Making a List and Checking it Twice
Somehow, it’s already December! We are now in what feels like the mad dash to the holidays and the end of 2023. As we look towards starting 2024 in the best possible shape, there are a lot of year-end items to consider.
I love a check list and in the spirit of Santa making a list and checking it twice, here is Meridian’s End of Year List.
Here are a few highlights and bonus items:
- Be sure to take your Required Minimum Distribution from your IRAs (this includes Inherited IRAs). RMDs must be taken by the end of the year to avoid penalties.
- If you anticipate any changes to your income – consider strategizing. For anticipated increases in income, may want to increase your ROTH IRA or ROTH 401k contributions (if you are eligible) to decrease future tax implications. For decreases in income, consider focusing on traditional IRA and 401k contributions to minimize tax liability now.
- For those who are charitably inclined, explore tax-efficient funding strategies like gifting appreciated securities or Qualified Charitable Contributions (QCDs).
- Sit down and evaluate your cash flow – if you are able to save more, look at upping your retirement account contributions, HSA contributions, 529 contributions, etc. If you are not seeing gaps in cash flow, consider starting 2024 with a focus on budget tracking. There are helpful spreadsheets or there are several apps including Monarch and YNAB which can help track spending and saving.
- Don’t put off your estate planning. Check that you have beneficiaries listed on your accounts and that they are up to date. Consider creating a will and trust; if you already have those documents in place, verify that the information included is as you want it to be, including beneficiaries, executor, etc.
- Your financial plan is a living document that should be updated annually. Let your advisor know if there have been any changes that may impact your financial picture – like marriages, retirement timing, real estate sales or purchases, college tuition and any other circumstances that may impact your plan. We want to ensure that your plan is accurate and stays on track with your goals.
- Update your passwords – internet phishing scams are on the rise and one of the best ways to protect your information is using unique passwords on your logins.
This time of year is always busy, and it seems everyone’s to-do list is long but checking off your year-end financial to-do list is a great way to head into the new year. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisor and their team – we are here to help!