One month into 2018! It is a great month for setting up your success for the year ahead. At this point, you may be doing really well with your goals and just need a reminder on what is important to you or you might need a reminder of what inspired you at the end of 2017 to set the goals that you have in place. Either way, we are only one month in. 2018 has a lot in store. Whether you are on track or maybe a few steps behind, this is only the beginning of the 2018 journey.
Financially speaking, there are key actions that should be taken now to help support a prosperous year ahead.
Review 2017 spending by category. Your holiday bills should be in by this point. How much did you spend? Did you stay within your budget? How did you fare with your spending in 2017? What did you learn? What months are more expensive than others? Why? What do you need to plan for in 2018? How are you going to plan for these needs/goals?
Retirement Plan Contributions – At the time of this article being written, there has not been a revised tax bill signed into law. We do know however that there are some key updates with retirement plan contributions and phase out limits. Know how these impact you and your family. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-announces-2018-pension-plan-limitations-401k-contribution-limit-increases-to-18500-for-2018
2017 Tax Preparation – We are big believers in partnering with a tax professional for tax preparation. It is key to note that as with many professions, not every tax advisor provides the same value add. We recommend February be focused on determining whether you are renewing your partnership with your current tax advisor or going in a new direction based on your family’s planning needs. We also recommend you gather the documents needed to complete your tax return filing. The forms required for each person/family are going to vary based on your family’s unique dynamics. The key is to have a copy of everything organized and filed so that by early to mid-March you can have everything to your tax advisor (unless you are preparing taxes on your own). http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/your-tax-documents-are-in-the-mail-1.aspx
Please note, we do not recommend that you file earlier than the second week of March as there are some investment tax forms that may be revised in early or mid-March.
Charitable Contributions – As it is important to know what your budget or spending targets are per category for the year, it is also important to have a plan for how you are going to give to charities (if this is important to you) and if so, how much you can afford to give. This presents a good opportunity to assess what is most meaningful to you. Do you want to have a focused approach with one or two charitable organizations? Do you prefer to give a little to several organizations? Please note it is possible to find a happy medium in between.
So while February is a short cold month, it is one that helps us position ourselves for truly a fantastic year ahead of centering on what is most important to you.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Fixed insurance products and services offered by Concentric Private Wealth®.
Follow Katherine Liola’s Financial Fitness Planning Tip of the week every Friday on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Registered Investment Advisor.
Schedule a Consultation
Got questions? We'd love to spend some time getting to know you and your goals, and offer our best insight into the right investment strategy for you. Schedule a consultation today.