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by: Darren Brennan, CFP®, CRPC®

The big guy in the red suit isn’t the only one who should be making a list and checking it twice. With less than 100 days left in the year, it’s important to take inventory of all the financial details that can prepare you for the coming year (ahead of the busy holiday season). Doing all – or at least a few – of these things can help ensure that when the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve, you can welcome in 2022 with confidence. Just remember to give us a call if you need help with this checklist before year-end.

Tax Considerations

Review your investments in light of your goals, the tax environment, and the economic landscape. Talk to your advisor about which tax-deferred growth opportunities and tax-advantaged investment vehicles make sense for you, and how to maximize deductions and credits ahead of tax season. Consider using tax-loss harvesting to offset capital gains.

To Do: 

  • Max out retirement plan contributions, including catch-up provisions if you’re eligible. Some plans allow you to contribute until April 15th, but doing so early could give your money more time to grow.
  • Take RMDs from applicable accounts.

Health and Wealth

Year-end is a good time to review your spending and saving progress, set goals for the new year (life likely changed this year in some significant way!), pay down your credit card debt and get a free copy of your credit report. You’ll also want to fully fund your Health Savings Account. Don’t forget to readjust your asset allocation if it’s slipped from your original intentions.

To Do:

  • Max out HSA and FSA contributions.
  • Set up preventative screenings covered by your health insurance.
  • Replenish your cash cushion or consider a low-interest line of credit for emergency use.
  • Plan how to invest your year-end bonus before it hits your checking account.

Charitable Changes

The CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provided for three enhancements to reward generosity. As always, certain restrictions apply, so it’s best to consult a tax professional.

  1. They added a deduction of up to $300 ($600 for joint returns for 2021) for cash donations for those who take the standard deduction.
  2. They eliminated the cap on cash gifts by individuals to public charities (but not to donor advised funds, supporting organizations or private foundations).
  3. They increased the limit on charitable contributions from corporations (including food inventory) and individual contributions of food inventory to 25% of taxable income.

To Do:

  • Review applicable changes.
  • Make donations by year-end.

 

 

Disclosure: Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit nor protect against a loss. This material was prepared by Raymond James Worthwhile Magazine, Fall 2021.