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Your 2019 Financial To Do List

Friday, March 15, 2019

Your 2019 Financial To Do List

I am not a fan of “New Year Resolutions” but I do believe that everyone, either at home or at work, has had or understands the proverbial “To Do” list. As we start 2019 I would like to suggest some financial tasks that you should consider putting on your personal list of things “To Do”.

Review your investment asset allocation

This is really two tasks. First you need to determine what is an appropriate asset allocation based upon your age, assets, financial needs and employment situation. There are many rules of thumb in this area but sitting down with an advisor to really dig into your personal situation is always the best way to make sure you have an asset allocation that meets your goals. The second task is making sure that recent market volatility has not gotten your total asset allocation out of balance, and making appropriate adjustments as needed.

Look at your retirement plan options and take full advantage of what is available

If you have a workplace retirement plan make sure you are taking full advantage of matching options and contributing as much as you possibly can. The tax deductibility of your contributions combined with the magic of compound investment returns is a powerful combination for retirement success.
HSA account contributions are another valuable and tax advantaged way to save for retirement. If you are eligible and can afford to cover your current medical expenses, HSA’s offer a tax free way to save for your medical costs and expenses in retirement.

Pay attention to your 2018 tax results and adjust accordingly

It is very likely that your tax return this year is going to be different than in prior years. Review with your advisor what has changed and make appropriate withholding, estimated payment, and other adjustments to make next year’s taxes less of a surprise.

Contribute to an existing IRA or create a new one

If you are eligible to make a regular or Roth IRA contribution you should do it now. If your income level does not allow you to make deductible regular or Roth IRA contributions you may still have options. A common strategy if you have never been able to make deductible IRA contributions before is to make a non-deductible IRA contribution and immediately roll it over into a Roth IRA. The earnings in your Roth IRA grow tax free and are not taxable upon withdrawal.

Review automated charges and expenses

It is very common to set up many of our day to day expenses as automatic payments from credit or bank accounts. Make a point to look at all of your January bills and statements to see exactly what you are paying. It is not uncommon to find memberships and subscriptions that are no longer of value still being paid.

In summary

The first quarter is a good time to stop and review where you are and where you should be going. Putting some or all of the above on your “To Do” list is a step in the right direction. First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors partners with individuals, families and organizations to provide comprehensive solutions and personal service in pursuit of a secure financial future. We would be happy to assist you as you plan for the coming year.


David Forbes

First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors products are not FDIC insured, are not deposits of First Merchants Bank, are not guaranteed by any federal government agency, and may lose value. Investments are not guaranteed by First Merchants Bank and are not insured by any government agency. This material has been prepared solely for informational purposes. First Merchants shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the data or information, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Any views or opinions in this message are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the organization.