This year-end financial planning checklist is the perfect tool for ensuring that your habits line up with your financial goals. We’ll cover a range of different areas that you should consider at the end of the year. You’ll want to take this opportunity to maximize your income and minimize your expenses and taxes. Discover what you should be doing on a yearly basis to consider whether your spending aligns with your values by listening to this episode of Solid Financial Advice.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:12] Review your budget
- [3:28] Examine your credit report
- [4:25] Review your estate plan
- [5:30] Review and update insurance
- [6:45] Conduct a personal tax audit
- [7:56] Take a look at your 401K and IRA
- [9:23] Have a peek at your investments
- [10:15] Can you participate in tax-loss harvesting?
- [12:40] Calculate your net worth
- [13:44] Satisfy your required minimum distribution
A handy year-end financial planning checklist
- Review your budget – If you don’t have a budget in place, now is the time to create one. Your budget is the foundation of your finances and you need one to be financially successful. The final quarter of the year is the best time to review your budget since you can compare your actual income to your projected income. You can also review trends in expenses and compare them to your financial goals. Do you make a monthly budget?
- Examine your credit report – Nowadays identity fraud is a real threat. A yearly review of your credit report can help ensure the data’s accuracy. You can check your credit report with all 3 agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com. Remember that your credit score can affect mortgage interest rates and even employment opportunities.
- Update your estate plan – You should meet with an attorney every 3-5 years to go over your estate plan in-depth, but you should still consider updating your estate plan on your own each year. Think about the events that occurred during the year. Did you get married, divorced, have a new baby? How could these events affect your estate plan?
- Check your insurance coverage – Everyone has home, life and auto insurance but it’s important to review your insurance periodically to ensure that you have an adequate amount of coverage. This is also a good time to compare prices to ensure you aren’t overpaying. When is the last time you updated your insurance coverage?
- Conduct a personal tax audit – Examine ways to keep your taxes down by contributing the maximum amount to various retirement accounts. Also, consider whether you are going to take the standard deduction or itemize.
- Make sure you are maxing out your retirement accounts – Take a look at your 401K’s and IRA’s to make sure you are contributing the most you possibly can. Know how much you can contribute and whether you can contribute to a 403B, 457, or TSP. Also, consider whether you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. Saving towards retirement means that you can defer your taxes.
- Have a peek at your investments – If you aren’t familiar with the investment side of things make sure to work with a professional financial advisor. Your long-term positions probably don’t need any changes. But it’s always smart to review the positions and consider if you can simplify.
- Can you participate in tax-loss harvesting? Not all investments are winners, but sometimes you can benefit from losers. They can actually help you save in taxes. Tax-loss harvesting allows you to lower your taxes and improve your investment portfolio for the future. You’ll need to avoid the wash sale rule. Listen in to find out what that means
- Calculate your net worth – this helps you learn how close you are to financial goals. Do you know where you stand?
- Satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) – Make sure you are set up to withdraw the minimum amount needed to satisfy the RMD if you are over the age of 70 ½.
Make sure you are moving toward your goals
You may think that all of this is too much work, but it is time well spent. You won’t be able to fulfill your financial goals if you don’t stay on top of your finances regularly. By using a financial planning checklist at the end of the year will help you maximize your income and allow you to build wealth. It will also allow you to ensure that your spending lines up with your values. When will you begin your year-end financial planning?
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect With Ryan A. Hughes and Bull Oak Capital
- Podcast (at) BullOakCapital.com
Subscribe to Solid Financial Advice on the platform of your choice