3 End of Year Steps to Take Right Now
We’re all a bit rushed toward the end of the year, but it’s important to set aside a moment to review your financial decisions at this time. There are three things you should do before December 31, in order to make the most of 2018 and get 2019 started on the right foot.
Double check your retirement plan contributions. It’s always a good idea to meet the maximum allowable contribution each year, to both prepare for the future and reap certain tax advantages now. For 2018, the contribution limit for qualified retirement plans is $18,500, with an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 for those age 50 and over. You can lower your overall taxable income by the amount of your contribution, so keep that in mind, too.
If you use an IRA to save for retirement, your maximum contribution for 2018 is $5,500, or $6,500 if you’re age 50 or older.
If you can’t meet the maximum allowable contribution for your account, try to at least reach your employer’s maximum matching amount. You might as well take advantage of free funds for retirement!
Make charitable contributions correctly. Giving to charity feels good, and can also earn you a valuable income tax deduction. Check to be certain that your chosen charity is qualified by the IRS, because only contributions to these qualified charities will actually count on your taxes. Also, save a receipt to prove your donation, or else you can’t use it to claim the deduction (if you make the donation by credit or debit card, your account statement will suffice).
Make an appointment to review your financial plan. If you haven’t met with us for a year or two, pick up the phone and schedule an appointment that suits your schedule. We should meet every few years to review your retirement plans, stay on top of issues that might affect you, and adjust your long-term financial strategy to meet your changing goals.