Answers To Your Year-End Questions
In case you missed it, Brooke participated in a Twitter chat hosted by Reuters, with questions about year-end finance (#ReutersYE17). We have compiled these questions, along with Brooke's answers, below. As always, please reach out with any questions or comments.
Question #1: What is the best way to get my portfolio ready for 2018? Where can I find help?
Are you in the 15% bracket? Don't miss the opportunity to recognize cap gains at $0 federal tax.
Question #2: Along with my investment portfolio, what other documents should I review before the year ends?
Always a good idea to review beneficiary designations.
Question #3: Will the charitable deduction really be going away next year? How do I figure out how much to give now to make it count?
Charitable deduction isn't going away but Standard Deduction is increasing so most won't itemize.
I've been busy helping clients decide if they should accelerate charitable giving into 2017.
Question #4: What is your outlook on interest rates, and how can I prepare?
A slow increase seems likely. Stick with intermediate term bonds and CDs.
As with stocks, important to diversify fixed income investments as we can't time the interest rate changes.
Question #5: What steps should I take to set and stick to a budget next year?
Feel passionate about goals and commitments so it won't seem hard to prioritize spending.
Question #6: Should I consider a Roth conversion in 2017? Any other last-minute retirement advice?
If you're in a lower tax bracket a Roth conversion is a great idea.
If you're self-employed with no plan in place you have until filing date including extension to setup a SEP IRA.
Question #7: How do I know if I have enough insurance heading into the new year?
With all the natural disasters in 2017 it’s a strong reminder to keep property insurance up to date. Rebuilding costs have gone up significantly in recent years.
With real estate values and portfolios up overall net worth has gone up so it may be a good time to review your personal liability coverage.
Question #8: What's the best way to manage debt and boost my credit score?
Read You're Nothing But a Number @johnulzheimer has great advice for managing your credit score.
Question #9: What should be the TOP thing on my money to-do list in 2018?
Make an honest and realistic assessment of your financial situation so you can make changes accordingly. It's never too late or too soon to strive for a cherished goal.
Question #10: If I have extra money at year-end, what should I do with it?
Add to your emergency fund, top off retirement savings, share with someone who has just suffered through one of the natural disasters, enjoy a small indulgence.