Don’t Wait to Start Your Year-End Financial Planning
August tends to be “nap-time” for most Americans. Work at the office might not be as busy, families are slowly making their way home from vacations, and kids are getting ready to head back to school.
This makes August a stellar time to work on your finances. My advice? Don’t put it off until December.
Here are a few year-end planning items to check off your list:
Get Ready for Upcoming Education Costs
For students: this is a great time to start looking at college scholarships. Find 3 or 4 you would like to win and start working to make yourself the perfect candidate and apply early.
For the parents: take a look at some college calculators to get a sense of how much your expected family contribution (EFC) will be and the best tax-efficient way to pay for it.
Even if college is a few years out, planning now can help keep costs down later. Make sure everyone is on the same page and only look at schools that you can afford.
Do You Need to Rebalance Your Investments?
Consider the market. Is your current asset allocation up-to-date and working for you? This is a good time to review your portfolio with your financial planner.
Also, consider the tax consequences of reallocating your investments. This might be a good time for a tax planning session.
Revisit Your Budget and Goals
Do you have dreams of buying a home, paying for college expenses, or ramping up your retirement savings?
Take a look at your budget. How are you doing? It might be time to trim down some costs by eating out less and ditching subscriptions you no longer use.
Write down your goals and how you plan to reach them. This is the first step in making those dreams a reality.
(Bonus!) Plan for Your Next Tax Bill
August is usually a slow month for accountants and other tax experts. This means it’s a good time for tax planning.
Don’t wait until December. Estimate your upcoming take bill, and start preparing for it.
If you don’t already have a team of professionals ready to help you through this planning season, consider talking to a certified financial planner who offers hourly consulting—and keep the conversation limited to tax strategies.
A 2-hour planning session could help you keep more of your hard-earned money.