The year is quickly coming to an end (not soon enough for most of us) so it’s time to get your finances in order. It’s not too late to end the year on a high note by creating healthy new money habits. Here are five money moves to make before the end of the year.
- Maximize Your Retirement Contributions. Why is maxing out your retirement contributions important? Since contributions to a 401(k) are made with before-tax income, your monthly salary decreases each pay period—which means you’ll end up paying less in federal and state taxes. You’re paying less to the government each month and more to yourself (even though you can’t touch those funds until you’re 59 ½)—and you’re giving those funds time to compound and grow.
- Max Out Your HSA. Health savings accounts enable individuals to put money aside for qualifying health expenses, tax free, for individuals who have a high deductible health plan. Using the money is also tax free. The main advantage of these accounts is the tax savings. Contributions are tax-deductible and distributions for qualified health expenses are tax-free.
- Maximize Your Savings. If you’re still holding your emergency fund in a traditional savings account, it’s time to make a switch because you’re missing out on interest earnings. The credit union’s High Yield Online Savings account gives you the freedom to manage your account completely online while you earn higher than average yield on your balance.
- Update Your Beneficiaries. The end of the year is a good time to review your designated beneficiaries and update them as needed. Did you get married? Divorced? Have kids? Have a falling out? Make sure you have the right people listed as your beneficiaries on all your accounts. The credit union can easily help you with that.
- Modify Your Tax Withholdings. While it can be nice to get a big, fat check each spring from the IRS, it’s not so nice to know that you also gave Uncle Sam an interest-free loan for the year. (I assure you that he wouldn’t return the favor for you.) So, if you are getting a significant tax return each year, it’s time to adjust your withholdings.
A new year is a great time for a fresh start. Take the time to make these money moves so that you can have a strong start in the new year.
Until next time,