“Without failure who would you be?”~Nick Foles
Are You Ready For The New Year?
Being financially fit is important all year long, but as the end of the year quickly approaches, there are several year-end planning items that I suggest you review and consider if you haven’t already:
- Consider Tax Strategies –
- If you have or expect capital gains this year, start looking over your portfolio for capital losses that can offset those gains. It might also make sense to consider opportunities to accelerate deductions in the current year or postpone them to 2019 depending on your expected income levels. If you own mutual funds, contact the fund companies to estimate their estimated capital gains. If you’re in a higher tax bracket in 2018 than you expect to be in 2019, a donation to charity in December may provide a better tax benefit than if you wait until January. RMD (required minimum distribution from retirement plans) from your retirement accounts must be taken out by December 31 if you reached 70 ½ this year. Contact your CPA or tax advisor to help evaluate whether it makes sense to plan the timing of items that can affect your potential tax bill.
- Review your Investment Mix –
- Are your investments still in line with your goals and risk tolerance? Changes in the values of your stocks, bonds and other holdings over the past year may have moved the relative weightings away from what best meets your needs. The stock and bond markets have experienced a lot of volatility this year, thus the percentage of your investments in each may have drifted from what you see as the right proportion of risk. The approach of the New Year is a good time to review your investment mix. Contact your financial advisor for help to see if it’s time to rebalance.
- Review all Insurance Coverages –
- Review your coverage for auto, home, liability, etc. to be sure you have enough – and not too much – and that you are not overpaying. Look at whether you could drop some deductibles to save on premiums or if you have some unnecessary ‘extra’ features in your policy that are adding up. Comparison shop among insurance companies to see whether switching makes sense. Feel free to contact my office (520-544-4909) if you need a referral to whom you can speak with to review these items.
- Review your Beneficiaries –
- Especially if you’ve had a recent family event such as a marriage, birth or adoption of a child, new grandchild or a divorce. The approach of the New Year provides a good opportunity to make sure the beneficiaries you’ve designated in your life insurance, will, bank accounts and IRAs are aligned with your current situation and wishes.
- Get your Budget in Shape –
- A budget should be aligned with your expected income. Fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage and car payments should be separate from what you plan to set aside for savings and spending. If you don’t already have a budget, the New Year milestone is a great time to start. If you’re already using a budget to help manage your finances, a year-end tune-up can help you make sure it’s still current. Keep in mind there are many new “apps” available online to help with this process as well.
- Health Insurance Open Enrollment –
- If you purchase your own health insurance, if you’re self-employed or have a Medicare Supplement plan, be advised the open enrollment period is currently open and may provide an opportunity to shop around for better coverage, cost savings or both. Pat Quigley was a guest on our Money Matters show a few weeks ago and offers many FREE workshops about Medicare to help explore your options. One thing we’ve learned is that reviewing your healthcare situation has become an annual must. Please contact me at the Greenberg Financial office (520-544-4909) if you would like Pat Quigley’s phone number for more information.
I strongly recommend you review and discuss the above items with a professional or someone you trust to be sure you are prepared for the end of the year. Get a head start now before the busy holiday season gets underway. If you would like to sit down with someone to review any of these items or anything else in your planning, please call my office at 520-544-4909.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Natalie Fernandez Lee is a professional in the financial industry, proud mother of five and committed to her mission of finding and implementing ways to improve and strengthen the Tucson community. As a native Tucsonan, Natalie attended the University of Arizona, and after several years of travel, she decided to call Tucson her home as she began raising her family.
Natalie has worked with the Greenberg Financial Group since 2007 and utilizes her more than 20 years in the Financial Services Industry to create better financial futures for her many clients. Retirement planning has been a focus in her career along with working with women and investing. In addition, Natalie co-hosts the weekly Money Matters radio in a commitment to educate listeners in the areas of finance and personal responsibility.
Natalie is active in numerous non-profit organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The National Charity League, Integrative Touch for Kids and others. A priority for Natalie is educating teens and young adults in the importance of saving and investing as she donates her time to speak with different education levels from middle school to college and University classes. “Lead by example” is a motto that she embraces in order to make an impact on the lives and community around her.