OND? What is OND? If you are in sales, you know that OND stands for October-November-December; year end, fourth quarter. Yep, it’s already October 1. Clouds of pumpkin spice waft through the air, kids are selecting their Halloween costumes, turkeys get that nervous look in their eye, and Santa starts to pack on weight for his big day.
October-November-December slides by in a flash so you better be ready. This is your last chance to make progress on some of your financial planning goals. So, what can you do during OND from a financial planning perspective? You still have time to accomplish a lot of goals.
Max out your qualified plan contributions. For example, if you have not maxed out your 401(k) plan contributions for 2019, you can increase your payroll withholding to hit the $19,000 pre-tax limit before year end. If you are over age 50, you can add another $6,000 catch-up contribution to that for a total of $24,000. Most companies these days have online access to allow you to increase your contributions.
Max out your IRA contributions. In total you can contribute up to $6,000 for 2019 to your IRA. Also, folks over age 50 can contribute an extra $1,000 catch-up contribution. Remember, this is a cumulative total for all IRAs. So, if you have two or more IRAs, your total contributions across all IRAs cannot exceed the annual maximum contribution limit.
Review RMD distributions. If you have an inherited IRA, or you are over age 70 1/2, and have begun your Required Minimum Distributions, you need to keep an eye on the calendar. You need to take your RMD by December 31. If you are in the situation of taking RMDs, be sure to do this by December 31 to avoid any costly penalties.
Give till it hurts! Are you charitably inclined? Make those charitable contributions by December 31 if you plan to take a tax deduction. Keep in mind that under the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, making that deduction is more of hurdle for some folks. You need to itemize, and you need to exceed the standard deduction ($12,200 for single filers, $24,400 for married filing joint, 2019) for the contribution to be deductible and have an impact. You can, and should, donate to your favorite charity even if you won’t make the deductibility limit. If you are close to these totals, you might want to consider bunching your contributions or a donor advised fund.
Line up tax preparation now. Whether you are filing on your own, or looking to hire a tax professional, OND is the time to start. A little work on your part now will save you a lot of frustration during tax filing season. Go ahead and prepare receipts, research tax planning software, gather records such as property taxes paid, and create folders for when these documents start to arrive in January. If you need a tax preparer, now is the time to ask friends, family, colleagues, and advisers who they recommend. Get on the preparer’s radar now, before they get overwhelmed.
Set that holiday budget. We’ve got lots of holidays in OND so decide now what you want to spend. If you made a budget at the beginning of the year, revisit that and make sure it’s still going to work for you. Now is the time to revise if not.
Review your 2019 goals. That’s right, take a look at what your 2019 goals were at the beginning of the year and see if you are on-track to meet them. If not, take some time to assess which goals are really important to you and which you still have time to act on. Like funding that 401(k) plan to the max!
As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you focus on your finances month-to-month and not just at year’s end. Contact me and let’s get started. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #OND #vacation #CFPPro #savemoney