When the year winds down, many of us think about building a list of New Year’s resolutions, like losing weight or taking care of that overdue medical checkup. But there’s another kind of checkup you need to think about doing before another year slips away -- a year-end financial checkup.
Even if you have a hands-off approach to your finances most of the year, taking a few key steps at year’s end can help make a difference in your finances short term and get you on track for a stronger financial future.
Take These 8 Steps Now
1. Contribute to your retirement accounts: If you work for a company that matches your 401(k) contribution, try to contribute at least up to the percentage they match. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.
2. Make your required minimum withdrawal from your IRA: Do you have a traditional IRA? Starting at 72*, the IRS requires you to withdraw a certain amount each year, known as a required minimum distribution (RMD).
3. Use up your flexible spending account (FSA): Find out the deadline for using this money if you have an FSA, since you will lose it if you don’t use it by the deadline.
4. Think through your holiday spending: Now is the time to also think about paying down any debt or padding your emergency fund.
5. Check your credit reports: If you haven’t checked your credit reports in the past 12 months, the end of the year is a great time to do so.
6. Consider year-end charitable giving: In addition to using your dollars to support a cause you are passionate about; many charitable contributions of money or property are also tax deductible.
7. Assess the past 12 months: Reflect on how you did this year from a financial standpoint. Think about what went right and what would you like to adjust.
8. Plan for the next 12 months: If your assessment of the past year calls for some changes, use that information to start planning for the new year.
Your financial professional can help you set up a financial plan for your short- and long-term goals. Then, you can work on a strategy to meet those goals.
*Historically, federal tax law has set the required beginning age for RMDs at age 70½. However, recently enacted federal legislation increases the required beginning age for those born on or after July 1, 1949, to age 72. If you were born before July 1, 1949, your required beginning age for taking RMDs remains age 70½.
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This material is a general description intended for general public use. Athene Annuity and Life Company (61689), headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, and issuing annuities in 49 states (excluding NY) and D.C., and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York (68039), headquartered in Pearl River, NY, and issuing annuities in New York, are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any individual or in any individual situation, and therefore nothing in this should be read as investment advice. This material should not be interpreted as a recommendation by Athene Annuity and Life Company or Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York. Please reach out to your financial professional if you have any questions about Athene products or their features.
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