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 29, 2016

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 frenetic filing. Review these market closure dates and timely tips to start the new year off on an organized note.

Winter 2016–2017 Market Closures

Monday, January 2: New Year’s Day, observed
Monday, January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 20: Presidents Day
Friday, April 14: Good Friday

Planning To-Do's

Make New Year’s financial resolutions: Resolve to 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.

Reassess retirement: Double-check your employer retirement plan contributions and 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 have not already. If you are 50 or older, ask your advisor about catch-up contributions.

Analyze health spending: If you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), review your contribution levels to ensure you’re taking full advantage based on your family’s needs, but be careful not to exceed applicable limits. If you have an FSA, be sure to utilize available funds before your plan’s use it or lose it deadline.

Prioritize upcoming expenses: Do a cash flow and liquidity analysis for the coming year. Do you have any major new expenses on the horizon that you should plan for in advance? Additionally, prioritize how you’ll apply any available savings, for example paying down high-interest debt, building or maintaining an emergency fund, or increasing retirement savings.

Avoid frenetic filing: Keep your tax documents in order as they arrive so you’ll be prepared when it’s time to file. Talk to your advisor about coordinating with your tax professional to make sure 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 2016-2017

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