Article — Year End Financial Tips

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Once the gifts are opened and the eggnog consumed, the rest of December is pretty boring. If you’re looking for something to fill the time until you can make your new year’s resolutions, here’s a suggestion: Organize your financial life and get a jump-start on 2013.

Image source: Everaldo Coelho (YellowIcon), via Wikimedia Commons

Image source: Everaldo Coelho (YellowIcon), via Wikimedia Commons

Here are ten things you can do before the ball drops in Times Square.

  1. Rebalance your portfolio and make sure your asset allocation is still on target.
  2. Sell appreciated investments to benefit from the 2012 capital gains tax rate of 0-15%.
  3. Decide whether to pay tax-deductible expenses this year or next.
  4. Contribute some of your slightly used stuff to your favorite charity, just because it feels good even if there’s no tax deduction involved.
  5. Reassess your budget or create a new one.
  6. Review your insurance policies and add the names of new beneficiaries.
  7. Update your retirement account contributions to reflect increased 2013 limits.
  8. Request a free credit report and verify all your data is correct.
  9. Apply some of the money in your flexible spending account to self-improvement.
  10. Create a folder for your tax records so you’ll have everything in one place when you’re preparing your return on the third Monday of April 2013.

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