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Start of the Year Financial Tasks

Every year, a new year inspires us to take on the tasks we know will benefit us in the long term.  Even while I believe that it's best to act now rather than later, there are some significant financial opportunities that arrive with the new year that should be taken into account.  These are some tasks that should be completed in order of utmost priority during the first month of the new year (the order may change depending on your unique situation).

  • Review your family budget and plan for any large expenses for the new year.

  • As part of this, you will want to consider your emergency fund, and increase/decrease as necessary to match 4-6 months of expenses projected for the new year

  • Budget in any one-off expenses that are planned.

  • Review any goals for 2024, and financial implications of those.

  • These may include travel, home renovations, a big life event such as a wedding, sabbatical, and others.

  • If you are planning to have a child then you should consider the increased costs and may want to take advantage of an HSA, if eligible.

  • Review financial milestones for catch up contributions to an HSA, IRA, or 401(k).

  • If you are turning 50, you now have the ability to make additional contributions to your 401(k) and Roth IRA/Traditional IRA.  If you are maxing out either of these, ensure you increase your contribution rate accordingly.

  • At 55 you also can take advantage of a catch up contribution to your HSA plan too for $1,000.

  • Review your will & set up if you have not done so.

  • Consider any changes to beneficiaries, guardianship, and POA documents as well.

  • Verify any contributions made for the prior year to your IRA/Roth IRA and HSA.  

  • For your IRAs, you have until April 15, 2024 to make contributions for the prior year.  

  • You may also encounter an overcontribution problem, too.  Ensure any excess contributions are removed by the tax filing deadline to ensure no penalties are assessed.

  • Review investment allocation.

  • Might be one of the trickier ones, but reviewing your allocation in all investment accounts is important if you are approaching retirement, or within 10 years of using funds in your taxable brokerage account.  This is a common planning area that we help people with, as we can best determine together what percentage of stock/bond/cash you should own as you get closer to utilizing it. 

The new year is a good time to make an initial or ongoing consultation with an advisor and discuss the above items.  It also is good to meet with your planner prior to and throughout working on your taxes as they can help you be proactive.


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