Consider getting organised this winter season by de-cluttering and updating your financial plan.
The momentum of a fresh start makes the new year an ideal time to get things in order in your life and your finances. Schedule some time to check in on your accounts, organise tax documents, automate bill paying and go paperless to simplify things and set yourself up for success.
Consolidate and cut clutter: Sign up to view your accounts online and go paperless to reduce clutter. Additionally, consider organising your personal and financial documents by uploading them to a file sharing or content management platform.
Revisit retirement: Confirm that employer retirement plan contributions take advantage of any available employer match. Maximise IRA contributions early in the year so they will have more time to generate tax-deferred gains; you have until mid-April to do so for the previous year. If you are 50 or older, ask your adviser about catch-up contributions.
Consider your health spending: If you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), review your contribution levels to take full advantage based on your family’s needs – without exceeding applicable limits. If you have an FSA, utilise available funds before your plan’s use-it-or-lose-it deadline.
Do a budget gut-check: Have major new expenses that must be factored into your financial plan? Conduct a cash flow and liquidity analysis to make sure you’re in good shape. Then prioritise how you’ll apply available savings, whether it’s to pay down high-interest debt, build or maintain an emergency fund, or increase retirement savings.
Prepare for fuss-free filing: Keep your tax documents organised as they arrive so you’re prepared to file. Talk to your adviser about coordinating with your tax professional to ensure everything is in order.