The end of the year is fast approaching, and now is the perfect time to review items you might want to consider as you get set to enter 2017.
- Review your income or portfolio strategy. Are you reaching a milestone in your life such as retirement or a change in your circumstances? If so, this may be just the right time to evaluate your approach.
- Take stock of changes in your life and review insurance and beneficiaries, and power of attorney. Let’s be sure you are adequately covered. At the same time, it’s a good idea to update beneficiaries and power of attorney if the need has arisen. Circumstances in your life may have changed during the last year.
- Gather the tax documents you’ll need to complete your tax returns. W-2s and 1099s won’t show up until next year, but everything from receipts for donations to business expenses will be needed if you are to minimize this year’s tax bite.
- Contribute to a Roth IRA. A Roth gives you the potential to earn tax-free growth (not just deferred tax-free growth) and allows for federal-tax-free withdrawals if certain requirements are met. There are income limits, but if you qualify, you may contribute $5,500, or $6,500 if you are 50 or older.
- Take required minimum distributions (RMD’s). Speaking of IRAs, RMD’s are minimum amounts retirement plan account owners must withdraw annually, starting with the year they turn 70½. However, the first payment can be delayed until April 1 of the year following the year in which you turn 70½. For all subsequent years, including the year in which you were paid the first RMD by April 1, you must take the RMD by December 31 of the year. Don’t miss the deadline or you could be subject to steep penalties! If an account owner fails to withdraw the RMD by the deadline or the distribution is not large enough, you may have to pay a 50% excise tax on the amount not distributed as required.
- Consider converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. There are a number of items you may want to consider, including current and future tax rates, but if the situation is right, it can be very advantageous to convert to a Roth IRA.
Bonus: Tis the season for pumpkin! Try one of our favorite pumpkin treats and let us know how you liked it.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups canola oil
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Mix ingredients together in large bowl, then pour into two greased 4” x 8” loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes.