It’s a new year and a great time to organize your financial life and get ready for tax season. Read our helpful tips.
Organize your financial life.
If you were incapacitated, would your loved ones be able to find all of the financial account information and important documents they would need? If the answer is no, take some time to create a comprehensive list of your accounts and documents, including financial accounts, life insurance policies, estate documents, and health directives. Keep this information either in a physical file or in a secure online document/account vault. Make sure that a trusted individual, such as a relative, close friend, attorney, or advisor, is aware of how to access this information in case of an emergency. To help you organize all of this information, we offer a Personal Document Locator, that you may complete by listing your important documents and papers and where they are kept. Contact information for your key advisors and representatives may be stored here, too. Remember to review this list regularly for any new or revised information.
Update your plans and documents as needed.
Major life changes may impact your wealth plan. The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of any such changes and check if you have documents that may need to be updated, such as insurance policies and beneficiary designations. We recommend that you review your will and trust and estate plan every three to five years at a minimum to ensure their alignment with your intent and any changing circumstances, as well as changes in Federal and state laws and regulations.
Get ahead of the game.
It may be tempting to wait until the end of the year to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from a retirement plan, make charitable contributions or annual exclusion gifts around the holidays. Waiting until year-end to handle all of this activity, however, leaves you very little margin for error in the event that systems at financial institutions are overloaded with others who have the same year-end mindset. Why not process RMDs, charitable giving, and annual exclusion gifts at the start of a new year so that you and your intended recipients have the benefit of potential appreciation with an opportunity to put funds to work for most of the year?
Check your insurance coverage.
Perhaps you have made a major purchase recently, such as a valuable collectible or piece of art. Or you may have sold or donated a substantial real asset. If so, you may need to adjust your property and casualty insurance coverage. If you hired a childcare provider or other domestic employees, you may need to secure workers’ compensation coverage. A change in family, career, or retirement status may necessitate a change to your life insurance coverage. We can work with you and your insurance specialist to help evaluate the impact that any such changes may have on the coverage you need.
Take advantage of tax-advantaged savings opportunities.
Set up regular contributions to your company retirement plan, especially if there is an employer matching contribution. A contribution to an individual retirement account may make sense for you. If available to you, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are typically funded with pre-tax contributions. Take maximum advantage of an HSA, as your contributions can grow tax-free and can be used for qualified medical expenses at any time in the future.
Get a head start on taxes.
You may have already received a tax planner from your accountant. W-2s, 1099s, donation receipts, and other tax forms and documents will be arriving either physically or digitally in the next few weeks. Keep everything organized in a tax folder and start completing your planner sooner rather than later. As we learned from our cyber experts Dr. Ondrej Krehel and Adam K. Levin in our December webinar on cybersecurity, filing early helps prevent cybercriminals from filing a false return using your identity. The deadline for filing 2022 tax returns is April 18th (In MA & ME, April 19th) and the IRS is not expected to postpone the deadline this year, as it did in 2020 and 2021.
As always, KF Advisors is here to help you stay on track to achieve your goals and objectives. We encourage you to contact us directly with any questions you may have, or you can always reach us by phone at 212.492.7000 or email us at email@example.com. To find our perspectives and thoughts on additional topics of interest, please visit News and Insights on our website or visit our YouTube channel to view other webinars we have conducted on a variety of financial topics. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.