Market Overview

Year End Money Moves

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It’s almost 2014 and that means there are precious few days to finish your holiday shopping, spend time with your family and get your financial house in order. In all reality that last item is probably not a priority for most people and certainly not top of mind with everything else happening this time of year. Understanding that we’ve all got other things we’d rather be doing there are some things you can still accomplish before the end of the year that will help improve your finances and maybe more importantly won’t take much time.

- Maximize your retirement accounts – Making those contributions to your tax deferred retirement account will help decrease your taxable income for 2013, thereby decreasing the amount you owe Uncle Sam.

- Sell stocks at a loss to offset capital gains if appropriate. If you have gains you’ve realized during 2013 you may want to offset them with losses (if possible). This strategy is designed to limit your capital gains tax bill.

- Review your savings and retirement plans – determine if you can save more and if your budget permits you should. It’s also a good idea to determine if your portfolio allocation is appropriate for your needs.

- Get your tax deductions in – This could include donations to your favorite charity or the local Salvation Army. Remember to get a receipt!

- Calculate your personal or family finances – Just some quick figuring will let you know if you are better off financially than you were at this time last year. Don’t be discouraged if you encounter setbacks or the trajectory is not to your liking. Rarely is investing or saving accomplished in a straight line. It takes time and over time it’s normal to encounter setbacks. Stay positive and stay focused on your goals.

- Verify your insurance levels are appropriate.

- Check your credit report – You can use one of the pay services, but a free service is recommended. The credit reporting agencies may be able to provide a report directly as well.

- Rebalance your portfolios to make sure your allocation hasn’t gone off course.

- Plan for the year ahead – Year end is a great time to plan your year-ahead budget and reflect on what went right and wrong financially in the year past.

Happy holidays and best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: Markets

 

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