What financial to-dos are important to complete before year-end?
As we wind down the year, here are some things you can do before December 31st to ensure you maximize your 2015 financial situation.
- Review Asset Allocation: Ensure you are properly diversified given large swings in market prices for various asset categories.
- Maximize your 401k: Check your recent pay stub to ensure you are on track to maximize before year-end.
- Spend your FSA: See how much money you have in your Flexible Spending Account and whether you need to spend it before year-end to avoid forfeiture.
- Harvest Losses: 2015 has been a tumultuous year, consider tax-loss harvesting to take advantage of declines and offset future gains. Beware of the wash-sale rules.
- Give to Charity: Consider giving appreciated stock to avoid the capital gains and get the full market value deduction.
- Organize/Close-Out: Organize your financial statements from 2015 (i.e. credit card and bank statements), perform your year-end reconciliations, and put all your 2015 financial documents in a single location.
Recharacterize: If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2015 and the value has declined given this year’s market fluctuations, you can recharacterize your conversion so that you don’t have to pay tax on the higher pre-conversion value.