Year-end lists in the month of December tend offer opinions on the best of the previous twelve months. Instead, we offer you a list of some of the best financial planning moves you can make now to set yourself up for a better financial outlook in the new year. It is very easy to let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season or the excitement about a new year get in the way of guarding your financial health; we suggest you make the most of the remaining days of the year.
Use up FSA Money. Some FSA eligible businesses are trying to get you in to spend those last dollars and if you still haven’t done this, do so. You do not want to lose these funds if your employer does not offer any rollover.
Check beneficiaries and adjust withholding. If you have had a major life event that affects your retirement accounts or tax withholding don’t forget to make necessary changes.
Maximize retirement contributions/Take required minimum distributions. If you are still saving for retirement, try to put in the most you can for this year. If you are already retired, check to make sure you have taken the required minimum distribution from your IRA or 401(k) so you can avoid a penalty.
Make charitable donations. It is not too late to make charitable donations for the year that is coming to a close. You need not feel ashamed about waiting until the last minute; charitable organizations expect a year-end surge and are still grateful for the assistance.
And last but certainly not least, we off the idea that was at the top of a list of year-end financial planning tips published in U.S. News & World Report: make an appointment with a financial planner. If you cannot make it in to see a financial planner before the year ends for last-minutes suggestions for ending the year on a high note, see a Fee-Only Financial Planner at the start of the new year so you can start the new year off right.