It may be hard to believe, but we have only seven weeks left in 2013. This is a good time to take a look at a few financial matters prior to the close of the year.
First of all, have you made your IRA contributions for the year? You do have until April 15 of next year to make your contribution for 2013, but there is no time like the present to move funds into your IRA. You can increase your tax deferred position and get the funds working for you as soon as possible. If you are over 50, the IRS allows you to contribute an additional $1000 to your IRA as a “catch up.”
Are you eligible for your company 401(k) or 403(b)? If so, see if you can contribute at least enough to get the full employer match. If you are able to contribute more to the plan, then that is to your benefit. The contribution limit for these plans in 2013 is $17,500, and if you are over 50, the additional “catch up” amount is $5,500.
If you are over 70½, have you taken your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year? This is a good time to make sure you are taking what you need to withdraw from the account by the end of the year. The IRS imposes significant penalties for failing to withdraw the required amount. If you check your situation now, you have time to make any necessary adjustments by the end of the year.
If you still need to take your RMD for the year, remember, you can use up to $100,000 of your RMD to make charitable gifts directly to charity. The amount that you give to charity directly from the IRA is not considered income to you. That can help keep your adjusted gross income down for those tax issues that are AGI based.
Have you completed your charitable giving? A gift of appreciated securities is a good idea, both for the donor and the donee, and with the stock market up significantly this year, the timing could be right.
This is also a good time to conduct a review of your estate plan and beneficiary designations. Has there been a new arrival in your family or did your children become adults? Has there been a marriage or divorce? Did someone pass away? If you have experienced any of these changes, it is time to look at the beneficiaries under your will, trust, IRA, company retirement plan and insurance policies. We want to make sure all documents are up to date and reflect your current wishes.
If you would like help with any of these matters, please leave us a message below or contact us privately.
Ann P. Wiesbrock, CFP®