A Holiday Gift for You – Year-End Planning

Here at Midwestern Financial Group we are in the throes of year-end planning.  The holiday season brings not only time shared with family and friends, but also planning deadlines. While we certainly advocate and place a priority on cherished time with our loved ones, we would be remiss if we overlooked planning items to better position your finances for the New Year.

The following planning items do not fully encompass the opportunities available to individuals, families or business owners and thus should not be viewed in that manner.  We simply provide these ideas as a means to draw awareness to the importance of year end planning in order to position your finances to better meet your goals. 

1.       Portfolio review - Ensure your assets are allocated appropriately to meet your current and future goals.  Additional strategies include, harvesting tax losses to offset gains, allocating assets to appropriate accounts to minimize taxation, and recognizing long-term capital gains in taxable accounts related to family members in the 15% or lesser federal tax bracket.

2.       Donate or gift assets - A number of strategies and vehicles remain available to meet annual or year-end gifting strategies to family members or charity. Due to the complexity of planning needed, we will refrain, as least for today, from opining any further. It is important to identify appropriate assets and vehicles given your current and future tax status, goals and resources.

3.       Maximize employer sponsored plan deferrals - Be sure to pay yourself first and maximize opportunities to defer income.

4.       Contribute to 529 plans - This often-underutilized savings mechanism may offer state tax benefits for those interested in contributing to your children's or grandchildren's future education. For those residing in the state of Iowa, you are presented such benefits up to a limit.

5.       Review social security plan given recent changes in legislation - Recent legislative changes were aimed at prohibiting a couple claiming strategies.  It would be ideal to review how these changes may impact your retirement income from social security.

There are also a few traditional items to consider if you own or operate a business.

  •        Defer income or accelerate deductions before year-end. 
  •        Have a plan for year-end capital expenditures; especially considering tax extenders may be passed through Congress. 
  •       Assess and draft strategic initiatives for the following year and beyond.  Additionally, work through next year’s budget.

At MFG we are proactive with regards to delivering our clients timely, accurate and relevant financial strategies to complement their evolving financial needs and address changes in economic and legislative environments.  Simply put, your finances are our concern. 

As you prioritize your time over this holiday season, be sure to include your finances. 

Contact us today, if you would like to know more about how we can help you with you.