2022 Year End Financial Checklist
The last two years may have brought some unexpected changes to your financial life. Maybe you have decided to retire early, lost a job, or even sold your home within this last year. Even if you have not made any major life changes, it’s important to review your entire financial picture as the year wraps up.
As you start this process or if it’s the first time going through this, start by identifying the people or businesses that you consult with on financial matters. This could be any tax professional, insurance agents, attorneys, and other advisors.
We can break the review areas down into 8 main topics:
At the end of the year, we have several big tax ideas that can position you for 2023 and potentially help you save or maximize your tax deductions. Let’s start with one specific concept, and then briefly mention a few other ideas.
Currently, many people have investments that are negative, and you should work with your financial advisor and CPA to help you do what’s called Tax loss harvesting. Simply put, this is when you capture your losses and reposition your investments into something else. This does three things. First, it resets your tax base on this money, potentially lowering it in the future. Second, it repositions your assets for the potential moves of the stock market in the coming year. And finally, it provides you with some loss that you can use to offset other taxable actions like Roth conversions, Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), etc.
- Project income for the rest of 2022 and potential for 2023
- Review realized and unrealized gains and losses
- Review potential deductions & credits for 2023
- Collect cost-basis information on sold securities.
- Review sales of appreciated property like real estate.
- Check loss carry-forwards from last year.
- Review potential deductions & credits for 2023.
- Track donations to charity.
- Review any gifting plans.
This year, we have seen lots of jobs being added to the economy. At the same time, we all have wondered where everyone is working. According to Seniorliving.org 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age every day. Forbes recently showed the average age of retirement for men is 65 and women is 62. Some of you might be asking can I retire and am I ready? First, have a plan and work with a specialist in retirement planning to help you determine if the answer is yes. Whether you are retired or are currently thinking about retirement, there are areas that should definitely be addressed:
- Max out 401(k) contributions including catch-ups.
- Max out IRA contributions including catch-ups.
- Analyze Roth IRA conversion scenarios.
- Take required minimum distributions.
- Open a retirement plan if newly self-employed.
- Check the status of all retirement accounts.
- Consider Social Security claiming options.
Part of what we do for our clients is put a plan together. Generally, we want to make sure that as you are closer to retirement, your assets are positioned correctly. We only want longer term money in risky investments and shorter-term funds in safer positions. This type of basic strategy helps you ride out the turbulence of the current stock market environment. As we get to the end of the year, ask yourself if you have considered any of these: What questions do you have about your investments or investing in general? Sitting down with your retirement advisor:
- Confirm investment goals and strategy.
- Review asset allocation for rebalancing opportunities.
- Review fundamentals of portfolio positions.
- Revisit income and savings needs.
- Review outstanding loans and mortgages.
- Review divided distributions.
- Review employee stock options.
Insurance reviews are something I see missed all the time. We buy it, pay for it, and don’t think about it again. However, reviewing your insurance policies each year is an important practice. Things change and you need to know your coverage for health, property, and other areas. Finding ways to reduce your fixed expenses in retirement is always a good thing. Let’s review:
- Property and casualty policies.
- Costs of current insurance policies.
- Health insurance coverage
- Material changes in life, business, or financial circumstances that may require insurance adjustments.
I have not figured out how to stop time, so we all are getting older. Whether we like it or not, ask yourself if you have reached any of these milestone(s) within this last year?
- 50: Now you can make catch-up contributions to IRAs and some qualified retirement plans.
- 55: You can take distributions from 401(k) plans without penalty if retired.
- 59 ½: You can take distributions from IRAs without penalty.
- 62-70: You can apply for Social Security benefits.
- 65: You can apply for Medicare.
- 72: You must begin taking RMDs from IRAs
Healthcare is another important area to review each year. This is another area where we can save money and reduce costs as we head into 2023. Here are some actions you may want to take before the end of the year:
- Review employer’s health insurance plan.
- Shop state health insurance exchange.
- Review Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions for 2022.
- Spend any remaining balances in Flexible Spending Accounts.
- Review Medicare enrollment options.
The years bring so many changes for everyone. Whether that’s been a job status change, relocation, or even losing a loved one. These things all require having conversations related to your financial health.
- Did you move?
- Did you sell a major asset like your home, business, or other real estate?
- Did you refinance your house?
- Did you change jobs, lose your job?
- Did you get married or end a marriage?
- Did you add to the family through birth or adoption?
- Did you lose a loved one?
- Do you have a parent or other family member in need of assisted living?
- Is there a severe illness in the family?
- Did you receive a gift or inheritance?
This might be the most important topic we saved for last.
- Contribute to education accounts.
- Review and fund trusts.
- Make any cash gifts to family members.
- Plan charitable contributions.
- What changed for you in 2022?
- What do you want to discuss as we go into 2023?
- Has anything changed?
- What is the most pressing issue?
We would love to be part of your financial team this time of year and help with the changes you’ll go through as you enjoy retirement. This checklist is a jumping-off point that you can use to assess your financial plans for the coming years. We’re committed to providing you with the highest level of service to get you to and through the retirement you deserve.
To schedule your review, please click here to schedule.