Start The Year Off Right with This Financial Checklist

  1. Make necessary beneficiary updates in case of changes due to new births, deaths or marital changes.
  2. Review your Social Security benefits reports for the last two years since they are no longer sent out automatically to make sure the government is crediting you for what you have paid into the system.
  3. Review ways to structure gifts to make the most of the $5.1 million estate and gift tax exemptions, including whether those 70 ½ and older want to take advantage of donating $100,000 in IRA assets to charities in 2013.
  4. Check your credit report to monitor or prevent identity theft. By law, you are allowed one free credit report per year. 

5.  Raise contributions to max out tax sheltered accounts like 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

  • $17,500 for 401(k) contributions with a $5,500 catch-up contribution allowable for those 55 and above.
  • $5,500 for IRA contributions with a $1,000 catch-up contribution for those 55 and above.

6.  Review life insurance policies and annuities with industry professionals to ensure everything is on track.

7.  You have until January 31st to make charitable contributions for 2012.


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