Before the New Year, you may want to consider some end of the year resolutions to help get your financial house in order. These items can help maximize your retirement plans and possibly help you reduce taxes over the long run.
1. Do you want to make a charitable contribution by year end? Remember, charitable contributions must be made by December 31st to be counted for this year. With the run up in the stock market, you may want to consider gifting appreciated stock rather than cash. A gift of appreciated stock will provide you a tax deduction, but could also save you future capital gain tax. If you are over the age of 70 ½ and must take a required distribution from an IRA, consider transferring your RMD directly to a charity. This technique could help lower your Medicare premiums and help maximize your charitable contribution.
2. Make sure you have taken your required minimum distribution. If you are over age 70 1/2 you must take an RMD by year end. The penalty for not taking a distribution when required is severe.
3. Does it make sense to do a ROTH IRA conversion? To do a ROTH conversion for 2017, funds must leave the IRA or retirement plan by December 31st.
4. Do you need to take money from an IRA before age 59 ½? May people are unaware that prior to age 59 ½ you can tap into your IRA account without a penalty using the 72t rules. These rules require that you distribute from the account in a series of equal payments over at least a 5 year period or until you reach the age of 59 ½ - whichever is longer. If you are taking 72t payments in 2017, make sure you have satisfied your payment schedule by December 31st.
5. Have you made excess contributions into your IRA or ROTH IRA? If you have contributed to your IRA or ROTH IRA for 2017 and your income is over certain limits, you could be subject to penalties. If your income is higher than the contribution eligibility amount, you will want to pull the excess contributions out of the account by December 31st.
6. Have you reviewed or updated your IRA and employer plan beneficiaries lately? Many people have experienced life changing events such as births, deaths, divorce, marriage and remarriage. Your end of year planning should always include taking a look at the beneficiaries of your plans and updating them as necessary. Also, make sure that you consider naming a contingent beneficiary as well as a primary. Doing so will help ensure that your assets will go to whom you desire.
Affinity Wealth Management has been successfully managing money for over 40 years. Affinity Wealth Management is in an ideal position to help meet your needs. When you choose Affinity Wealth Management, you benefit from obtaining comprehensive advice from a team of highly qualified professionals who have successfully managed money through some of the most difficult times in history. As a team, Affinity Wealth Management has decades of combined asset management experience.
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