The end of the year is plenty hectic for most of us, but finding some time to take stock of a few of your financial doings can make heading into the new year much easier. Here are six areas it makes sense to look into and update if necessary.
Should you consider a Roth IRA or turning some of your traditional IRA into a Roth? Depending on your situation, it might be worth it to check with a financial professional to see if there are tax code benefits to doing one over the other given your overall goals and financial strategies.
If you’re making charitable contributions, check to see which, if any, can be written off entirely or partially on your taxes. If you’re over 70.5 years of age, some charitable contributions may also satisfy the required minimum distribution (RMD) for your IRA. The RMD is the least possible amount you must withdraw from your account each year once you reach 70.5 years of age.
It’s smart to revisit your will and beneficiary designations this time of year. Many things can happen over the course of a year so making sure your legal documents are updated is important.
In addition to beneficiaries, you’ll also want to review who has medical power-of-attorney, check on your living trust, and look to see if anything needs to be changed or updated. If you’ve gotten divorced or there have been deaths this year, you’ll want to make sure everything is up to date.
If you own your own business you may be able to defer income and accelerate expenses for the rest of the year. This could limit your tax liability. Check with your financial professional and CPA to see if you qualify.
Now is a great time to meet with your agent to see if you should change your contribution to your health savings account (HSA). Review your health insurance plan. Is it still serving your health and financial needs?
Check to find out if your flexible spending account carries over into the next year. If it doesn’t, now is the time to gather and itemize those receipts so you don’t forfeit those funds.
Reviewing the past year’s budget to see what worked and what didn’t is a great idea. Did your finances change? Did your life situation change? Are you planning any new major purchases like your first home, a new car or a boat? Keep in mind that insurance premiums will increase in addition to the new payments. There are many considerations and maybe some changes to be made.
Following these steps and making sure everything is up to date will hopefully make the transition into the new year nice and smooth, with an eye on your long-term financial goals.
At Baron Financial Group, I am more than happy to help people of every age and stage get the education you need to put you on the right path to pursue our individual financial goals.
Sources: Kiplinger, Money, USA Today
For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.
Distributions from traditional IRA’s and employer sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching age 59 ½, may be subject to an additional 10% IRS tax penalty.