By Roberta L. Nestor
By any standards, overall markets have been kind to investors in 2017. Typically good markets equate to less activity with your investments, retirement planning and maybe even less thorough reviews of your investment portfolios. It’s encouraging when you see growth in your retirement accounts, however that doesn’t mean you should just sit back. Now is a great time to take inventory and prepare for the year ahead and ideas to help you stay on track for all of your financial goals.
- End of year tax planning, especially if you are considering taking profits from non-retirement accounts.
- If you are over age 70 ½ make sure you have taken your required minimum distribution (RMD); the IRS has hefty penalties if you don’t (50% of the amount you should have taken). Don’t forget you can have a tax-free RMD if you use it as a charitable contribution (check with your tax advisor)
- Gifting (annual exclusion for 2017 is at $14,000 has to be completed by 12/31/2017
- For families with college bound children in 2018 – get moving on FAFSA. Filing for federal aid was available October 1st, 2017. Don’t delay, you don’t have to wait for your 2017 tax return.
- Review your end of year investment statements, not just looking at the returns but also your asset allocation. If you are getting statements electronically, print your end of year statements so they can be reviewed by your financial advisor.
- Make sure you have scheduled your appointment with your tax advisor
- Time to gather all of your necessary tax documents as you will be receiving your 1099s and other documents.
- When was the last time you increased your 401k, 457 or 403b payroll contributions?
- If you have “auto-increases” available take advantage and set it up
- Tax filing deadline for your return is Monday, April 16th, 2018. It is also the deadline for funding any ROTH or other retirement plan contributions outside of your 401k plan.
- Make an appointment with your financial advisor to review your taxes and see what impact, if any, your investments may have had on your taxes.
- This is a great time for non-tax or investment related financial planning. Beneficiary reviews, insurance review and estate planning are all important.
- If you filed for an extension then your 2017 tax return has to be filed no later than October 15, 2018
- This has been declared as National Long Term Care Awareness Month. Great time to meet with family members and discuss your plans in the event of needing long term care.
These are just a few things to help you stay on track. Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season and to the New Year ahead.
Roberta L. Nestor is a financial advisor practicing at 491 New Haven Avenue in Milford, CT offering retirement, long term care, investment and tax planning services. She also offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network – a member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products offered through Nestor Financial Network are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. Commonwealth Financial Network or Nestor Financial Network does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation. Roberta can be reached at Nestor Financial Network, 203-876-8066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.