Year-End Personal Finance Tips
The end (of the year) is nigh! This edition of the Bloomingdale newsletter will focus on five important – yet simple – last minute moves you can make to save money. As usual, please consult with your financial advisor or accountant prior to taking action.
1. Have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? Be sure to spend the money in your account on any co-pays, deductibles, and qualified prescriptions you might have incurred this year. The federal government allows employers (at their option) to extend a 2.5-month grace period to use the balance of funds in the FSA after the year-end. Spend the funds now or check with your employer to ensure you don’t lose any money.
2. Want to save for your child’s college education – and receive a deduction on your 2012 D.C. tax return? Open (and contribute to) an account in the D.C. College Savings Plan by December 31st. This 529 plan, run by Calvert Investments, allows D.C. residents to deduct up to $4,000 in plan contributions each year on their D.C. tax returns. Up to $8,000 may be deducted for married couples filing jointly if both taxpayers own an account and make contributions.
3. Are you self-employed? If so, you may want to consider establishing a retirement plan such as a solo 401k or SEP-IRA. Note: For the solo 401k, the account must be established prior to December 31st. However, the actual contribution(s) can be made in 2013 when your taxes are due. On the other hand, the SEP-IRA can be opened and funded before you file taxes in 2013.
4. Feeling charitable? Remember, ’tis the season for giving! Make a donation of cash or other items before December 31st in order to receive a deduction on your 2012 tax return.
5. Have a mortgage? Make your January 2013 mortgage payment before December 31st (the interest is deductible). This is especially important because Congress might change the rules governing the mortgage interest deduction.
Enjoy the rest of the Holiday Season! Please contact me if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for upcoming articles.
Chuck Donalies, CFP®
Donalies Financial Planning, LLC
Follow me on Twitter @frugalplanner
Chuck has lived in Bloomingdale for over 8 years. He’s a CERTFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, father of two, husband, artist, and triathlete.