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Year End Financial Checklist

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We see it all the time. People tend to wait until the last minute to address certain things in life, whether it be the smallest task of Christmas shopping or a very important, and not always easy, responsibility of planning their retirement and estate.

With the end of the year upon us, it is a great time to meet with your financial planner, and ensure that you’ve done everything you can this year to minimize your taxes, and make sure that you’re on track to meet your retirement goals.

Charitable gifting- Many people take this opportunity to gift to charity, especially at this time of the year. Of course charitable giving is great for communities, and other institutions alike, but the gifts must be made prior to the end of the year to benefit personally from them on your taxes.

Investments- It’s been a pretty volatile year on for the stock markets, and now is a great time to review your investing strategy. Are you taking on too much or too little risk? Will you have enough money to retire? Are there any investments you’d like to sell prior to the end of the year to potentially offset any gains/losses?

Retirement Planning – Every financial situation is different, and is constantly changing, which is why an annual review of your plan is essential. Your family’s unique circumstances will create different goals and objectives as you look to retirement. Has my living situation changed? Were there any changes to the family this year that need to be accounted for?

Did you take your Required Minimum Distribution this year? You have until December 31st to make sure that you do not incur penalties. If this year was the year you turned 70 ½, you can delay your RMD until April 1 of 2017. Along those same guidelines, if you turned 59 ½ this year, you may now take IRA distributions without a 10% penalty. There are many important dates with regards to retirement planning, and you’ll want to review all of these with your advisor.

Life Insurance- As times change, so do coverage needs, relationships, and family dynamics. You will want to ensure your beneficiaries are correct, premium costs are still able to be paid, and the eventual death benefit is enough to support your growing family. If you have an older policy, running a policy review could save you thousands of dollars in premiums!

Don’t let this be a daunting task for you during this Holiday season. Check with your financial advisor to make sure you are maximizing your estate, minimizing taxes, and reaching your financial goals. If you don’t have one, we’d be happy to help!