2015 is quickly coming to a close. Before we know it, we will be turning our calendars over for the new year. Anytime we reach this point in time, it is always best to reflect on the year we have just traveled through and spend a little time planning for the next.
One of the important areas we need to focus on now is our financial planning strategy for the coming year. Doing so will help make sure that we are all prepared for the upcoming year and that our finances are solid for the future. Here are some things you can do now to plan for 2016 finances.
Review your Taxes
This is one of the best times of the year to take a look at your taxes and make necessary changes. Take a look at what you expect your taxes to be this year and compare them to the number of withholdings you are taking. If you find yourself constantly owing money to the government every year, you may want to think about increasing your withholdings to make up for this amount.
On the other hand, if you are constantly receiving a refund after filing your taxes, you still may want to adjust yourwithholdings. Essentially, what you are doing when you receive a refund is you are giving the government an interest free loan. Instead of resorting to this, you should use that money for investment purposes throughout the year.
Review your Investments
While it is important to keep an eye on your investments on a regular basis, it is always a good idea to review them all at once at the end of the year. At this point, you can review how they performed over the course of the year and decide if any adjustments are needed.
During this time, you should also take time to look at the suggestions from professional financial advisers regarding your specific investments. It is common for investors to begin looking toward the future during the end of the year and youshould be able to find a wealth of information at this time.
Another factor that you should keep in mind during the final months of the year is your employee benefits at work, if you are still employed. Maximizing your 401k plan, medical benefits and flexible spending account could mean you are able to save a great amount of money. Since open enrollment typically coincides with this time of the year, now is a good time to review your options.
Make sure you pay extra attention to your 401k plan. You should be investing at least enough to receive the company maximum. This is something that will vary from one company to the next, but the exact number should be available in your company’s 401k documentation.
Now is also a good time to talk to your supervisor about receiving a raise. Many companies review this information annually and you can take advantage of this. Create a small presentation regarding the value you offer to the company and the additional responsibilities you have taken on since you last raise. This is something that can help to show your value to your company and encourage your supervisor to present you with a raise.
Taking time at the end of the year to review these specific items can be very beneficial to your financial planning strategies. Naturally, there are many other areas you can improve at the end of the year. To help make sure you are ready for 2016, contact us. We will help you review all of your financial goals and strategies and offer expert advice to fit your lifestyle and needs.