“Winter is coming.” That became an iconic and foreboding addition to the lexicon in recent years. Here at Waller & Wax Advisors Inc. the phrase is far less sinister, at least from our perspective! This is a time of clean finishes and fresh starts.
With that in mind, before the seasonal rush gets into full swing, consider the following to-do’s:
Declutter your home office:
- Sign up for Client Access to view your accounts online and go paperless for statements, confirmations, and even your tax statements.
- Add Outside Accounts to Client Access to view and track your financial picture at-a-glance.
- Organize your personal documents and file into the Vault, a secure online file-sharing platform. This is particularly handy if you travel – less need to carry extra paper copies if you can access the same documents in Vault.
Revisit your retirement goal:
- Confirm your employer plan contributions and the employer match.
- Maximize IRA contributions if applicable.
- If you are over 50, congratulations! You may be able to take advantage of “catch-up” contributions in either your employer plan or IRA.
Do a budget check:
- Conduct a quick cash flow check before launching into the seasonal spending to make sure you are in good shape.
- Review your overall debt and focus on reducing balances and use of consumer borrowing, i.e. credit cards.
- Prioritize how to apply any savings you capture, whether paying down debt or increasing your goal savings.
Prepare for a “fuss-free” tax season:
- Organize tax-related documents as they arrive. Consider scanning these into Vault by creating a folder called “Annual Tax Filing”.
- Invite your tax professional to coordinate with our office to ensure all is in order.
- Allow enough time to complete donations before December 31 if you itemize.
- If you take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), you may be able to donate/gift some or all of your RMD annually.
- Please consult your tax advisor to fully understand the tax impact before making any decision.