As we approach the holiday season and the end of year, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to close out the year financially strong. Here are some tax considerations, as well as some financial planning ideas, which you would be wise to consider:
1) Don’t forget your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
If you are age 70½ or 72 and you have a Traditional IRA, 401(k) or a ROTH 401(k), the IRS requires a yearly distribution, the dollar amount of which is based on a couple of different factors. This is called the required minimum distribution, or RMD.
Here are a few examples:
Example: You are retired and your 70th birthday was June 30, 2018. You reached age 70½ on December 30, 2018. You must take your first RMD (for 2018) by April 1, 2019, and will take subsequent RMDs on December 31st annually thereafter.
Example: You are retired and your 70th birthday was July 1, 2019. You reach age 70½ after December 31, 2019, so you are not required to take a minimum distribution until you reach 72. If you reached age 72 on July 1, 2021, you must take your first RMD (for 2021) by April 1, 2022, with subsequent RMDs on December 31st annually thereafter.
2) Save on holiday shopping
Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer lots of deals this holiday season. For those of you who have your Christmas lists ready and a plan in place, you can capitalize on major savings if you make your purchases on one or both of these days.
Also, it helps if your plan includes a budget. Make a list of everyone you need to shop for, then budget in a little extra for someone you may have forgotten.
3) Have a year-end tax plan
As we close out the year, how comfortable are you with your tax plan for 2021? Tax surprises are not fun. Now is the time to meet with a professional and do some tax projections. The good news is you still have time (not much though) to put strategies in place to minimize your tax liability for 2021.
4) Spend down that Health Flexible Spending Account
If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you may have allocated a certain number of pre-tax dollars to be spent specifically on healthcare costs. These are typically “use it or lose it” in a calendar year, which means you have to spend it by December 31 or you’ll lose those funds unless your employer has selected a rollover option. In the case of a rollover, the amount you could roll into the next plan year is limited by the IRS to $500.
If you don’t need to visit the doctor or dentist again this year, it may be time to go stock up your medicine cabinet! Keep in mind that some over-the-counter drugs may still require a doctor’s prescription in order to be FSA eligible. Contact your physician if you have an FSA for more information.
5) Give thanks!
The final item on our November financial checklist is to give thanks! As we approach the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, remember to pause and reflect on your many blessings.
Here at ATLED FINANCIAL, we are grateful for ALL OF OUR CLIENTS we serve, and THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THE HONOR TO SERVE YOU! Happy Thanksgiving!
Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email [email protected] and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!
*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 3801 Ridge Road, Highland, IN 46322, which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.