Year End Checklist

As the end of another year is right around the corner, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of several strategies to help you save money and keep your financial house in order.

Maxing out your employer sponsored retirement plan?

The maximum contribution for 2019 is $19,000 if you are under age 50 and $25,000 if you are age 50 or above. This is one of our favorite tax deferral strategies so please take advantage of it.

For non-retirees, review your annual contributions to your retirement accounts (ie IRAs).

You have until April 15th of 2020 to make contributions for 2019 to either a Roth IRA or Pre-tax Traditional IRA. Please contact our office or your tax professional to determine if this is a viable option for you.

Have you made a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution?

If so, have you spent it? If not, determine if your plan has a rollover option or grace period which will allow you to spend some of the excess into next year. Otherwise, use it or lose it. Consider stocking up on band aids and sunscreen with those extra few dollars!

Do you have a high deductible health plan at work?

If so, you are eligible to contribute to a Health Savings Account where you can set aside $3,500 per year for individuals and $7,000 per year for a family pre-tax. Even better, the money can accrue every year, grows tax free and can be withdrawn without paying taxes. This is a wonderful tax advantage and a great source of funds for later in life!

Do you anticipate being in a very low tax bracket this year (22% marginal bracket or less)?

If so, a Roth conversion strategy may be a good option for you. Please contact our office for additional analysis.

Have you made contributions to a Roth IRA and earn more than $122,000?

Your income may be above the limit for this year, making you ineligible to contribute to a Roth? If so, no problem, this is easily reversed. Please contact our office and we will assist you in resolving this to avoid an added penalty tax. The income limits start to phase out contribution eligibility at $193,000 for Married Filing Jointly and $122,000 for Single taxpayers.

Have you recognized gains or losses in taxable investments held outside of Seaside’s management?

If so, we can help you offset these in your taxable accounts at Seaside to avoid unnecessary taxes.

Are you or your spouse 70 ½ or older and have a retirement account?

If yes, you are required to take a distribution from your qualified retirement account(s) by December 31st (If this is the first year you have RMDs, you may have the option to delay until April 15th, contact our office if this pertains to you). If you miss the RMD, you could incur an additional 50% penalty tax.

Reminder to make charitable contributions by year end to claim as a deduction on this year’s tax forms.

If you need a charitable deduction this year, consider funding a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). A gift to a DAF allows you to take a deduction this year but decide on the gift recipient at any point in the future.

Budget comparison.

Compare this year’s spending against your budget from previous years. Do we need to make adjustments to your financial plan going forward? Do you plan on earning more next year? Have you received any significant windfalls that necessitate an estimated tax payment? Do you need to make adjustments to tax withholding?

Review your asset allocation and re-balance your accounts that are held outside of our management.

Seaside Wealth Management is constantly monitoring your asset allocation and we re-balance your accounts accordingly.

Take some time to define your family’s financial goals and concerns for next year:

Do you want to save more for retirement? for college expenses?
Are you consistently spending money in one category? Do you need to make adjustments to your budget or spending categories?
Do you expect an unusually large bill next year that we need to plan for?

Our goal is to create peace around the issue of money! We hope this list helps.  Please contact our office if you would like to discuss any of the items in more detail.