December 20, 2018
The momentum of a fresh start makes the new year an ideal time to get things in order in your life and your finances. Schedule some time to check in on your accounts, organize tax documents, automate bill paying and go paperless to simplify things and set yourself up for success.
Winter 2018–2019 Market Closures
Tuesday, January 1: New Year’s Day
Monday, January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 19: Presidents Day
Consolidate and cut clutter: Sign up to view your accounts online and go paperless to reduce clutter. Additionally, consider organizing your personal and financial documents by uploading them to a file sharing or content management platform.
Revisit retirement: Confirm that employer retirement plan contributions take advantage of any available employer match. Maximize IRA contributions early in the year so they will have more time to generate tax-deferred gains; you have until mid-April to do so for the previous year. If you are 50 or older, ask your advisor about catch-up contributions.
Consider your health spending: If you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), review your contribution levels to take full advantage based on your family’s needs – without exceeding applicable limits. If you have an FSA, utilize available funds before your plan’s use-it-or-lose-it deadline.
Do a budget gut-check: Have major new expenses that must be factored into your financial plan? Conduct a cash flow and liquidity analysis to make sure you’re in good shape. Then prioritize how you’ll apply available savings, whether it’s to pay down high-interest debt, build or maintain an emergency fund, or increase retirement savings.
Prepare for fuss-free filing: Keep your tax documents organized as they arrive so you’re prepared to file. Talk to your advisor about coordinating with your tax professional to ensure everything is in order.
Download the complete checklist below and talk to your advisor to make sure you don’t miss any important financial planning dates this winter season.
A Plan for All Seasons: Winter 2018-2019
There is no assurance any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of capital. Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts may be subject to income taxes, and prior to age 59½ a 10% federal penalty tax may apply. Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value.