It is October, fourth quarter, the beginning of the end of the year. Are you ready?
Here is what you should consider:
- Clarify your investment goals and expectations
- Revisit income and savings objectives
- Review asset allocation
- Review sales of appreciated property including real estate, a business, or artwork
- Collect cost-basis information on securities sold
- Tax harvesting: maximize tax advantages by reviewing realized and unrealized gains and losses
- Plan charitable contributions
- Check loss carry-forwards from 2011
- Identify transactions that could improve your tax position
- Maximize income in 2012; unless Congress acts tax rates may be significantly higher in 2013
- Project year-end tax refund or payments due
- Claim potential tax deductions or credits before year-end
- Analyze potential Roth IRA conversion scenarios
- Maximize IRA / 401(k) contributions including catch-up provisions
- Explore self-employed retirement plan options
- Take required minimum distributions from IRA's
- Plan overall retirement income strategy
- Identify material changes in life, business, or financial circumstances that might require adjustments in coverage
- Shop life insurance, health insurance, and property & casualty coverage to see if current plans are cost competitive
- Maximize contributions to Health Savings Account (HSA)
- Review medical insurance deductible. If not met, consider postponing non-essential medical care until 2013. If met, consider the opposite
- Spend remaining amounts in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
- Take advantage of the Medicare Supplement open enrollment period
- Age 50: Now you can make catch-up contributions to IRA's and some qualified retirement plans
- Age 55: If retired, you may be able to take distributions from 401(k) plans without penalty
- Age 59 ½: You can take distributions from retirement plans without penalty
- Ages 62 – 70: You can apply for Social Security benefits
- Age 65: You can apply for Medicare
- Age 70 ½: You must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMD's) from IRA's
- Consider contributions to education accounts
- Reduce estate value by making tax-free gifts to family members
- Review and fund trusts
- Did you move?
- Did you transfer any financial assets?
- Did you refinance a mortgage?
- Did your employment or income change?
- Has there been a change in marital status?
- Did your family grow through birth or adoption?
- Was there a death in the family?
- Do you have a parent or other family member in need of assisted living?
- Is there a severe illness in the family?
- Did you receive a gift or inheritance?
If you have any questions or concerns, we would be happy to discuss possible outcomes for 2012 and 2013. Call 515-255-3354 or send an email to schedule a review.