The end of the year is fast approaching and it's a great time to remind you of action items that can help improve your personal finances. Some planning strategies to consider:
- If you're not retired, remember to contribute the maximum amount to your individual or employer-sponsored retirement plan based on specific IRS limits for 2021.
- If you or your spouse is 72 or older, Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) must be taken before Dec 31. Otherwise, you could incur an additional 50% penalty tax.
- Make charitable contributions (outright or through a donor-advised fund) that you want to be able to claim as a deduction on this year’s tax return.
- Consider Qualified Charitable Distributions from your IRA if you're above 70 ½ and want to make charitable contributions, but not from your normal cash flow.
- Gift children or loved ones up to the maximum annual exclusion amount ($15,000 for individuals; $30,000 for married couples filing jointly) for those looking to remove assets from their estate.
- Consider converting all or a portion of your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA if your income is lower in 2021 and expecting income to increase in following years.
- Review how much money you’ve spent for those with employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) so you don't lose any unused funds for next year.
- Track your 2021 spending so we can compare against your budget and make any necessary adjustments for next year.
- Do you expect to earn more next year? Let’s discuss putting some or all of your expected increase into savings or investments.
- Think about your family's financial goals and concerns so when we next meet we can update with any changes:
- Can you save more for retirement? Or for college?
- Do you have an excessive amount of cash sitting idle in the bank?
- Changes, financially or emotionally, for life, disability and long term care insurance?
- Do you expect any unusually large expenses next year?
- Should we re-assess your portfolio's risk level after a robust year in the markets?
Taking the time to address these items now can help you finish out the year strong as well as make 2022 a successful and brighter year.
If you have any questions about year-end planning strategies, please call your advisor directly or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our website at www.benchmarkfinancial.info for more information on our planning services.