As the year draws to a close, now is a good time to address some financial housekeeping and last-minute, tax-saving strategies to improve your finances before the ball drops at midnight on December 31st.
In previous updates we’ve discussed year-end gifting to family and charitable organizations, required minimum distributions and qualified charitable distributions. If you have any questions or still have not completed these items, please reach out and let us assist you so that these may be accomplished in a timely matter.
Other year-end items include reviewing your pay stub – especially withholding elections and retirement savings. If you are currently withholding too much, causing you to get money back at tax time, change your withholding elections and put those extra funds towards your retirement savings. Let those funds work for you instead of putting them in Uncle Sam’s pocket!
This is especially true for 401(k) accounts. IRAs and Health Savings Accounts can be funded by April of 2020; however, 401(k) accounts need to be funded by the end of the year and are usually done through payroll or bonus deductions.
Be sure to check-in with your CPA to review any capital gains outside of Main Street Research and develop a strategy to help minimize those gains by the end of the year if possible. In some cases, this can include tax loss harvesting of current assets. Other strategies might include charitable gifting. You may also want to consult your CPA about a possible Roth IRA conversion.
If you are 65 or older and are currently receiving Medicare, you may have experienced an increase in your Part B premium for 2020. You are allowed to request a reconsideration of your premium increase by phoning the Social Security Administration at 1 (800) 772-1213. Please let us know if you intend to request a reconsideration and Main Street Research will assist you with the documentation needed.
Lastly, do some end of the year cleanup and let us assist you with this! Look for those old 401(k) statements from previous employers and roll them all to the same custodian. This requires rolling assets out of a qualified plan and into an IRA account.
You might wonder if you will lose creditor protection by doing this, but the state of California has an exception to this rule. If you roll your qualified plan assets to a separate, designated rollover IRA account, you will be able to trace the origin of the funds and they will maintain the same creditor protection feature. This way all of your assets can be consolidated at a single brokerage firm and you will have an organized way of viewing your assets and maintaining a proper portfolio allocation for yourself. As a matter of best practice, we do not recommend commingling outside funds into this separate account.
If you would like to discuss any of these items in greater detail, please feel free to reach out to us at (415) 289-1010 or simply reply to this email.
All of us at Main Street Research wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season!
If you have any friends or colleagues who you feel may benefit from our services, we would be happy to introduce ourselves to them with a no-obligation introductory meeting.