Year-End Financial Checklist

Year-End Financial Checklist

We’re coming up on the end of 2017 and there’s still plenty to do. Long before we hit 2018 and create our list of New Year’s resolutions (financial or otherwise), we want to finish out the year strong.

Regardless of what that means for you, there’s a list of financial decisions you may need to make to close out your 2017 on the right note. While everyone has their own financial goals and therefore their own financial checklist, here are some things to think about before it’s too late:

  1. Open Enrollment – you’ve hopefully seen what MainStreet has produced on open enrollment If you haven’t, take a look and the time to think about your needs for next year. Do you need to adjust your insurance coverage? Plan for big medical expense? Or simply adjust my transportation or health savings benefit.
  2. Maxing out your 401k contribution – in 2017, you can make pre-tax contributions of up to $18,000 on your 401k. Its not too late to save as much as you can towards your retirement. Once you get to January 1, it’ll be too late. Even if you can’t contribute the full amount, get to at least whatever company match may exist for you. If its offered by your employer, its FREE MONEY. Take it!
  3. Get ahead on your debts – think about making an extra payment towards a student loan, car loan, or your mortgage. Depending on your income, it may mean a larger tax deduction. But more importantly, if you have the money, its less interest and fewer payments down the road.
  4. Contribute to 529s – whether you have kids of your own, a grandchild, or niece/nephew you’re saving for, many states offer college savings plans. You might be able to save some money on your 2017 taxes and any capital gains on your 529 can also be tax-free.
  5. Budget for the holidays – it’s an expensive time of year! Travel, presents for friends and family, and maybe even some charitable giving. Be realistic about how much you can and want to spend, and stick to it. No reason to come into a new year with less money than you’d planned.
  6. Build a Financial Plan for 2018 – if you don’t have an annual financial plan in place, it’s never too late. Use the last several weeks of 2017 to get your financial planning house in order for next year.

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