Hard to believe that we are already in the last quarter of 2019! The end of the year is a great time to look at your financial situation and meet with your advisors! Here are a few items to address:
Maximize Retirement Contributions (Health Savings Accounts (HSA) too!)
For the possibility of minimizing your tax liability and increasing your retirement savings, it may be a good idea to max out your 401(k) and IRA contributions if you are able. Having year end bonus dollars allocated toward these retirement savings would be a great idea. In retirement, we all expect to have some healthcare costs. So maximizing your contributions to your HSA is another good idea. Pre-tax money in, tax-free growth, tax-free distributions on health expenses!
Harvest Tax Losses
Even in in a strong bull market (period of rising stock prices), you may have some losses. To offset some of your gains for the year, it may be beneficial to sell some of those stocks at a loss which could alleviate your tax burden!
Throughout the year, some of your positions may perform really well while others perform poorly. Rebalancing your portfolio by buying more shares of the under performers and selling shares of the high performers will keep your allocations in line with your original strategy.
Review Estate Plans
Year end is a great time to review your estate planning documents. Do you have Will? Power of Attorney? Medical Directives? Trusts? While you may have created a plan with all these documents, life is dynamic and a lot can change in a year. Maybe you would like to change the beneficiary designation, or perhaps you want to change your executor. In any case, reviewing the plan will highlight these necessary changes.
Review Insurance Policies
Reviewing your homeowners insurance policy will ensure that you have the proper amount of coverage and may even highlight some places where we can save a little money on premiums. Life insurance polices need to be reviewed as well to make sure they are still serving their intended purposes.
Defer Income/Prepay Expenses
If you are a business owner with the ability to affect when you receive income or pay expenses, year-end might be the perfect time to do so which could possibly result in a lower tax liability for you.
Make Charitable Donations and Planned Gifts
One way to minimize your tax liability is to make charitable donations to charities of your choice. There may be added benefit of gifting stocks rather than cash so check with your tax advisor to determine what makes the most sense for your situation. In 2019, you're allowed to gift up to 15,000 a year to any one individual before gift tax consideration.
Check Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Balance
Unlike a Health Savings Accounts (HSA), an FSA does not allow you to rollover the balance into the following year. Use it or lose it! Check to see what is covered under your FSA plan and use those funds before the year is over.
Have You Made Your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)?
If you are 70 1/2 or older OR have inherited an IRA from a family member, you are required to take a minimum amount out as a distribution before the end of the year. In 2019, failure to take the distribution results in a 50% surtax penalty on the undistributed amount!
Meet Your Financial or Tax Advisor
There may still be time to make some necessary changes if you act soon. Try to meet with your tax or financial advisor and discuss the possibilities.
Not sure where to begin? Give Rosecrete a call and let us help you figure it out.
Reggie D. Ford, CPA is the Founder and President of Rosecrete Wealth Management. Rosecrete provides personalized, comprehensive financial services to affluent and high net worth clients. Rosecrete focuses on sports, legal, and medical industries with a passion for helping younger generations with early retirement planning.
Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.
For a list of states in which I am registered to conduct securities business, visit my website at www.rosecrete.com.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Rebalancing a portfolio may cause investors to incur tax liabilities and/or transaction costs and does not assure a profit or protect against a loss.