Financial Review Heading into 2024

The first month of a new year is a good time to review your finances and make changes for the upcoming year.  Let us know how we can assist you by emailing George@lydfordfinancial.com

Here are a few action items:

  1. Review of your asset allocations may show that you need to rebalance your portfolio to meet your long-term goals, especially after the 2023 overall stock market rally, bond market recovery, lower inflation, and projected interest rate decreases in 2024.
  2. Review your budget to determine if your expenses can be decreased, so your savings can be increased for emergencies, retirement, or education (529 plan).
  3. Pay off your holiday debt as soon as possible at the start of the year to free up funds for your other goals, such as savings and reducing other debts.
  4. Set up, or continue building an emergency fund of at least six months of expenses. If you need to contribute over time, then set up automatic monthly savings to accumulate sufficient funds.
  5. Review your federal and state income tax withholding to ensure the amount is sufficient to cover your taxes for the upcoming year. Set up estimated tax payments, or change your withholding if your current amounts are not sufficient.
  6. If you are turning age 73 in 2024 (higher beginning age based on SECURE Act 2.0), set up your Required Minimum Distribution from your defined contribution plan (401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans; profit-sharing and other defined contribution plans) and traditional IRA, SEP, SARSEP, and SIMPLE IRA, either as a lump sum, or periodic payments.
  7. Adjust your total contributions for your 401(k), or similar defined contribution plan in 2024 to not more than $23,000 for individuals under 50 and an additional $7,500 for individuals that turn age 50 in 2024, or are already over age 50, for a total of $30,500.
  8. The limit on annual contributions to a Traditional, or Roth IRA is increased to $7,000. The catch‑up contribution limit for individuals age 50 and over remains at $1,000.
  9. SECURE Act 2.0 allows for the creation of a SIMPLE and SEP Roth IRA starting in 2023. Roth contributions will be included in the employee’s income for the year of the contribution.
  10. The annual contribution limit to a SIMPLE IRA, or SIMPLE Roth account is $16,000 and a catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over will increase to $3,500.
  11. The annual contribution limit to a SEP IRA, or SEP Roth account in 2024 is the lesser of 25% of the first $345,000 of compensation or $69,000.
  12. If you have a high deductible health insurance plan and your employer offers a Health Savings Account (HSA), set up contributions up to a total of $8,300 (family) and $4,150 (individual) for 2024. A catch-up contribution of $1,000 is allowed for each individual spouse that is age 55 or older.
  13. The income limit for the Retirement Saver’s Credit applicable to low-and moderate-income workers is $76,500 for married couples filing jointly; $57,375 for heads of household; and $38,250 for singles and married individuals filing separately.
  14. Evaluate the amount of 529 plan contributions that you should be making based on family changes, education funding need changes, and investment return changes to evaluate, if you can afford additional contribution amounts and rebalance investments.
  15. Starting in 2024, an account owner can roll unused 529 assets—up to a lifetime limit of $35,000—into the account beneficiary’s Roth IRA, without incurring the usual 10% penalty for nonqualified withdrawals or generating any taxable income.
  16. Review your life insurance needs and your current coverage from all your policies to determine if you need more coverage, or less going forward.
  17. Review your other insurance needs to ensure you have sufficient coverage from your umbrella, homeowners, vehicle, and other asset policies including appropriate deductibles.
  18. Review your beneficiary information for your investments, life insurance, and other financial assets to ensure your wishes are fulfilled.
  19. Review your Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy to ensure that the documents are up to date, then make changes as needed.
  20. Review your revocable living trust document and ensure all assets that you want included have been titled to the trust.
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