The end of the year is finally upon us, and while time has run out to do some things, there’s still opportunity to check on a few things that will have your finances in shape as we head into another new year. For the past several weeks we’ve given you a “to-do” list of sorts. And if you haven’t quite kept up, that’s ok – it can be hard during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Let’s review some of the things you can still do while we’ve got you thinking about it.
Thinking about your own mortality can be an uncomfortable subject and one you may want to avoid. And it’s very possible you made it through family get togethers and holiday celebrations without bringing it up once. But it’s important to consider how those closest to you might have to deal with the situation if you become incapacitated in any way. Of course, you want to hope for the best and do everything in your power to maintain your good health. But it’s not a bad idea to be prepared – financially and otherwise – in the event something should occur. Our previous blog post addresses some of the myths and misconceptions around LTC planning.
If you have children – or grandchildren – who will be graduating high school sometime in the near future, you’re well aware that funding further educational pursuits may require a significant financial investment. If you’re not familiar with 529 college savings plans, there’s no time like the present to educate yourself on all the benefits of these savings vehicles. And if you’ve been thinking about it for a while, now is the time to get off the fence and start saving. One benefit of these plans is a potential for state tax deductions or credits, so you’ll want to do your homework. Most states do have a December 31 deadline for contributions to be counted in the current tax year, but some do allow deductions if contributions are made before the tax filing deadline (in April).
You didn’t do it, did you? We just told you to a couple days ago, but it’s worth repeating. And maybe you didn’t want to “spoil” the holiday fun and festivities. Even if you missed what might have been an ideal opportunity – having everyone together all under one roof – you still want to think about how to share your plans and wishes with your family when it comes to your finances. As mentioned just a couple paragraphs ago, you want to be prepared for the unexpected. Making sure those closest to you are clear on how you want things like final care and potential inheritance issues handled is invaluable – to your well being and peace of mind.
You may still be celebrating the holidays for a few more days to come. And before we know it, it will be another new year, full of opportunities and possibilities. Prepare now to make it a great one by spending a little time addressing these and other important subjects that may require a little effort.
Benjamin F. Edwards does not provide tax advice, therefore it is also important to consult with your tax professional for additional guidance tailored to your specific situation.