Year End Financial Planning
This is a busy time of year and each of us should budget some time for year-end financial planning. Year End Financial Planning may include a number of issues including, tax planning, investment changes, employment benefit elections, gifts, and cash flow.
Tax planning often includes, accelerating income or deductions to take advantage of current and or future tax rate differences, positioning investments for future tax advantages, making or planning tax elections.
Consistently looking for tax planning opportunities can make a significant impact on net worth.
Most of us do not or should not be looking at our investments on a daily basis. However, from time to time it is important for us to pay attention, even if we have a financial advisor. One of these times is often at the end of the year when we are already focused on the impact of our investments on our tax projection. We may look at rebalancing our portfolios, changing our target investment allocations, making additions to or reducing our exposure to specific investments or investments in general.
Many employers offer benefit options to choose from. Often benefit elections must be made before the end of this year for next year. Many employers will continue with previous elections unless new benefit election forms are completed. It is a good habit to review each of the benefit options each year. The details of benefit options sometimes change. Also, your circumstances may have changed. Updating your benefit elections may result in a better outcome.
Gifts to charities and loved ones are often done at the end of the year. There are income tax, gift tax and estate tax considerations. There are considerations on how the funds will be used, and cash flow considerations. You may need to consider each of these for each gift you are contemplating. Your CPA and or tax attorney may need to be consulted.
Cash flow is an important issue with each of the above planning items. Always remember to review the effect on the bank balance when completing or discussing each planning opportunity. Funds may need to be moved, investments may need to be altered, and advisors may need to be consulted.
We are all very busy at this time of year; however, making time now for Financial Planning can have significant effect on your future net worth.
Jerald Schneider is a Certified Public Accountant providing tax, accounting and financial advice for more than 30 years. He can be reached at 661-297-1072 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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