“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” Proverbs 3:9
To be properly finishing the year and positioning for the next, you want to finish the year strong and have all you need to do completed. The best way to do that is being organized and prepared.
Year-End Checkoff list tips to help you:
- Gather your Documents. Sit down and gather all of your important documents, paper and electronic, to make sure everything is updated properly. All in one place easy to access and know. Which documents? Your insurance documents, loan documents, brokerage statements, investment statements, all financial statements, tax deductions, tax returns and passwords. All in a locked, secured place!
- Have a Will. Make sure you have a Will or Trust. If you need one, we can help. Also have your beneficiary’s information too.
- Trust. You need to have a Trust; especially if you have children and or property!
- Record your will or trust read out loud by video, or a snazzy lawyer can and will alter it!
- Have a yearend family meeting. How were your goals met? What will the new year look like? New goals and dreams?
- Max out. Give the maximum you can to your IRA and qualified accounts if you can.
- Insurance needs. Are you properly covered withLife, Auto, health, Home, Disability, and Retirement insurance? Are you properly protected? Ate you paying too much? This is the time to reevaluate. Most people are not! Remember, Life Insurance is not for you, unless you have living benefits; it is for your loved ones who are left behind.
- Credit report. Get a copy of your credit report. Is it accurate? Most are not!
- Investments. Take a look at your portfolio, are you diversified? Do you have a retirement account with tax advantages that is protected from loss? If not, we can help you!
- Review your 401k, 403b, 457 and IRA accounts. Maximize your current 401k with your employer. How much money did you lose in your retirement accounts? Let us help you move those over to higher returns without any loss and tax advantages.
- Tax deductions. Get your tax withholdings and write offs squared away oryou may need to wait till next year. Consult with your CPA. Consider your purchases, tax accounts, retirement, and business plans. This tool can help you: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator
- College account? If you have children, set them up with a college account. There are plans with tax advantages, high growth rates and not subject to market volatility. We can help you.
- Budget. This is a good time to revalue your budget and what will be your financial needs going forth. Make sure you have an emergency fund of at least three months too.
- Charity. Be generous and give, we support Into Thy Word Ministries; and there are many others you should give too.
- HSA and FSA. If you have an FSA health savings account, sometimes you lose that remaining money if not used by the end of the year. What medical bills still need to be paid and pay them.
- Gifts. The maximum taxable gift you can give someone like a child is $15,000 per child per year, after that the amount it is taxed.
Bonus tip: The IRS shuts down before Christmas. Most brokerage and insurance company also have a cut off, usually December 22nd or 26th!
If you do have an IRA or poor performing investments, there are far better accounts that have greater tax advantages and without the limitations of age and contribution, I can help you with those!
Dr. Richard Krejcir is a licensed and experienced Financial Consultant with over thirty years of experience. He has worked for major banks, insurance companies, nonprofits, and families too. He is also an author, pastor, Special Ed Teacher, and financial blogger and holds a doctorate in Stewardship.