may seem like an enormous undertaking, and it may not be much fun, but it prioritizes your financial well-being which Catholic Life Insurance believes is highly important. We know that updated information can avert identity theft, prevent confusion in an emergency, and delays in benefits.

For life insurance, your beneficiary information is central to your policy. We advise our members to review their beneficiary information every year and at every major life event such as a home purchase, new baby, new business, and retirement. Updated beneficiary information will provide timely access to financial benefits when time is of the essence. Your life insurance policy can be used to pay emergency medical bills, funeral costs, and debts. While a primary beneficiary is required, it’s also essential to have secondary and contingent beneficiaries designated, as well.

Your annual review should include retirement accounts such as 401ks, IRAs and Annuities. What happens to your retirement savings upon your death when a beneficiary hasn’t been designated? This depends on the state in which you reside. The law may require the costly process of probate where a beneficiary can be chosen for you, and creditors can take priority over your family.

As you review your beneficiary information, review your contact information. To keep your finances secure, check all records including banks, credit cards, mortgages, social security accounts, living wills, and last wills and testaments. Even if you’re enrolled in e-statements which means you’ve opted to have documents delivered to your inbox or text messaged, it’s still important that your physical address is up to date. Be thorough in your review, adding emergency contact information, alternate phone numbers, and additional beneficiaries where requested.

In this day and age, it’s important to take responsibility for your financial well-being. Knowing your finances are secure, will keep you focused on all the fun things on your list and commencing the New Year on a solid financial note. Contact your nearest Agent to learn more about your life insurance and retirement options.