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Year-End Personal Finance Checklist

Year-End Personal Finance Checklist

 

          The end of another year can be a good time to take stock of your financial situation.  Some key points to review include:

          Income Tax adjustments – Use the online IRS tax withholding calculator at: www.irs.gov to determine if your employer is deducting too much or too little income tax from your salary. See if you’re on target for your 2011 taxes. Consider increased deductions that you could use this year, or even postpone income until 2012.

          Social Security Tax Status - An individual with wages equal to or more than $106,800 would contribute $4,485.60 to Social Security in 2011, including the self-employed. If you have already contributed this amount, there is no need to deduct further – save that extra money

          Maximize Retirement Savings - Save as much as you can in tax-advantaged retirement accounts and take advantage of any company matching programs as well as “catch-up” provisions available to individuals 50 years of age and older. See if you can maximize your 401(k) or IRA limit. If there’s room to increase your investments in an IRA or Roth IRA, don’t hesitate.

          Review Your Beneficiaries -Review the person or people you’ve named for your retirement accounts and insurance policies. Did you have a death, birth, or divorce this year that could change the beneficiaries?

          Take Required Minimum Distributions - Once you are age 70½, failure to withdraw the required minimum amount from retirement accounts annually may result in substantial additional taxes.

          Consider Charitable Contributions- If you itemize your deductions, you can claim the money you have given to charity.

          Check Healthcare Costs - If you have a flexible spending account don’t forget to get all preventative exams done, including eye and dental exams. Check to see whether scheduled appointments can be moved ahead before December 31 to utilize 2011 FSA contributions.

          For more info on saving and investing for today and for tomorrow, check out the NDSU publication by the same name at: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/fammgmt/fe258.pdf or scan the following QR code with your iPod/smart phone for more info.               

 

     Financial QR Code

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