Manage your investments for potential tax savings
It’s smart to think ahead—especially if your investments have fallen behind. If you decide to sell losing assets before year-end, you can use those capital losses to offset taxable capital gains.
Review your portfolio
Major market swings can cause your investment allocations to shift. By rebalancing, you can restore your target allocation, manage investment risk, and keep your portfolio in good health.
Maximize your retirement plan contributions
If you haven’t reached this year’s contribution limit for your retirement plan, kick the funding up a notch for the rest of the year and plan to maintain that contribution in 2010. The sooner you maximize your contributions, the more time your investments have to benefit from potential long-term growth. For any IRA you have until April 15th 2010 to make contributions for the 2009 year.
Make the most of your philanthropy
Planning to make a contribution to a charitable organization? Donate before December 31 so you can write it off on this year’s taxes.
Get smart with college savings plans
You can take advantage of potential tax benefits if you open or contribute to your kids’ or grandkids’ college savings plan, such as a 529 plan, before the year ends.
Spend your flexible spending account
If you’ve covered the basics but still have some remaining funds, check your plan’s list of eligible expenses for last-minute ideas. Make sure you use the money that’s left in your account by the end of the year, or you’ll lose it. It’s also enrollment time for 2010 FSAs, so consider whether you’ve spent all your funds in the past and make any necessary adjustments.