Let's Review & Plan
As the end of the year closes in, now is a great time to take inventory of your finances and make a list of steps you need to take to end the year on a strong financial note.
To help, I thought I’d share a few tips on where to focus your efforts as you wrap up the year:
Review your financial goals - Take time to reflect on your financial goals and assess your progress. Have you met the goals you set at the beginning of the year? If not, what steps can you take now to catch up?
Evaluate your emergency fund - Ensure it covers at least the amount of expenses it will take to cover living expenses during the time you might be unemployed. If it's falling short, consider adjusting your budget to bolster this fund.
Review Your Cash Management - Are you getting paid enough for all that cash sitting in your account? Current short-term treasury bill yields are at +5%
Evaluate your expenses - Review your spending habits over the past year; try using a budgeting software (such as tillerhq.com) to see your actual expenses and identify areas where you need to cut back or adjust. Looking at the data will help you create a more efficient and realistic budget for the coming year.
Maximize retirement contributions - If you haven't already done so, consider contributing the maximum amount allowable to your retirement accounts. In 2023, this is $22,500 + an extra $7,500 if you are +50 years old (total $30,000 for +50 years old) . This will reduce your taxable income and help you build a healthy retirement nest egg.
Take advantage of tax-saving strategies - Explore all available tax deductions and credits. You may want to consider making charitable donations before the end of the year to reduce your tax liability. Remember, it’s best to consult a tax professional for personalized advice.
Prepare for tax season - Gather and organize all your financial and tax-related documents to make the filing process easier. Keep in mind that at the end of 2025, almost all of the individual, estate, and pass-through provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will expire. This looming expiration creates an important opportunity for tax planning along multiple dimensions.
Review insurance coverage - Evaluate your insurance policies, including health, home, auto, and life insurance. Let your agent know of any significant life events or adjustments to ensure you have appropriate coverage and aren't paying for frivolous extras. Also ask your insurance company for ways to reduce those insurance premiums. I’ve been able to reduce my home insurance by installing a Ring system.
Review your estate plan - Update your will, trusts, and other estate planning documents if there have been any changes in your life.
Funding education - If you have children, consider contributing to a 529 Plan or other educational savings accounts to secure their educational future.
Set goals for the upcoming year - Whether you are saving for a down payment, paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or planning for a major purchase, having a plan will help you stay on track.
Keep in mind that staying financially healthy requires regular monitoring and frequent adjustments. I'm here to help however I can, so don't hesitate to email me if you need support.