In the last Journal, Bill discussed various details to keep the Tax man away. To continue in that theme here are some other ideas/suggestions on what to do before the end of the year….
Maximize your contributions to your retirement accounts which will lower your tax bill for 2019 whether it be a 401k, SIMPLE, or a IRA. If you are over 50 be sure you take advantage of the catch-up provision for each type of account.
Other accounts to contribute to:
Health Savings Accounts for people with high deductible health insurance. Making contributions to that will also reduce your 2019 taxes. Limit is $7,000 for families and $3,500 for individuals.
529 Plans for kids or grandkids planning on going to college. There is a small state tax benefit for this. Nice gift to put under the Christmas tree.
ROTH accounts - Contributing to that won’t help your tax situation this year, but will when you withdraw money.
Emergency Fund – This won’t help your tax situation either, but it is always good review that you have enough in that type of account. Are You Ready When Life Happens?
Did anything change with the family this year? Marriage, birth, death, or divorce or a combination thereof? Or maybe someone didn’t remember your birthday? Once a year is a good time to think about your estate plans and beneficiary information on your accounts and insurance policy. If changes need to be made, do not procrastinate.
Asset allocation – with the bull market continuing, it is a good time to review your asset allocation for your Household or meet with your advisor to do so. Take into consideration all of your investment accounts and decide if your equity position should be reduced.
Review taxable accounts for Tax Loss Harvesting. This is the practice of selling securities with a tax loss to reduce your overall capital gains. With the markets (stocks and bonds) up this year, it may be difficult to find securities at a loss. (That is the good news!)
Most credit card companies and banks now offer the ability to see your FICO credit score. If you want to do a deeper dive, check out your free annual credit report from one of the credit reporting agencies. Info can be found here or stop by our office.
It is never too early to start thinking about 2020. Any life changes anticipated in 2020?
If you are getting closer to retirement or Social Security, it may make sense to run various scenarios on when is the best time to take Social Security.
If you have already retired, investigate with your advisor if a ROTH conversion makes sense while tax rates are low.