Year End Steps To Protect Your Assets
Many of us are busy throughout the month of December with holiday planning and gift buying, as we look forward to spending time with family and friends. During all these activities and amidst the celebrations, it is easy to ignore practical matters that need attending to before the year is complete. Taking the time this month to look back, as well as glance ahead, is an important part of protecting your assets. We have compiled this list of simple steps you can use to take advantage of year end benefits, while ensuring you start the next year on the proper financial footing.
Taking Advantage of Year End Benefits
As December 31 deadlines rapidly approach, now is the time to act to take advantage of any additional ways to save money and reduce your tax liability. A 2015 US News and World Report article on year end smart money moves recommends taking the following steps:
- Check your IRA account balance. If you have been cautions in not making the maximum contribution, make up that amount now to take advantage of the tax savings.
- If you made less money this year, consider converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, which allows you to pay taxes on the change at a lower tax bracket;
- Reassess your investments. Consider selling off stocks that are not performing well to offset your capital gains.
- If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that still has a balance, either spend that money now or ask your employer about any carry over limits and grace periods that may apply.
- If you have children or grandchildren, consider the maximum amount you can contribute to their 529 college savings plan, without triggering gift taxes.
- Consider making any charitable gifts and donations before the end of the months, allowing you to claim them as a deduction in the upcoming tax season.
Starting the New Year On A Positive Note
In addition to year end steps to save you money, consider what you can do in the new year to meet your financial and estate planning goals:
- Reassess any life insurance plans and amounts;
- Update your will and beneficiaries as needed;
- Look back on your savings to see if you are meeting your goals;
- Look back on your spending to see where you can cut costs.
In some cases, you may end up with some extra money in your paycheck if you have already met your tax burden for the year. Consider putting this money directly into savings, while changing the deductions you claim to decrease withholding amounts for next year.
We Are Prepared to Assist You
Looking back on the past year can help you make better decisions for your financial future, and at Cavallo & Cavallo, we are here to help guide you through the steps you need to take. As your neighborhood law firm, our experienced New York asset management attorneys work hard on your behalf, advising you on the best course of action to increase your assets, while ensuring your best interests are protected.