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Year End Personal Financial Planning

Here are some year-end financial planning tips for 2018 that you need to review.

Have a family financial meeting

With many families getting together for the holidays this is a great time to hold a family financial meeting. It is especially important for adult children and their parents to be on the same page regarding issues such as the location of the parent’s important documents like their wills and what would happen in the event of a long-term care situation. While life events will happen, preparation and communication among family members before such an event can make dealing with any situation a bit easier.

Get a financial plan in place
What better time of year to get your arms around your financial situation? If you have a financial plan in place review it, and see if there are any adjustments you need to implement. If you don’t have one then find a qualified fee-only financial advisor to help you. Just like any journey, achieving your financial goals requires a roadmap. Why start the journey without one? You can contact Westurn Consulting LLC (214.240.0701) for a complimentary session to review your financial situation. The end of the year is a busy time with the holidays, parties, family get-togethers, and the like. Make sure that your finances are in shape for the end of the year and beyond.
Match gains and losses in your portfolio

With the stock market having another great year you probably need to do some year year-end planning. This is a good time to go through the taxable portion of your investment portfolio to review your gains and losses. This is a sub-set of the rebalancing process discussed below. Note to the extent that recognized capital losses exceed your recognized gains you can deduct an extra $3,000. Additional losses can be carried over. This is another case where you will want to consult a financial advisor because it can get a bit complex.

Rebalance your portfolio

With several stock market indexes at or near record highs again you could find yourself with a higher allocation to stocks across your portfolio than your financial plan calls for. This is exposing your portfolio to more risk than anticipated. When rebalancing take a look at all investment accounts including your 401(k), any IRAs, taxable accounts, etc. Look at all of your investments as a consolidated portfolio. While you are at it this is a good time to check on any changes to the lineup in your company retirement plan.

Start a self-employed retirement plan

There are a number of retirement plan options for the self-employed. Some such as a Solo 401(k) and pension plan require that you have the plan established prior to the end of the year if you want to make a contribution for 2018. You work too hard not fund a retirement for yourself.

Take your required minimum distributions

If you are one of the many people who need to take a required minimum distribution from a retirement plan account prior to the end of the year you really need to get on this now. The penalties for failing to take the distribution are steep and you will still owe the applicable income taxes on the amount of the distribution.

If you are looking for a Financial Consultant that can work with you to develop a strong strategy for next year - contact Stephen Westurn (214.240.0701) or for a complimentary session.

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