A Financial Planning Checklist to Help You Finish the Year Strong
25 Oct 2018
Do you want to make some smart money moves now that will help you finish out the year strong? This financial planning checklist will help you get started.
Preparing for the end of the year is, to be frank, a huge pain. Not only do the shorter days pass that much quicker, but the holidays seem to start earlier every year.
That’s why this is the best time to pull together a financial planning checklist.
Getting your finances in order now saves you grief come tax time. It also allows you to focus more on family and friends as winter approaches.
To help save you time and keep you on track, we’ve created a checklist. This will provide you with the smart moves that help you close out the year strong.
Schedule a “Talk” With Your Significant Other
Find time to sit down with your partner or spouse to discuss expenses. Go through your subscription services and memberships and assess their use. If neither of you has been to the gym for a long while, consider if that membership is worth it.
This is also an opportunity to go through your debt reduction strategy. Investing doesn’t make sense if you owe at a greater interest rate than you’re earning.
Decide if your current setup works or if it’s worth getting more aggressive with your debt payments.
Getting a snapshot of your current financial state is an excellent first-step before making any other decisions.
Contribute to Your Retirement
Setting up preauthorized transfers into your savings accounts is a must to prepare for retirement. You’re limited in how much you can contribute to your retirement plan annually. Be sure to maximize these contributions.
This helps you two ways. The amount that goes into a retirement fund decreases your adjusted gross income. This can have a major effect on the amount of taxes you pay.
Secondly, these contributions also help guarantee that you have money available when you retire. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
Sell Any Losing Stocks
If you have investments that lost you money, you can use those to balance out your gross income. These losses can help minimize the increases of any capital gains.
Just remember that, if you want to reinvest in these stocks, to wait at least 30 days. That’s the period the IRS requires to qualify that sale as a capital loss.
Create an Expense Account
It’s wise to have a separate account for large expenses. Whether this is for a holiday or emergency medical care, this can be a life-saver. Schedule regular contributions and let it grow.
When something unexpected occurs, you’ll be thankful to have money set aside. It can be the difference between sinking or swimming for some people.
Financial Planning Checklist
Personal finances are an intimidating topic to consider. No matter how much one has saved, there’s always the feeling that it’s not enough. That’s why regular assessments are so important. Having a financial planning checklist is a key tool for doing this well.
Trying to compare yourself to others can be demotivating. Tracking your own needs and expenses is a far better way to stay on track to meet your needs.
If you have any questions or would like some financial advice, let us know. We have the expertise to guide you to a comfortable retirement.