Start the New Year with an Organized Outlook

Goal Planning

Start the New Year with an Organized Outlook

Consider getting organized this winter season by decluttering and updating your financial plan.

December 26, 2017

Still trying to think of a New Year’s resolution? Consider organizing, decluttering and updating your financial plan. To start, going paperless, embracing online file sharing and organizing your tax documents from the beginning can help you avoid frantic filing. Review these market closure dates and timely tips to start the new year off on an organized note.

Winter 2017–2018 Market Closures

Monday, January 1: New Year’s Day
Monday, January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 19: Presidents Day
Friday, March 30: Good Friday

Planning To-Do's

Get organized: Sign up to view your accounts online and go paperless to reduce clutter. Additionally, consider organizing your personal and financial documents by uploading them to a file sharing or content management platform.

Rev up your retirement: Confirm that employer retirement plan contributions take advantage of any available employer match. Maximize IRA contributions early in the year so they will have more time to generate tax-deferred gains; you have until mid-April to do so for the previous year. If you are 50 or older, ask your advisor about catch-up contributions.

Optimize health spending: If you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), review your contribution levels to take full advantage based on your family’s needs – without exceeding applicable limits. If you have an FSA, utilize available funds before your plan’s use-it-or-lose-it deadline.

Face the future: Have major new expenses that must be planned for in advance? Conduct a cash flow and liquidity analysis for the coming year to garner essential information. Additionally, prioritize how you’ll apply available savings, perhaps by paying down high-interest debt, building or maintaining an emergency fund, or increasing retirement savings.

Bolster benefits: Research your company's open enrollment schedule and decide whether you need to make changes to your benefits.

Avoid frenzied filing: Keep your tax documents organized as they arrive so you’re prepared when it’s time to file. Talk to your advisor about coordinating with your tax professional to ensure everything is in order.

Download the complete checklist below and talk to your advisor to make sure you don't miss any important financial planning dates this winter season.

A-Plan-for-All-Seasons-Winter
A Plan for All Seasons: Winter 2017-2018

Withdrawals from tax deferred accounts, such as employer retirement plans and IRAs, may be subject to income taxes and prior to age 59 1/2 a 10% federal penalty tax may apply.



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