How (and why) to have an end-of-year file review

Hey there, military fam! As 2023 comes to a close (whut), it's time for our annual mission review – not on the battlefield, but right at home. Just like our spouses-in-arms review and update their strategies for fitness, emergency response, battle tactics, etc., it's equally crucial for us to give our domestic front the attention it deserves. Let's talk about the essential documents that should be on your radar for an end-of-year briefing together:

1. Insurance Policies: Safeguarding Your Six

Deployments, relocations, and the unpredictable nature of military life demand insurance coverage that stands as strong as you are. Take a moment to review health, auto, and homeowners or renters insurance. Ensure your policies align with your family's needs and consider any changes in circumstances that may affect coverage requirements.

2. Tax-Related Maneuvers: Don't Miss the Target

Tax season may seem light years away, but proactive planning can save you from financial explosions later on (on fire with these metaphors right now...). Update your W-4 withholding allowances, and stay sharp on tax deductions and credits applicable to military life. Whether it's a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or combat pay, make sure Uncle Sam recognizes your contributions.

3. Estate Planning: Commanding Your Legacy

In the military, having a solid plan is everything. The same goes for your family's future. Review your wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents. Ensure they reflect your current wishes and account for any changes in family dynamics or assets. Having a clear plan in place brings peace of mind, a truly valuable asset in military life's unpredictable journey.

4. Financial Fitness: Budgets and Beyond

Military families need financial discipline, and an annual budget review can be your fiscal fitness test. Scrutinize your budgets, review recent LES records, assess investment portfolios, and recalibrate retirement account contributions. The mission is to ensure your financial goals are on target, no matter where duty takes you.

5. Deployment-Ready Subscriptions: Streamlining Your Battle Plan

In the digital age, we've got subscriptions and memberships like gear and worn socks in a rucksack. Evaluate your streaming services, memberships, and subscriptions. If you're paying for something you're not using frequently or at all, it's time for a strategic withdrawal.

6. Homefront Security: Fortifying Your Castle

While you're out there defending the nation, don't forget to secure your fortress. Check on home maintenance needs, from HVAC systems to home security to smoke detectors. Renew warranties and ensure your legal documents, like rental agreements, are standing guard. 

7. Tactical Tech: Guarding Against Cyber Threats

In the age of information, securing your digital perimeter is just as critical. Update antivirus software, review and refresh passwords, and stay vigilant against cyber threats. ID theft insurance is worth the cost nowadays - consider signing up in 2024 if you don't have it! Your online presence is a substantial battlefront, so make sure it's well-defended.


Remember, military life is a dynamic mission, and your family's readiness is paramount. Family readiness affects force readiness. Taking the time for an end-of-year document review as a family ensures that your domestic front is in order and well-protected. Stay vigilant, stay prepared, and cheers to a well-organized home – your family's ultimate mission success!

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