The holidays are right around the corner, which means now is the perfect time to make sure your finances are in order before the craziness arrives. In November your focus is likely to be on turkeys, friends, family, and pie. In December it shifts to decorating, gifts, parties, and of course, more pie. Perfect reasons to review your finances now so that you can be focused and truly present during the fun to come.
- Spending check-up. If you’re anticipating spending more than usual in December, which – let’s face it – most everyone does, then now is a good time to evaluate whether some short-term cut backs will help your spending stay in line with your target for the year.
- Make adjustments for taxes. There’s a long list of tax items you can address prior to December 31st to make next April 15th less stressful. Do you need to adjust withholding allowances for your paystubs? Do you need to increase your 401k contributions before year-end to lower your tax liability for the year?
- Plan year-end charitable giving. If you make annual year-end charitable contributions, planning ahead will help free up your time during the busier holiday months. This also gives you enough time to gift appreciated stock to charities which can be more beneficial than cash. Keep in mind the standard deduction is much higher for 2018 than 2017. This makes some strategies for charitable giving more attractive than they were in the past. These are qualified charitable distributions from your IRA, donor advised funds, or lumping 2 years of giving every other year to receive more tax benefit.
- Update your financial plan. Have you had life updates during 2018? Do you need to have a financial plan created or updated to help you get and stay on track in 2019? If so, now is a great time to get started if you’d like to have a plan in place before January 1st.
There could be any other number of financial items you need to get done before year-end. Why wait to get started? Now is the perfect time to knock those items off your undoubtedly long to-do list. And if you need help along the way, we’d be more than glad to assist you.