The new year is fast approaching, a favorite time to take stock of where we’ve been, and make plans for where we want to go. 2021 has been another year of “unknowns”, and as we close out this historic year, it seems more important than ever that we make strides to focus on what really matters to us - personally, professionally, and financially - and ensure we successfully support those through our financial decision-making.
While we can have no idea what 2022 has in store for us, we can set ourselves up for success nonetheless by setting inspiring financial goals, developing better habits, and making decisions that are aligned with the life and future we envision for ourselves.
What changes might you need to make to ensure you are well prepared for the future, and all it may have in store? Take some time for yourself this month to look closely at where you've been and focus on where you may want to go. This is especially important with your financial plan, since many tax, benefit and healthcare related planning items are time sensitive (with 12/31/21 and 4/15/22 deadlines).
And here’s the good news: financial success doesn’t require you to change your entire lifestyle. You simply need to be clear about your goals and take small, intentional steps to get closer to them everyday.
How to Approach Year-End Financial Planning
Year-end financial planning isn’t just a look into the past. It’s also about setting yourself up for future success and growth. It is a chance to take a holistic look at your life, investments, and goals.
It’s also about charting a course for the year ahead. The only way to set realistic financial goals is to have a clear understanding of your current financial picture. What financial issues do you need to consider in order to ensure 2022 enables you to move forward with purpose and positivity?
We get so wrapped up in new year’s resolutions that we often forget that it’s not just about wiping the slate clean and making promises to do better next year. It’s about taking stock of where we are and forming a solid awareness of what needs to be changed in order for us to live a truly wealthy life.
That may also mean engaging with a collaborative partner to help you set sail in the right direction. A financial professional can help to get a financial plan in place.
Your Handy Year-End Checklist
It can be all too easy to avoid asking ourselves the hard questions, and getting spooked by our finances. And I know making the right choices isn't always that simple - sometimes I like to stick my head in the sand just as much as the next person.
I understand what it 's like to feel lost and confused about where to even start. That’s why I’ve compiled a handy year-end 2021 checklist. In this I have included several financial planning topics to consider, including:
- Various issues surrounding investment and retirement accounts including matching capital gains against any investment losses in taxable investment accounts and confirming that all RMDs are taken.
- Tax planning issues, including strategies dependent upon your income in the future.
- Various tax planning considerations including “filling out” brackets for the current year that might prove beneficial down the road.
- For those who are charitably inclined, several strategies to potentially reduce your tax liability (based upon your unique situation).
- For those who own a business, opportunities surrounding pass-through income, including accelerating or deferring business expenses.
- Reviewing your cash flow situation for opportunities to fund a 529 plan or save more in a retirement plan like a 401(k).
You can download your copy of my year-end 2021 checklist here.
Move into the New Year with Confidence
As we close out a year that has truly been like no other, I would like to remind you, dear clients and friends in the TruWealth community that I am always here to assist you with crucial year-end planning decisions.
If you’re ready to give your current financial life an overhaul and would like a professional advocate and guide to help you address the important issues and carve out a successful path forward into 2022 and beyond, please get in touch or book some time on my schedule.
In the meantime, I hope my checklist will be useful, and I wish you happy, healthy new year.
Live a wealthy life, my friends.