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Your Bank > Education and Advice > CNB University

To Procrastinate or Not? That Is The Financial Question

Margaret Meyer
Margaret M. Whelehan is Vice President - Personal Banking/Insurance Agency Manager and can be reached at MWhelehan@CNBank.com or (585) 249-4980 x41034.

The definition of the word procrastinate is to delay or postpone action; put off doing something. If we get sick, many of us will not delay or postpone a trip to the doctor and/or recommended medication. Why? Because the action provides us relief which makes us feel better and get healthier.

So why do many of us postpone doing something when it comes to our financial health? Won’t the action provide our families and ourselves the very same relief? The answer is “yes”. So let’s take a look at why our natural tendency is to procrastinate when it comes to our financial well-being.

Why? 

It is easier to just ignore and delay thoughts about your financial well-being because no action can be taken on something that you are not making time to consider. It is important to realize that something in your life will change and being unprepared can have catastrophic financial consequences.

Life.

Do you and your family understand who will take care of you when you cannot perform the activities of daily living? Will it be a spouse, family member, or aide? Will you be able to stay in your home, transfer to a facility, or move in with your children? Work with your financial planner and close friends/family members to develop your long-term care plan.

Social Security. 

Have you contemplated strategies to delay your payment start date to maximize the total distribution for your household?

Investments. 

Will you outlive your retirement money? Do you meet with your advisor at least annually to rebalance your portfolio and check the allocation of stocks and bonds? Are you investing enough to hit your anticipated retirement age?

Insurance. 

Do you have enough, too much, the correct type? Can you afford it? Does the coverage align with what you are trying to accomplish/protect? 

Death. 

Do you have a will? Is it updated for marriage, divorce, deaths? It is important to review beneficiary designations on current and prior employer sponsored retirement plans, any IRAs, life insurance, and annuity contracts. These assets will pass according to beneficiary designation despite what is stated in your will.

Taxes.

Itemized deductions, personal exemptions, capital gains/dividends, ROTH conversion rules, and Medicare changes occur annually. Be sure to work with someone who is credentialed in this area. If you have not hired someone because of the associated preparation/consultation fee, I encourage you to think how small that cost might be compared to a possible reduction of your tax or even a credit that you were not aware that you qualified for.

One tip includes maximizing all of your employer benefits: contributing to a dependent care Flexible Spending Care Account (FSA), a limited purpose FSA, a Health Savings Account. This reduces your taxable income by sheltering allowable limits you pay for child and health care costs.

All of this is a lot to think about and that is the very reason you may possibly procrastinate or have procrastinated for years. This is why I encourage you to partner with a trusted financial planner, who can provide expertise on all aspects of your financial health.

How We Can Help

At CNB, we believe in offering comprehensive financial services and have 15 members on our financial planning team. Ten of these planners are accessed by having an investment management relationship with our Wealth Strategies Group. If you are a customer with an Optimum relationship, you are automatically entitled to engage the services of our Personal Bankers – our other five financial planners. 

Set that appointment to undergo a financial check-up. It will not only make you feel good but provide you and your family the peace of mind that you and they will be taken care of, no matter what.

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Investments are not bank deposits, are not obligations of, or guaranteed by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, and are not FDIC insured. Investments are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested. Investments and services may be offered through affiliate companies. Past performance discussed does not predict future results.