Year End Financial Planning Tips

Guest Blogger: Andrew Horowitz, CFP, Horowitz & Company, Inc.

As we close in on the end of the year, it is wise to reflect on and look ahead at some important issues related to your financial security.

Reviewing your investment portfolio is an ongoing process. Taking a good look at your risk tolerance versus the risk profile of your portfolio as well as the performance of your underlying holdings against their respective benchmarks can ensure that you stay on the right track.

Reassessing your retirement plans regularly and the options available can definitely help you over the long run. Depending on your situation, you may be able to add additional contributions to your plan and take advantage of catch-up provisions. There may be advantages of converting your IRAs to a Roth IRA in order to move the funds to a tax-free status. In addition, if you reach the age of 70 ½, you are required to begin distributions from your IRA by the end of the year. If you forget or miss the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) date, the penalties are severe.

Taking some time to plan in advance for tax time can save you money. There may be deductions (charitable gifts, government tax incentives, itemized deductions, etc.) that are available to you or tax loss harvesting in order to offset realized gains, ahead of December 31st.

If you are inclined to gift or fund educational programs for family members, proper year-end planning is a good idea. Perhaps there are some investments that have appreciated in value that you will be able to gift in order to avoid the capital gains tax while remaining altruistic.

Making sure that all of your insurance plans are up to date is also a good practice. Review your life insurance coverage and the plan beneficiaries to ensure all are correct. Depending on what milestones have been achieved over the past year, you may be eligible for a decrease in your premium or upgrade to your plan.

If, during the year, you had a change in your life such as a marriage, birth, divorce or death in the family, changes may need to be made to your Wills and Trust documents. Taking the time to review these and other lifecycle events with your attorney or your financial advisor can give you important insight into areas that you may not have considered.

If you have reached a special birthday this year, there are many areas that may need to be addressed. In addition to RMDs at age 70 ½ mentioned above, other hallmark years include age 62 when may be eligible to take early Social Security, and at 65 you can apply for Medicare. Aside from these there are many other milestone ages that will open up access to retirement plan provisions or other benefits.

For more information and financial education on these and other topics, make sure that you visit Mission Financial Solutions. If you are a member of Compass Rose Benefits Group you now have full access to the site through your Member Portal. To login, visit member.compassrosebenefits.com, or to sign-up visit www.compassrosebenefits.com/Register.

Advertisements

One thought on “Year End Financial Planning Tips

  1. Pingback: How to Choose a Financial Planner | William Houston Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s