Friends. It’s almost the holiday season! There is no better time to #maxyourdash than during the holidays with all the most important people in your life. Remember, you’re maxing your dash whenever you feel pure joy and happiness. Those moments are what life is all about! Let’s find a way, together, to experience as many of those moments as possible.
Besides maxing your dash, the holiday season and Q4 also usher in one more thing – the dreaded end of the year personal finance round up. We’ve been there before: *flashback ensues*
It’s 11 PM on a Wednesday in December. You have family coming over this weekend for a holiday celebration and you haven’t even thought about what to make for dinner, let alone where everyone was going to park. You have a big deadline at work tomorrow and you know you need to clean the entire house in 3 days. And to make matters worse, you need to pick up Uncle Kerry from the airport tomorrow at 4:30 AM to stay with you before the big celebration this weekend. Your mind is racing in bed and all of the sudden, it hits you: “wait, don’t I have to do any Roth conversions before December 31st?!”
Okay, okay. Maybe it doesn’t happen EXACTLY like that, but you get the picture. Dash Capital realizes how hectic and chaotic your lives can get year-end. At the same time, we also preach consistency and discipline as key components to mastering one’s personal finances. It’s easy to get off track and sway from the path at the end of the year when you have so much going on. To ensure your finances don’t miss a beat (even if you need to pick up your Uncle Kerry from the airport), we have complied an easy-to-follow list for you to use as guidelines for your end of the year planning. And don’t worry, if you do miss a beat, a wise man once told me “Just get back on the path.”
I’m going to preface the list by saying this isn’t the end all be all for what you need to get done financially for the end of the year. However, it does make sense to at least double check if each of these items are relevant to you!
End of the Year Checklist
- Roth Conversions
- If you're looking to convert some pre-tax dollars to post-tax dollars, the process must be completed prior to December 31st. We suggest initiating this before December to ensure a timely completion.
- Consider reviewing tax rules in an effort to understand the in’s and out’s
- Portfolio Rebalance
- Based on market performance, your investment allocations can shift out of balance. Rebalancing your portfolio is key to keeping it in good standing and alignment to your target allocation.
- Tax-Loss Harvesting
- You may be able to offset up to a certain amount of your taxable gains with losses if completed prior to year-end.
- 529 Plan Contributions
- 529 plans offer potential tax benefits if used properly
- To receive a state tax deduction for contributions, most states have a deadline of December 31st.
- 401(k)/403(b) contributions
- If you have a goal of maxing out your employer sponsored plan, this must be done prior to year-end. Don’t be afraid to be proactive and increase your % even if you aren’t maxing!
- Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s)
- An RMD is the minimum amount of money you must withdraw from a tax deferred retirement plan and pay income tax after you reach age 72. The deadline for taking RMD’s is December 31st
- Charitable Giving
- If you’re looking to receive a tax deduction in your plan through charitable giving, this must be completed prior to the end of the year.
And there you have it! As I mentioned above, there may be some other items left off the list, but these ones deserve your attention. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions and remember - lists should be checked twice this time of year 😊