Essential Year‐End Financial Planning Checklist
As we come to the end of the year, savvy savers are organizing their finances for 2018 and planning for the
New Year. This simple checklist should help you end the year feeling accomplished, and at peace with your
financial status, so you can go into 2019 poised for success!
Maximize Your Retirement Contributions
You’ve been diligent about setting money aside all year. But do you wonder if there is more you can do to
provide for your retirement? Savvy savers in the 22% tax bracket who contribute $18,500 (the maximum amount
for 2018) to their 401(k) before the end of the year may be eligible for a tax savings of $4,500*! Investors over age
50 may contribute an additional $6,000 for a maximum contribution of $24,500! The more you set aside now, the
faster you’ll reach your retirement goals.
Revisit Various Insurance Policies
Have you been blessed with a significant life event in the past year? From getting married, welcoming a new
baby, or purchasing a new home, major life events will change your insurance coverage. Reach out to a few
insurers to confirm that you have the right amount of coverage and are getting the best available rate for
each of your policies. If you utilized one of your SmartyPig accounts for home renovations this year, be sure your
insurance agent is aware of your improvements, especially any structural changes as they will boost the
appraised value. While you’re thinking about it, be sure to update beneficiaries on all of your accounts.
Utilize Remaining FSA Funds
FSA funds expire at the end of the year so be sure to check your balance and use any remaining funds. While
some companies offer a grace period or rollover option, you don’t want to risk losing these hard-earned dollars.
Schedule wellness checkups or preventative procedures and book your regular dental cleaning and annual
eye exam. FSA funds can also be used on prescription medications, first aid supplies, mobility aids, and a variety
of medical testing devices.
Donate to Charity
The holiday season is the perfect time to share your blessings with others. Consider volunteering your time with a
local non-profit, sending new or lightly used clothing and toys to those in need, or making a financial
contribution to a cause close to your heart. If you itemize your taxes, your gifts may make you eligible for larger
tax deductions. Be sure to request and save detailed receipts for all non-monetary donations valued over $250.
Mileage to and from the drop-off location is eligible as well!
Organize Your Financial Records
Finally, take a few minutes to organize and simplify your financial records. This can make a big impact on your
financial success in the New Year! Wherever possible, switch from paper checks to direct deposit. While you’re
at it, verify that you have regular automatic transfers set up for each of your SmartyPig savings accounts. If you
got a raise this year, consider increasing your monthly contributions, so you reach your savings goals even
faster! Purging hard copies and opting for digital statements can streamline your files and make researching
information easier but be sure to back up your data on in the cloud or an external hard drive regularly.