A Year-end Financial Plan is analyzed.

A Year-end Financial Plan is analyzed.Another year draws to an end and the holiday season remains as busy as ever. Arranging time to sit down and review yearly finances is likely low on your list of seasonal priorities, but reviewing your portfolio is vitally important to ensure financial comfort for you and yours in the New Year.

As the fourth quarter closes out, organizing a strong financial portfolio gives you an opportunity to analyze the past year in terms of spending, saving, and investments. It’s a reflective period to decide whether your current plan meets expectations, provides a comfortable lifestyle, and responsibly funds your plans for the future.

Be objective and view your finances through a goal-focused lens. Determine what supports you, and move forward on strong footing. Meet with a financial planner and consider these areas of interests when discussing your year-end plan.

Look Back

Consider the following factors when analyzing the past year:

  • Personal spending
  • Current living expenses
  • Taxes
  • Insurances
  • Contributions
  • Retirement and long-term care funds

Life events affect your finances.  If you experienced a change in marital status or number of dependents, update your tax withholding. If you are still actively working, consult your human resources department to alter your W4.

Determine if you missed any possible tax deductions and keep track of necessary account maintenance needs. Required minimum distributions from IRAs must be withdrawn by the year’s end.  Also, check the status of investments, even long-term ones. Once you’ve looked through the past year’s expenses, gains, and losses, set realistic goals for the upcoming year.

Estate Planning

Review and alter your estate plans if necessary, especially if any of the following events occurred to you or a close loved one:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death or illness

These life events can dramatically change the course of your estate’s future. It’s good to make a habit of annually reviewing these plans to keep them as up to date as possible.

Review Retirement

Discuss any questions about your future with your advisor. Contributions to 401(k) accounts will only be tax deductible for the year in which they were made. This means all documentation must be dated for 2016 if you seek this year’s deductible.  An advisor can be consulted on contribution limits and an appropriate amount to suit your needs.

End-of-Year Giving

Now is the time to decide what your yearly charitable donations will look like, especially if you wish to include the deductible on your tax return for 2016.  Decide the amount and what form your gift will take – whether it’s a cash donation, stocks, or funds. Different types of donations will have different tax deductibles. Your advisor will help you make the best decision for both the charitable organization and you.

Think Ahead

Start your financial plan resolutions right and register for one of our free seminars.

Not sure exactly where to start sorting out your financial plans? We can help. Blackburn Financial has been a nationally recognized and trusted voice in financial, estate, and business planning for more than three decades. Providing financial guidance, expertise, and ultimately comfort to our clients is what gives our team purpose.

“We try to take what clients have and make it what they want,” Blackburn Financial President Kyle Blackburn says. “We try to educate them and let them know what they can do.”

Contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation that will help you access your financial plan goals.