(CTN News) – As we approach the end of another year, it’s the perfect time to take stock of your financial situation and ensure you’re on the right track for 2024.
The holiday season brings with it not only festive cheer but also an opportunity to perform some essential financial tasks.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through eight must-do items, each taking just 30 minutes or less, to set yourself up for financial success in 2024.
8 Essential Tasks to Kickstart 2024
1. Review Your Retirement Contributions:
Kickstart your financial year-end review by checking your 2023 retirement contributions.
For your 401(k) or employer-sponsored retirement plan, the maximum contribution is $22,500, and for an IRA, it’s $6,500. If you haven’t maxed out these contributions, consider doing so before the year-end.
Additionally, if you receive a holiday bonus, think about allocating a portion to boost your retirement savings. Don’t forget to adjust your contributions for the upcoming year as well.
2. Check Your Asset Allocation:
Ensure your investment portfolio’s asset allocation aligns with your financial goals. Market fluctuations may have shifted your desired distribution, so take a moment to rebalance your portfolio.
Simultaneously, review and update the beneficiaries for your accounts to ensure they align with your current wishes.
3. Review Your Debts and Plan for 2024:
Take a close look at your outstanding loans, including student loans, mortgages, auto loans, and credit card debts. Note the amounts, interest rates, remaining balances, and terms. Evaluate your progress in paying down your debt and create a plan for 2024.
If you’ve made significant strides this year, challenge yourself to do even better in the coming year.
Prioritize paying off high-interest debt, and consider utilizing an end-of-year bonus to make strategic debt payments.
4. Conduct a Year-End Tax Review:
Although tax season is a few months away, preparing in advance can save you headaches later. Consider life changes, like marriage or having a child, and make any necessary adjustments to your tax withholding status.
Depending on your income, explore tax-efficient transactions, such as deferring or accelerating bonuses, mortgage payments, or charitable contributions.
5. Offset Investment Gains with Losses:
Explore tax-loss harvesting to offset investment gains with losses. This strategy involves strategically selling investments that have decreased in value to minimize taxes on profitable sales.
While it’s crucial to maintain a long-term investment perspective, tax-loss harvesting allows you to rebalance your portfolio while gaining tax benefits.
6. Think About Roth IRA Conversions:
Diversify your retirement accounts by contemplating a Roth IRA conversion. This can be particularly advantageous if you’ve experienced a year with lower income, such as taking an extended work break.
Crunch the numbers and determine if a Roth conversion aligns with your financial situation. Ensure you complete the conversion before the year ends.
7. Fine-Tune Your Budget for 2024:
The end of the year is an ideal time to review your spending and savings. Make adjustments to your budget based on your actual expenses and financial goals.
Identify areas where you can cut costs and negotiate better deals with service providers. A well-tailored budget sets the foundation for financial success in the coming year.
8. Check Your Credit Report:
Obtain a free copy of your credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Scrutinize it to ensure accuracy in reflecting your financial history. This step is crucial if you plan to make significant purchases, such as a house or car, in 2024.
Pay attention to your credit utilization ratio, and consider requesting a credit limit increase to improve it.
Completing these eight essential financial tasks before the year-end can take just a few hours and leave you well-prepared for a prosperous 2024.
Taking the time for this financial housekeeping now sets the stage for a successful and financially empowering new year. Remember, if you need support or more information, don’t hesitate to reach out. Here’s to a prosperous 2024!