The five financial documents to take a look at after you move to Missouri or any new state.
Moving is stressful, and relaxation is far from possible even after the move. It’s time to learn the best places to eat in Kansas City, meet friends in your neighborhood, and settle into your new life. There’s one more thing to add to your to-do list after you settle into your new home.
After you move to Kansas City, dig through your files of paperwork, and pull out financial documents. These include your budget, 401-K and other retirement plans, investments, earnings, and estate planning documents. It’s important to update these documents when you have a life change like a move.
You’ve probably realized by now the cost of living is low in the Midwest, compared with the East and West Coasts.
Perhaps you used a cost of living calculator before you relocated to Kansas City, to figure out a fair salary. If not, it’s never too late to use a calculator to update your budget.
Certified financial advisors encourage budgeting. They’ll show you one simple trick to a budget makeover. After you move, it’s a good time to evaluate where you’re spending the most money and ways to cut back and increase savings.
Budgets help you organize your finances, set goals, and save money. While a new job automatically affects your budget, a new state effects it too. Taxes, utility costs, and housing costs all change.
You can manually adjust the numbers based on estimated costs that friends, family and neighbors suggest. They usually know the true cost of utilities, housing, and state tax rates.
You can also use a cost of living calculator. You simply need your old city, new city, and annual income.
SmartAsset specifically details the tax differences between two cities. Since taxes put a dent in your paycheck, this is important to consider. Try a few calculators as they all provide something different.
In Kansas City, on top of state income tax, there’s a 1-percent earnings tax if you live or work in Kansas City.
With the automatic adjustments for cost of living, you may need to adjust retirement investments. As a certified financial planner, I hope you’ll add to your investments!
Of course, circumstances change. There’s unexpected pay cuts and expenses, like medical bills.
You should evaluate your retirement account from time to time, especially after a move. You hit the reset button on life, so now it’s time to hit the reset button on your finances.
A certified financial planner guides you through financial planning obstacles, using sophisticated tools to see all your accounts in one place. If you’ve moved before or switched jobs, you likely have accounts with different companies. Seeing all your assets in one place, and checking their performance helps you make the best financial decisions.
When considering a planner, choose one that truly has your best interests at heart. A fee-only financial planner doesn’t have as many conflicts of interest as many others. You pay a flat fee, so he steers you toward the right investment options rather than directing you to products where he earns the highest commissions.
It’s hard finding new advisors – from doctors to financial planners — when you move to a new city. Start out by interviewing several Kansas City financial advisors. During the interview, ask the right questions, so you truly get to the bottom of whether that person is the right fit for your financial situation.
You can also choose the DIY method for retirement planning. However, having a trusted advisor on your side allows you to invest in more than just your employer-sponsored retirement plan, he helps with rollover 401-K situations, and ensures you have a balanced financial plan.
Plus, a Kansas City-based financial planner offers all sorts of extra perks like the best contractors to hire for projects around your new home, the best places to eat in Kansas City, and connections around town.
Plus, a well-established Kansas City financial planner knows the big companies, including the federal government and private sector employers. He may put you in touch with people who work at your company, and he’ll likely know the corporate benefits offered to you, whether that's a Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees, 401(k) or another financial vehicle.
Plus, if you moved to Kansas City, but are still living in temporary housing, a financial planner will help you choose the right house for your budget so you’re not house poor.
The third set of financial document to evaluate after a move involves your estate. A new state, new job, and new life circumstances affect your estate.
If you don’t have an estate plan yet, it’s a good time to consider one after you move to a new state.
John R. Sanderford III, a Kansas City estate planning attorney, says guardianship designations are the single most important part of estate planning for families with minor children.
“Sometimes that selection is based on proximity, even its family members or friends, who you lived around. And now that’s all changed. It’s important to take a look at that.”
For adults, there are similar factors to consider. It’s important to periodically review who you are choosing to do things for you, in a healthcare or financial situation you can’t handle. Again, proximity to family members or trusted friends is important.
Welcome to Kansas City! I’m a longtime resident, and for your financial future, I hope you’ll get your financial documents updated now that you’re living in Missouri.
If you have any other financial questions, feel free to let me know. I know trusted experts, like John Sanderford, to help you settle into Kansas City.
As a fee-only financial planner, I don’t earn commissions on financial products I recommend. Consumer Reports says it’s the best financial planner to do business with, as fee-only advisors have your best interests at heart.
What’s your biggest financial question after your move to Kansas City?