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Starting Out Checklist

Not sure where to start? This handy checklist will help you set in motion your plan for finances, insurance, credit and more.


General information

  1. Has relevant personal information been gathered?
  2. Has financial situation been assessed?
    • Income
    • Expenses
    • Assets
    • Liabilities

Savings and cash management

  1. Have financial goals been discussed and prioritized?
    • Cash reserve for emergencies
    • Saving for down payment on home
    • Saving for other major expense (e.g., car, travel)
    • Saving for retirement
  2. Have saving and investment vehicles been established?
    • Savings account
    • Checking account
    • Money market account
    • Certificates of deposit
    • Mutual funds
    • Stocks
    • Bonds
    • Annuities
    • IRA
    • 401(k) or other retirement plan
  3. Has making appropriate investment decisions been discussed?
    • Risk tolerance
    • Liquidity needs
    • Time horizon
    • Types of investments (e.g., income, growth)
    • Diversification
    • Tax consequences
    • Dollar cost averaging
  4. Has a budget been prepared?
  5. Is an appropriate financial record-keeping system being used?

Credit management

  1. Has good credit history been established?
  2. Have ways to maintain a good credit history been discussed?
  3. Has outstanding consumer debt (including interest rates) been listed?
    • Credit cards
    • Auto loans
    • Student loans
    • Mortgages
    • Other secured or unsecured loans or lines of credit
  4. Have ways to reduce consumer debt been discussed?
    • Paying cash vs. using credit
    • Lowering interest rates on loans and credit cards
    • Consolidation of student loans
    • Debt consolidation loans
    • Use of home equity loan

Insurance planning

  1. Have insurance needs been reviewed?
    • Health
    • Life
    • Disability
    • Auto
    • Homeowners/renters
    • Liability
  2. Is group coverage available from employer or other source?
    • Health
    • Life
    • Disability
    • Auto
    • Homeowners/renters
    • Liability
  3. Does insurance need to be purchased or upgraded?
    • Health (including short-term coverage)
    • Life
    • Disability
    • Auto
    • Homeowners/renters
    • Liability

Retirement planning

  1. Have retirement income needs been evaluated?
  2. Have retirement income sources been discussed?
    • Social Security
    • Pension
    • 401(k)s and other retirement plans
    • Personal savings (including IRAs)

Estate planning

  1. Is there a will?
  2. If so, was it drafted recently (i.e., within the last five years)?
  3. Have durable powers of attorney been executed?
  4. Have health-care directives been executed?

Tax planning

  1. Has appropriate income tax filing status been chosen?
  2. Has proper income tax withholding amount been calculated?
  3. Will estimated income tax payments need to be made?
  4. Is self-employment income a consideration?
  5. Has personal deduction planning been explained?
    • Taking standard deduction vs. itemizing deduction
    • Timing of deductions
    • Limits on deductions
  6. Have relevant deductions and credits been reviewed?

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Getting Started: Establishing
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*Wealth management services through INVEST are made available by Beneficial Advisors, LLC, a wholly-owned non-bank subsidiary of Beneficial Bank. Financial Advisors of Beneficial Advisors, LLC are Registered Representatives of INVEST Financial Corporation (INVEST), member FINRA, SIPC, a registered investment advisor. INVEST is not affiliated with Beneficial Advisors, LLC or Beneficial Bank. INVEST, Beneficial Advisors, LLC and Beneficial Bank do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor for guidance on your particular situation. INVEST and its affiliated insurance agencies offer securities, advisory services, and certain insurance products and are: Not a deposit or other obligation of any bank – Not insured by the FDIC – Not insured by any Federal Governmental Agency – Not guaranteed by Beneficial Bank or any of its affiliates – Subject to Investment Risk, including possible loss of principal.

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USA PATRIOT Act

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA PATRIOT Act requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you – When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license and other identifying documents.