Here we are, already to the end of 2019! The end of a year and the start of a new one is when most people decide to clean up and implement changes in some areas of their lives. Whether it is financial or health-related, starting the New Year off with tasks completed feels good! Here are ten financial tasks that can make a difference to you now, and later:
Increasing or maximizing your pre-tax and after-tax retirement savings contributions helps in two ways; first, it helps to ensure you will have more money in retirement. Second, contributions into pre-tax retirement savings accounts help to lower your taxable income in the year the contributions made.
If you decide to sell losing assets before 2020, you may be able to use those losses to offset your taxable capital gains. Make sure to consult your tax professional to understand if tax-loss harvesting will benefit you or not.
Since contributions and earnings in a Roth IRA grow tax-free, converting your tax-deferred retirement savings into a Roth may make sense for you. Although you are required to pay taxes on the entire contributions and earnings, the conversion in 2019 may be a tax-smart move in the long term.
You don’t need to wait until 2020 to meet with your tax professional. Having an idea of how much you may need to pay in taxes for 2019 can benefit you when you still have time to contribute to tax-sheltered investment accounts opened by December 31st, 2019, to off-set personal income and capital gains. Especially if you’ve made more money in 2019 than in previous years, having an idea of taxes due in the 4th quarter and pre-paying taxes can save you stress later.
HSAs allow pre-tax contributions, much like your pre-tax retirement savings. However, when used at a later date for health-related expenses, including future long-term care expenses, the contributions and accumulation are tax-free upon withdraw. Make sure you are maximizing your contributions to enjoy the benefits of using the account later and lowering your taxable income for 2019!
Many states offer a state income tax credit or deduction up to a certain amount for parents or grandparents that contribute.
Market swings cause portfolio allocations to change over time. The end of the year is a great time to rebalance all of your investment accounts.
Donor-Advised Funds allow you to deduct your contributions to a non-profit. Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, contributions must be made into a donor-advised fund in 2019 to be itemized and deducted on your 2019 tax return.
Check and update beneficiary information on your employer retirement plan and all life insurance policies. Has there been a marriage, divorce, or name change for any beneficiary? Keeping beneficiary information and your information current is essential to help avoid problems later if there is a death claim.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to schedule an annual investment review, complete or update your financial plan.
If you have questions regarding any of the above financial tasks, contact our office to complete these before we say goodbye to 2019 and welcome 2020!
Additional Disclosure: Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not assure a profit or protect against loss.
Our philosophy is not to simply provide financial services, but to provide partnership and council every step of the way. We seamlessly coordinate the many components of your wealth management plan and are committed to providing financial clarity. This plan allows you to focus on the things you care about most. One of our greatest strengths is the collaborative team of specialists that we have assembled to serve and support each client. We truly enjoy helping people make smart financial decisions and look forward to learning more about you, your priorities, and your goals Contact us today to begin your wealth management journey.
Dreaming and goal setting are interrelated; first, you dream about what you want, then you determine how to obtain it. Our dreams should help guide us to make the right choices at the right time and in the proper manner. But merely dreaming about something is not enough; we must set goals to achieve it. In psychology, goal setting refers to a successful plan of action that we set for ourselves.
Psychologist Frank L. Smoll, a Ph.D. and working psychologist at the University of Washington, emphasized through his studies the three essential features of goal-setting, which he calls the A-B-Cs of goals. Smoll said that effective goals are:
Others in the field of psychology have determined that goal-setting for productivity involves five criteria; it must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Whether your dream is buying a larger house, completing a degree, losing weight, or saving a specific amount for retirement, all of these criteria must be included in your planning to achieve success.
If dreaming and ‘goal-setting psychology’ sounds a lot like financial planning, it is. Financial plans develop with all of these productivity criteria in mind. Financial advice is then executed to help make a dream a reality. Achieving more significant goals, such as saving for retirement to live in retirement as one envisions, takes longer. Throughout a client’s life, they may change their retirement dream or adjust their goals to the evolving criteria.
Remember that dreams are like a destination- if you want to go somewhere, you need to visualize where you want to be, recognize where you are at now, and make a plan to get there. You must also stay motivated and keep dreaming! I can help you do all of this; all you need to do is ask.
Additional Disclosure: The newsletter and links are being provided as a service to you. Please note that the information and opinions included are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. Planning services are generally available at additional cost and can only be offered only by appropriately licensed registered investment advisors.
Our philosophy is not to simply provide financial services, but to provide partnership and council every step of the way. We seamlessly coordinate the many components of your wealth management plan and are committed to providing financial clarity. This plan allows you to focus on the things you care about most. One of our greatest strengths is the collaborative team of specialists that we have assembled to serve and support each client. In addition, we truly enjoy helping people make smart financial decisions and look forward to learning more about you, your priorities, and your goals Contact us today to begin your wealth management journey.
In this article we look at the effect lowering interest rates can have on the economy and the markets. Interest rates can have a positive or a negative effect on the U.S. economy, the stock markets, and your investments. When The Fed changes the Federal Funds Rate (the rate at which banks can borrow money to lend to businesses or you), it creates a ripple effect.
The raising and lowering of the Fed Funds Rate is the role the Fed plays in stimulating the economy. In theory, the lowering of interest rates should help boost the U.S. economy by encouraging borrowing and spending. Therefore consumers and businesses are more willing to make big purchases. Whereas higher interest rates slow down borrowing and restrict the flow of money into the economy.
In a recent study conducted by the ‘National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics’, it was found that the average American family will spend just south of $700 for back-to-school costs in 2019. Is your child soon to be a college student? The same survey reported you should be ready to spend a little less than $1,000 alone for start-up school supplies. While this cost seems large, it’s just a part of your financial portfolio. Back-to-school time is not only a great time to plan a scholastic budget, but also reviewing and reassessing your financial plan. Below is your Official 2019 Back-To-School Financial Guide to make sure your student, and your financial goals, stay on track:
What does Summer remind you of? Maybe it’s the feeling of jumping into a cool pool after a day in the summer heat; or maybe it’s the sound of the ice cream truck as you are bolting out the door with whatever change you could get your hands on. From lazy days in air conditioning to random road trips and more; summer is full of memories, and more importantly, choices.
In Part 3 and the final installation of ‘SIZZLIN SUMMER SERIES’, we will go into the top 3 financial choices you should research before making a decision:
The official start of Summer – June 21st – is right around the corner. As we cruise into part two or our Sizzlin’ Summer Series, we will make a splash with the best cities to retire in 2019.
Get your Hawaiian shirts on, coolers filled, and beach towels ready, because here come the Top 4 Places To retire!
This last Winter was one for the books. With record snowfall, rain, and cold temperatures, it’s safe to say that most of us are ready for warmer weather. What better way to celebrate the onset of sunshine and warm temps than with a three-part newsletter series to help you enjoy Summer!
In this month’s newsletter, we will dive into the top 3 places to travel, based on the Summer months:
Do you consider yourself financially literate? According to a study by S&P Global, 57% of American adults are financially literate, ranking the U.S. 14th in the world. As a way to increase financial understanding, April is considered Financially Literacy month!
Whether you’re a financial guru or consider yourself a newbie, here’s 3 ways to make a difference in your finances this April!
With the official start the Spring being March 20th, the entire country can now start shedding layers after a record-breaking winter. Along with spring comes nice temperatures, fresh crisp smells, and most importantly, spring cleaning. Typically, spring cleaning will consist of throwing out or donating unused items, organizing the house and cleaning the shed no one has touched since last spring; however, Spring is also a great time to clean up.
There are 12 Months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 525,949 minutes in a year. From holidays to appointments and birthdays, a lot can happen and even more, can be forgotten.
To help you worry about less and focus on more; here are 5 important dates you should remember when it comes to planning your financial journey: