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Important Year-End Concerns
As if the holidays did not make December crazy enough, it also is the end of the year. You might be tempted to put off your year-end financial considerations until the quiet of January, but there are at least a couple of things you should do before the calendar turns, including:
Check your FSA balance. Most flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, operate on a use-it-or-lose-it basis, so any money you don’t spend in the calendar year you leave on the table when the new year begins. Check the back of your card for an 800 number you can call to get your balance. If you have money left, consider whether there are expenditures you could make before January 1.
Similarly, look at your health care expenses . If your plan has a deductible, have you met the deductible? If so, and if you have to schedule a medical procedure soon, you might want to get it done before the end of the year – and the start of a new deductible. The same is true if you are close to having enough in medical expenses to be able to itemize those deductions. Is there something you need to have done that could put you over the limit?
Check your beneficiaries, including those on your 401(k) or other retirement plan and your life insurance. Too often, people name a beneficiary when they sign up for a plan, but they do not think to change the beneficiary when their life changes. Have you had a recent life change – such as a marriage, divorce, baby – that might be a reason to name a new beneficiary? Also, remember that your spouse is legally the beneficiary of your 401(k) plan unless he or she signs a release so that you can name another beneficiary.
Look at your disability insurance coverage limits. Disability coverage does not automatically adjust to reflect any increases in your salary. If you get disability coverage through your employer, check with your human resources department to see what your coverage limits are. If you are concerned that they are too low, discuss what options you have for increasing them. If you have disability insurance you purchase privately, take a look at those limits as well.
Check your jewelry coverage to make sure the limits are still appropriate. This is especially important if you receive jewelry as a holiday gift and need to add it to your policy. But you also should check your policy to see if there are any pieces you no longer have; perhaps you already gave them away to children or grandchildren, for example. Also look at whether you have listed any pieces that are really too small to be itemized. And finally, consider how long ago your jewelry was appraised and whether you need an updated appraisal.
We at The Bensman Group would be happy to answer any questions you might have about these issues or any of your financial needs. Just give us a call at 847-572-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And have a happy and healthy Holiday Season!