As 2017 is quickly approaching, here are some year-end financial planning ideas to consider for you and your family:
• If you are eligible to contribute to a retirement plan through your employer, make an effort to increase your plan contributions to the $18,000 annual maximum for 2017 ($24,000 if age 50 or older).
• Make charitable contributions, even those done by a credit card, by December 31st. Don’t forget donations of clothing and household items and volunteer expenses also count.
• If you retired in 2016, or plan to retire in early 2017, consider accelerating real estate tax payments or medical expenses before year-end to maximize your deductions.
• Consider tax advantaged investments such as exchange traded funds (ETF’s), municipal bonds and annuities. If you have investments held in taxable accounts that have losses, consider selling them to harvest those losses to offset gains in other investments.
• Update your will. Do you have one? If you do, how long ago did you check it? Circumstances change, and they need to be accounted for in your estate plan. Whether we like it or not, death is a certainty. Dying without an up-to-date will can cost your family unnecessary pain and money.
• Review the beneficiaries named on your retirement accounts, including any IRA’s, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, or 457 plans. These beneficiary designations supersede your will and are not subject to probate.
• Speak with an attorney about a “health care proxy” and a “durable power of attorney.”
• Have an honest and frank discussion with your spouse and adult children about long term care. What is your plan if one of you gets sick and needs medical care for an extended period of time? How will you pay for that care, and will those costs deplete the money you hoped to leave to your beneficiaries? We can discuss options for long term care insurance with you.
• Make sure your family knows where to find personal and financial documents in an emergency. These include bank, investment and credit card statements; original wills; insurance policies; and Social Security, Medicare and pension records.
• Be sure to discuss any of these ideas with your financial or tax advisor.
Kathryn Palao, Certified Financial Planner®,
Vice President & Investment Advisor Representative at Hudson Financial Services, Inc. in Briarcliff Manor.
Tel: (914) 762-4760.
Investment advisor representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Hudson Financial Services, Inc. 1249 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510.