request info email to friend
Year-End Financial To-Do List
The holidays are a whirlwind that ends when the champagne pops on New Year’s Eve. But before that happens, there are some financial things you need to take care of.
Make use of any tax-advantaged accounts, such as your 401(k) or your health savings account. Max out your contributions, which reduces your taxable income.
Prepay deductible expenses such as your January mortgage, property taxes, medical expenses, etc.
Make gifts. The IRS’ gift limit for 2015 is $14,000; you can make multiple gifts up to that amount without triggering the gift tax or reporting requirements.
Donate to charity. If you make a donation before midnight Dec. 31, you can deduct it on your 2015 taxes.
Talk to your accountant or financial adviser about whether you should adjust your portfolio to improve your tax situation, such as by using investment losses to offset gains.
If you are close to or over meeting your health care plan’s deductible or out-of-pocket limits, consider whether there are medical issues you could get taken care of before the end of the year.
Look at your health care spending for the year, and decide whether your current health care plan is the best approach for you.
Savings and Retirement Planning
Look at the amount you put into your savings and/or retirement plan in 2015.
Then do a quick calculation to see how you are progressing toward meeting your retirement or savings goals.
If you are not as far along as you hoped, consider what steps you might take to save more. A good start in this process is to look at your spending over a period of one to two months, and see if there are places you could cut back in order to put more into savings.
Talk with your financial adviser about whether your investment approach is still appropriate for your situation.
If you do these things, you can start the new year knowing that you have taken important steps to safeguard your financial future.