3 Money Moves to Make Before Year-End

Take Control of Your Financial IndependenceWith a few more months left in the year, now is a good time to make some key financial moves that can help enhance savings, save on taxes, and improve your finances for the future.

Make the most of tax-advantaged savings opportunities. You can contribute up to $19,000 to your 457 plan for 2019 (or $25,000 if you’re age 50 or over), which lowers your taxable income for the year and grows tax-deferred for retirement. Increasing your contributions even a little before year-end can make a big difference by the time you retire (use our Savings Boost calculator at www.icmarc.org/savingsboost to see how much). Pre-tax contributions won’t reduce your take-home pay dollar for dollar — if you’re in the 24% tax bracket, contributing an extra $200 will reduce your take-home pay by $152.

Give your paycheck a checkup. Use the IRS’s tax withholding calculator to figure out whether you should adjust the amount of money withheld from your paycheck for taxes. Filing a new W-4 form with your employer could increase your take-home pay now or help you avoid a big bill when you file your taxes. See www.irs.gov/payments/tax-withholding.

Maximize your employee benefits before they expire. If you have a health-care flexible-spending account, you may lose money you don’t use before the end of the year (some plans let you carry over $500 from one year to the next or give you until March 15 to spend the funds). Now’s a good time to plan those checkups with your doctor, dentist or eye doctor, or use the money for new glasses, contact lenses, or other eligible expenses. Also check to see if your employer offers any wellness, transportation, or other benefits that expire at the end of the year, too.


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