Throughout the year there are tasks we should perform to keep our personal finances in check. March is a long month, but offers many days to take care of the following personal finance tasks:
- Finish your taxes. Aim to complete your tax filings prior to the April 15 deadline.
- Request your free annual credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Starting in March request credit reports from all of the three major credit reporting agencies : Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
- Withdraw at least a minimum amount from your retirement account. Starting at age 70 ½, the IRS requires that you withdraw at least a minimum amount, known as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), from your retirement accounts. The types of retirement accounts this mandate applies to are: 401(k) plans, IRAs, SEPs or TSAs. According to RothIRA.com, Roth IRAs are not subject to RMDs during the owner’s lifetime, but are subject to RMDs after the death of the owner.
- Organize and store important financial documents. Make certain important financial and legal documents such as wills, home and life insurance papers, birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, passports, naturalization documents, power of attorney documents, and mortgage deeds, etc. are stored in a water resistant and fireproof safe. Also, consider keeping duplicate copies in an alternative location such as a bank safety deposit box.
- Get insurance ready. This year the first day of spring is March 20. What better way to do your spring cleaning than by updating the value of your home possessions? March is great time to go through your house and itemize and photograph your household goods. In the unfortunate event of a burglary or natural disaster you’ll need documentation to prove their value to your insurer. Keep a hard copy record of your itemized list with photos in a water resistant/fireproof safe or save them on a portable USB flash drive.