Why does it feel like the end of the year always rushes by in one big blur? After all the kiddos head back to school in September, it feels like a mad dash to the holidays — and then suddenly, we’ve entered a new year. Thinking about it in business terms, we’ve officially entered Q4, which means the final countdown to 2024 is on. But don’t stress yet, there’s still time to work on accomplishing your 2023 goals. Let’s work together to set you up for success and a fresh start in the new year.
Below are four financial “to-do” items you can work on accomplishing before the holiday season kicks it into high gear.
Tip #1: Check in With Your CPA
You’ve probably heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous phrase, “... In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
Well, here’s another certainty to consider: Paying taxes is painful. But paying penalties on taxes? That’s just brutal.
And there’s no reason why you should have to when you’re working with professionals to develop and execute a tax strategy. While there’s still time to right any potential wrongs, make an appointment to meet with your CPA or tax professional. They can help you review your previous tax payments and ensure you’re on track to cover all tax liabilities in 2023.
For our clients, we will work together with your CPA to identify tax opportunities to implement before year end.
Tip #2: Max Out Your Retirement Contributions
If you contribute to a 401(k), December 31 is the deadline for maxing out your pre-tax contributions for the year. Anything you contribute (up to the limit) will lower your taxable income for the year. As a reminder, the contribution limit for 2023 is $22,500.
If you’re 50 or older, you’re eligible to make catch-up contributions (an additional $7,500) as well. But again, you must make these contributions to your 401(k) or 403(b) before the new year. If you contribute to an IRA, however, you can make contributions up until you file your tax return and still have them count as 2023 deductions.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your CPA or tax professional about your contribution strategy if you have any questions, concerns, or are unsure about the deadlines.
Tip #3: Reach Your Savings Goal
Remember those goals you set at the start of 2023? We’re crossing into the fourth quarter of the game, which means it’s time to double down — not give up! If you set a savings goal for the year, let’s buckle down and try to accomplish it. I’m rooting for you, and we’re always here to help you cross the finish line.
Tip #4: Prepare for Uncertainty in 2024
There’s no getting around it. 2024 is likely going to bring a lot of uncertainty and greater market volatility. We have a national election coming up next November, and the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax code is sunsetting in 2025. Whoever wins this upcoming election will have the power to establish our country’s new tax code, which could either lead to major tax reform, very few changes, or something that falls in between.
The markets do not respond well to uncertainty, so investors are likely in for a bumpy ride. Be sure to have plenty of dry powder on hand (aka your savings) to take advantage of future market dips and buy at a “discount.” Will 2024 be a negative year for the markets? Who knows! But what we do anticipate is volatility. We focus your investment strategy on meeting your near and longer term goals. Reach out and let us know if there are any financial changes to your life or if you would like to go over how your investment strategy is prepared to meet these goals.
If you have any questions at all about the tips we shared above, or you just want to do an end-of-year check-in to make sure you’re all set for 2024, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and schedule time to talk.
What are your biggest goals for 2024? Let us know, we’re here to help!