The holidays are just around the corner, and that means the new year is soon to arrive. As January approaches, financial portfolios are undoubtedly flying open as everyone seeks to tie up this year’s loose ends while looking ahead to their 2016 financial plan. With New Year’s resolutions fueling the financial planning fire, here are a few end-of-year financial factors to consider.
The end of the year is the perfect time to review financial portfolios with your clients and make sure that any loose ends are taken care of in preparation for the new year. As you seek to guide your clients through the final lap of 2015, make sure you are asking key questions that will help them get the most out of their finances for the year. Have they used all of the money in their Flexible Spending Account or maxed out their Health Savings Account? Have they remembered to take their required minimum distribution from their IRA or 401(k)? Making the most of available funds and ensuring that nothing gets lost come January 1 will help ensure happy holidays for all.
In tandem with rounding out 2015, advising your clients as they create a financial plan for 2016 should also be on your to-do list this December. Everything from college funds to annual budgeting to retirement planning will undoubtedly be addressed when looking ahead to next year’s portfolios, so make sure you’re prepared to address your client’s questions about all of their New Year’s financial resolutions. Better yet, help your clients establish savings strategies and set monthly savings goals, so that sticking to those resolutions will be as easy as holiday pie.
Spending and saving are both crucial in executing financial plans, but in the spirit of the holidays, don’t forget about giving. Many clients choose the month of December to map out charitable giving for the coming year, but do they know that they can also make tax-free gifts to individuals? A great idea for any number of special persons on their gift list, tax-free giving doesn’t have to be limited to the holidays: make sure your clients know all the ins and outs of tax-free and charitable giving so they can spread good cheer all year long.
Between wrapping up one year and starting a new one, the holidays can be a hectic time. Give your clients the gift of worry-free financial planning and visit cpenow.com for a complete list of accounting continuing education courses.