Financial checklist you must act on before the year ends

There may only be a few more shopping days until Christmas but people should set aside some time during the holiday season hustle and bustle to make some wise financial moves before the end of the year which is rapidly approaching.

Certified financial planner David Ragland took the time to provide a list of must-do tips to Fox Business that viewers should consider setting aside the time to take care of before the calendar rolls over into 2023, moves that could save viewers valuable money at a time of persistent inflation and economic uncertainty that has strained household budgets.

Ragland, the CEO of IRC Wealth suggests that a top priority is for workers to make moves in their 401(k) plans to max out their contributions with their accounts being “one of the best tax-saving and long-term investing plans available to employees. Folks under 50 years old can sock away as much as $20,500 in a 401(k) this year, and anyone 50+ is allowed to contribute as much as $27,000.,” with limits set to increase next year to “$22,500 and $30,000, respectively.”

He also suggests that investors consider a “year-end rebalancing” to ensure that they are not  “over-exposed in any certain areas,” explaining that “Nothing wins forever.”

Another tip is for people to call the doctor if they have already reached their health insurance plan out-of-pocket maximums, advising that they “should consider making appointments to doctors or other health care providers to try to get in a visit before the end of the year in order to minimize any out-of-pocket expenditures.”

Ragland also said that people should try to get together with their CPA or tax professional to review their estimated tax liability and how to potentially reduce it.

“You can file a new Form W-4 with your employer to adjust your withholding. That will not lessen your 2022 tax liability, but it can prevent you from owing tax next year,” he advises. “To reduce your 2022 tax liability, you can make an estimated tax payment until Jan. 17, 2023. You can either mail a payment or pay online.”

Additionally, Ragland advises that those who happen to live in a state that has “State Tax Credits” should “review availability” and consider making purchases “sooner rather than later, he advises. Some state tax credits have been in short supply, so it is best not to wait until the last minute.”

The financial guru says that “some individuals may want to consider selling investments that are currently at a loss and re-buying the same investment back 31 days later. The strategy generates a loss for tax purposes without giving up a favorite stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) for good.”

Ragland also noted “several tried-and-true practices,” including making annual cash and charitable donations – such as clothing and furniture – by year-end and that people who contribute monthly to charities may want to consider making their 2023 first quarter donation in December.

Additionally on the to-do list for personal finance is to pay any state income or real estate taxes due before year-end along with the January 15, 2023, estimated state income tax payment.

“Becoming wealthy is super simple,” Ragland told Fox Business. “It’s just not easy,” emphasizing that a key to attaining wealth is to take the time to assess personal financial situations along with the development of goals and acting on a plan.

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