(MoneyHippo.com) – The end of the year isn’t only a time to make resolutions for the 12 months ahead. It can also be a good marker for finishing up some financial tasks and putting things in order. In fact, if you let some of these checklist items go until after the clock strikes 12 on December 31, you could be throwing away money. Here are four tasks to put on your to-do calendar.
- Maximize savings: You can contribute a limited amount to retirement savings each year. Add up what you’ve contributed over the past 12 months, and invest the difference if there’s a shortfall. If appropriate, contact an accountant to see whether converting your traditional IRA funds to a Roth IRA would be financially beneficial.
- Give to others: Donations are not only a nice thing to do for others, but they might also give you a small tax break. Look around the house to see if there are items to give away, and take notes or get a receipt for Uncle Sam.
- Call the doc: If you’ve already met your insurance deductible for the year, consider making appointments to ensure you’re fit as a fiddle. Take advantage of a zero deductible before it resets for the new year. The move could save you a bundle.
- Make adjustments: Look at your investments before year-end and see if you’re on track to meet financial goals. If not, consider re-balancing stocks and bonds. Doing so will likely require you to sell assets, so be careful. A good strategy might be to take some losses to offset any capital gains you might trigger — minimizing tax implications. Also, if you’re 72 or older and have IRAs, don’t forget to take the required minimum distribution (RMD). Failing to take the RMD will cost you 50% of what you should have taken.
Note: Before employing any moves that might affect your taxes, it’s a good idea to consult a professional.
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