With 2019 coming to a close, the time is right to review your finances and begin preparations for the new year.
It happens every year. December 31 sneaks up before we know it, and we’re suddenly in a new year. It’s important to understand what steps you need to take before 2019 ends, as well as the financial decisions you’ll face in 2020.
Recognize tasks to complete before year’s end.
Tax-loss harvesting is an example of something that you must accomplish before the new year. It requires that you sell losing trades by the end of the year’s last trading day in order to offset some or all of your year’s gains. Another deadline is to open an IRA or Solo 401k if you don’t already have one because it will give you until April 15 to make 2019 contributions.
Take your required minimum distribution (RMD). If you must take an RMD from your retirement account, make sure not to miss the deadline, lest you be subject to taxes and penalties. Also, consider converting your traditional retirement account to a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You’ll owe current year taxes on the transferred amount, but you’ll no longer have to make RMDs, and subsequent distributions will be tax-free.*
Plan for April 15. Tax-filing day is also the last day to make 2019 contributions to your qualified retirement accounts. If you’re self-employed, ensure you have earmarked funds to pay estimated taxes on January 15 and April 15. Underpayment can result in IRS penalties and interest. Additionally, consider making a qualified charitable contribution from your IRA. It may reduce your taxes and satisfy your RMD requirement.
Review your options for 2020. You’ll want to select next year’s employer benefits during the open enrollment period in December and to finish funding your Health Savings, Flexible Spending, and 529 Educational Accounts for the year. It’s also an excellent time to review your investment, insurance, and estate plans, as well as confirm or modify your beneficiaries.
Plan now to avoid regrets later. You can make decisions right now that may have an enormous impact on your financial future. Call or email me today to schedule a complete review of your action plan for the remainder of 2019 and the start of 2020. Together, we can ensure that you’ve taken all the important steps to manage your wealth and make any course corrections.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.
*Traditional IRA account owners should consider the tax ramifications, age and income restrictions in regards to executing a conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. The converted amount is generally subject to income taxation.
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