It happens every year, yet it always takes us by surprise: once November arrives, the rest of the calendar year flies by. With year-end work projects, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, planned travel, and other commitments, the end of the year gets away from us, and it’s easy to forget about planning for next year.
In reality, it’s essential to work with our team of financial professionals before the end of the year to prepare for a solid start to 2024. Here are our top four areas to give attention to to prepare for the new year:
- Business Retirement Plan Review. For business owners looking to make sure their retirement plan is working for their business and their employees, the end of the year is a good and excellent time to review current products and plans. We recommend reviewing the tax savings your business has realized in recent years, how that compares to the current year, the fees and charges associated with your plan, and your plan’s fiduciary and administrator.
- Tax-focused Investment Strategies. Reviewing your investments through a tax-intelligent lens is vital to making sure your portfolio works for you come tax season. One way a skilled financial professional will support your investment strategies is to review your portfolio gains and losses for tax savings opportunities before the end of the year. Tax Loss Harvesting is a strategy of selling unprofitable investments at a loss, which will help offset taxes owed resulting from capital gains from other portfolio investments. The end of the year is also a key time to review your taxable versus tax-deferred investments. Your financial professional should help you create tax-smart withdrawal strategies based on your age and income and meet federal guidelines for required minimum distributions (RMDs).
- Retirement Planning and Withdrawal Strategy. Related to the topic above, the end of this year is an ideal time to start strategizing about next year’s withdrawal strategies. Depending on your various retirement accounts, you can increase your after-tax income with intentional withdrawal strategies. Since different account types have varying limitations and associated rules, be sure to consult an experienced financial professional who can help you plan how and when to take withdrawals from your traditional, Roth, or taxable accounts.
- Family Insurance Needs Analysis. The end of the year is always a great time to take stock of where you are currently. Analyzing your family’s current insurance policies and expected needs for next year is a prudent use of time. Gather copies of your family’s policies, including life, disability, property, and casualty insurance. Work with a financial professional to review them and to make sure you’re covered based on your current needs. It may also be time to update your coverage if you've had significant life changes.
Ending the year with a sound financial strategy will ensure smooth sailing in the early part of next year. Please get in touch with our team if you would like to set up a meeting to begin planning for 2024.