1. Evaluate financial goals from the past year and identify missed opportunities.
The beginning of December is the perfect time to review your progress on financial goals from the start of the year. While no one could have predicted the impact of the pandemic on our economy, it’s still a beneficial exercise to see where and how you might have fallen short and areas of maintained strength.
Did you save enough for a dip in income (like what might have been brought on by the pandemic)? How healthy is your business after this difficult year? Do you have a solid long-term roadmap or goals?
Review your year with someone who has your best interests in mind and get a fresh perspective on any missed opportunities. A personal accountant or expert financial advisor can support you with objectives.
“The end of the year is the perfect time to sit down with our team and look at what needs to be updated for the following year,” says Lindsey Cannata, Financial Advisor at J.P. Cannata & Associates. “We often find money left on the table for our clients that they didn’t know was there. It gives us so much satisfaction to be able to help families and business owners get back control of missed opportunities for their finances.”
2. Take action to accomplish missed goals … while you still can.
Now that you have identified some missed opportunities, it’s time to act. During the last weeks of the year, you’ll want to get your financial ducks in a row and take advantage of any programs or incentives available. Allocating savings for retirement, analyzing any debt and plans for repayment, and protecting your family’s future with an estate plan are just a few actions you can take quickly.
Especially when it comes to saving, it’s never too late. “If you haven’t maxed out your IRA contribution for the year, you can still continue to do so until the April 15th tax deadline. This is one way to lower your taxable income and decrease your payment come tax time.
Charitable giving often spikes during the holiday season. In fact, about one-third of all gifts to nonprofits and charities happen in December. About 11% of those gifts occur in the last three days of the year. To avoid the crunch, review your year-end giving statements and settle up with your favorite causes. Not only does it help them meet their holiday finance goals, it can also assist your tax declarations.
3. Plan for your ideal 2021 and make a roadmap for getting there.
Now that you’ve evaluated your holiday finances and 2020 financial journey, you can begin thinking about the next 12 to 24 months. What life events are going to impact your business, home, and family? How can you safeguard against the unexpected?
Here are some top considerations when making your 2021 financial planning list:
- Trust or savings for a child or grandchild’s education
- Adjusting your company’s footprint (increase or decreasing staff; sale, expansion, or acquisition)
- Planning for pre-retirement or creating a legacy plan for your business
- Identify liabilities or debt and assess your asset risk
These are just some of the ways you can begin thinking about what could be ahead next year. As a financial planning partner, we can help you identify items and more like them. Together we can create a plan for each event and how they fit into your big-picture financial and lifestyle roadmap for the years to come. Included is a holistic strategy for life events that can’t be predicted
“No financial plan is complete without a proper risk assessment for your exact situation,” says Joshua Cannata, Associate at J.P. Cannata & Associates. “My goal is to observe all liabilities and debts so that dips in the market have less of an impact on an individual’s everyday lifestyle. We want to better secure the future and that starts with our risk analysis and savings guide.”
When you are looking for a devoted financial partner to protect all you've worked hard for, let us help you build a tailored, financial strategy. Better tomorrows start here.