Year-End Planning Tips

Meaningful Conversations About Money

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

As we approach year end, it’s a good time to take inventory of your finances and plan for next year.  Although we can’t predict or control what the economy or stock market is going to do in the coming months, we can make decisions related to our personal finances that can have a positive impact on our lives today and in the future.  So, focus on what you can control. 

Here’s a short list of things to consider before year-end to move in the right direction:

  • Set up a Holiday spending plan. Plan now and avoid carrying credit card debt into 2020.
  • Evaluate year-end tax saving strategies. Contact your CPA and implement the changes now.  If you own a small business, this is a must! If you wait until January, it may be too late.
  • Reduce recurring expenses. Review bills for your Internet, TV, cell phone and other recurring expenses.  You might be able to eliminate or reduce services not needed. Cancel subscriptions you haven’t used in months. Cut $20 off a monthly bill and save $240 annually.
  • Open an online savings account and set up an auto transfer to add to it monthly.  Even saving a small amount each month can add up.
  • Save more for retirement.  $1000 saved annually for 20 years, grows to become $45,000 assuming an 8% return on your investment.  Doing this in a pre-tax 401k or IRA will reduce your tax bill each year.
  • Freeze your credit:  Shut down the risk of identity theft with a credit freeze. It’s free to do in most states and you can temporarily unfreeze when you need to apply for a loan.
  • Talk to your aging parents or adult children about finances.  Simple conversations can help you understand each other’s goals and values.  It can also reduce unnecessary expenses when making multi-generational financial choices.

We realize these topics aren’t typically top of mind this time of year, but implementing just one from this list will likely benefit you for years to come. Afterwards, have fun, count your blessings, and enjoy the Holiday season with family and friends! Want to do something meaningful? Do a random act of kindness for a complete stranger, or host a party and take up a collection to provide a gift to a local charity. Life’s a journey, navigate it wisely.

Robert Fezza, CFP® and Steve Siders, CFP® own Odyssey Personal Financial Advisors, 500 Sun Valley Drive, Suite A-6, Roswell, GA. Their firm specializes in working with people who are serious about making progress towards their financial goals. Odyssey manages portfolios greater than $250,000. 770-992-4444, www.odysseypfa.com. Securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera entities are under separate ownership from any other named entity.  The views expressed are for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security which may be referenced herein. This information is not a substitute for professional guidance in financial, tax, estate planning or legal matters.