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Year-End Planning Guide - The 4 Steps to Take Now

Year-End Planning Guide - The 4 Steps to Take Now

December 01, 2020

To help get where you want to be, it's critical to know where you are right now.  Review these 4 items to assess different parts of your financial life and note any major changes that would require any adjustments.

Your Investments

Your investment strategy is designed to grow with you.  While taking a long-term approach for your future, periodic adjustments and/or simple rebalancing may be needed.

  • Confirm your current strategy & goals
  • Review income and savings needs
  • Compare your current investment allocation mix to your planned strategy
  • Review outstanding loans and mortgages

Your Insurance

Protecting yourself and your loved ones is paramount.  After all, no financial plan is complete without adequate risk management.  Ensure you're ready for the unexpected.

  • Perform a spot analysis of your insurance needs (this includes life, long-term care and property insurance)
  • Review current policies for benefits, costs and terms
  • Review your employer's health insurance and prepare for open enrollment -OR- review Medicare options and supplements
  • Spend your remaining FSA balance

Your Legacy

If 2020 taught us anything, it's to be ready for anything.  Making sure your documents are in order is critical to ensuring your legacy.

  • Contribute to your children's educational accounts
  • Review the terms of your will - ensure the executor, trustee, guardian, asset disposition stipulations continue to fit your plans
  • Perform a beneficiary review on your retirement plans
  • Make sure your Power of Attorney and Medical Directives are accurate and up-to-date

Your Taxes

This year's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act included tax relief and changes to 2017's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Your filing may be impacted and your taxable income may have shifted.  Anticipate changes for 2021 that could affect your liability.

  • Forecast your 2020 and 2021 income (be sure to include interest, dividends, capital gains and retirement distributions)
  • Review potential deductions and credits; take advantage of applicable ones prior to the end of the year
  • Keep track of important tax documents and statements and stay up to date on new tax rules or changes
  • Match unrealized capital losses to realized capital gains (if applicable) prior to year-end

Spending some time now to tackle these 4 items should typically provide you with a confident flight plan for the following year.  If you don't know where to start, contact our office and we'll be happy to assist you with your year-end planning.  You can also download our Year-End Checklist to get started right away!

The information contained herein is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not exhaustive.  Diversification and/or any strategy that may be discussed does not guarantee against investment losses but are intended to help manage risk and return.  If applicable, historical discussions and/or opinions are not predictive of future events.  The content is presented in good faith and has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable.  The content is not intended to be legal, tax or financial advice.  Please consult a legal, tax or financial professional for information specific to your individual situation.