Financial checklist for every stage of life

by Michael Cocco, CFP®, AXA Advisors

New Grad, Entering the Workforce

o Make a budget.

o Track your expenses.

o Pay down your debt.

o Start saving for retirement.

o Designate beneficiaries on your financial accounts.

o Consider disability income insurance.

o Speak to an attorney about drafting a Power of Attorney and Living Will


Advancing In Your Career

o When you switch jobs, be sure to negotiate.

o Also, consider taking your retirement money with you.

o Seek the advice of a financial planner with an eye on retirement.


Getting Married

o Create (or update) your will, and update your beneficiaries, power of attorney, and health care proxy.

o Look into getting life insurance and re-evaluate other insurance policies.

v Buying A Home

o Buy a house that won’t put too much stress on your assets.

o If you’re married and haven’t bought life insurance yet, look into it now, and update your disability income insurance.


Having Children

o Review your estate plan.

o Start saving for their college education.

o Relay financial lessons to your children.


Established In Your Career

o Max out your retirement contributions.

o Be proactive in your tax planning.

o If you find yourself taking care of your parents, consider their needs in the context of all your financial priorities.

o Consider your own long-term care plans.

o Begin planning your retirement income.

o If need be, catch up on retirement contributions.



o Know your budget and downside if needed.

o Review your investment strategy and ways to protect your downside.

o Are you truly diversified? Seek alternatives to only having stocks and bonds.

o Look at how to fund potential long-term care costs.



o Don’t make any immediate changes without advice of your team of professionals.

o Review your estate plan.

o Consider downsizing, and consider moving to a full retirement community.

Michael Cocco is a certified financial planner with AXA Advisors in Nutley. He may be reached at   or (973) 667-8650.

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