Almost everyone would agree: Moving is a hassle. In addition to selling your current home and finding a new one, you may need to deal with a new school for your kids, a new doctor, a new dentist — the list goes on and on. But you’ll also need to consider the financial aspects of your move — specifically, your investments, insurance, taxes and even your estate plans.
How can you help make sure that your move doesn’t slow your progress toward your financial goals? Consider the following relocation “checklist”:
• Open new bank accounts, and set up automatic transfers. If your move requires you to change banks, open your new accounts as soon as possible. And if you had your previous bank automatically move money each month from a checking or savings account into an investment, set up a similar arrangement at your new bank.
• Decide what to do with your employer-sponsored retirement plan. If you are leaving your job, you’ll need to make some decisions about your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. For example, you might have the option of leaving your money in your former employer’s plan, or you may be able to roll the money over to a new employer’s plan. Alternatively, you could decide to transfer the assets into an individual retirement account (IRA). Your financial advisor can help you make the choice that’s right for your situation.
• Discuss your situation with a tax professional. You may want to meet with your tax professional to consider the benefits or liabilities of any differences in tax laws between your new location and your old one. You may also need to address any implications resulting from moving and changing jobs.
• Review your financial goals. Some of your goals, such as those related to housing and where you want to retire, may have changed as a result of your move. So it’s a good idea to meet with your financial advisor to review your objectives.
• Evaluate your monthly budget. If you followed a budget detailing your expenses and cash flow before your move, you may need to update it after you’ve settled in to your new home. If you haven’t set up a budget in the past, you’ve now got a good reason to establish one — because a well-planned budget can help you avoid dipping into your long-term investments to pay for short-term needs.
• Update your insurance coverage. Make sure your vehicles, stored possessions and new residence are covered during your move. And if your health insurance is changing, be aware of what’s covered under your new policy.
• Review your estate plans. If your move coincides with other important life events, such as marriage, divorce or remarriage, you may need to make some moves related to your estate plans, such as ensuring you have the correct beneficiary designations on any life insurance policies and your 401(k), IRA and other investment accounts. Check with your legal advisor to determine which steps make sense for your situation.
Moving may require you to adjust many aspects of your life. Reviewing the items on this checklist can help you get your financial house in order when you move into your new home.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Laura Evans, Edward Jones financial advisor of Richmond Hill.