Making the Most of Your Financial Benefits

(WTNH)– The start of a new year is a good time to rethink your finances. Sometimes, it’s easier said than done to get on a budget But, there are simple tips that can certainly go a long way.

Kayse Kress from CT Wealth Management gave us some tips on how to make the most of your benefits.

1.What’s the first a family should do?

Set the family financial goals for New Year

– Review your spending, check credit report

– Free time off of work “sit down with spouse”

– Ex: Savings, Pay off Debt, Tuning your emergency savings

– “Make sure you have a good plan heading into the New Year”

2. What are Gifting Strategies?

Think twice before just giving cash or check

– Consider making a gift of appreciated stock since you would not have to pay any capital gains tax on the shares donated.

3.How about retirement? How much should you give towards it?

Required Minimum Distribution

– Are you turning 70 1/2 this year? Forced to take money out of your retirement accounts. Penalty is steep. Check with adviser to make sure you have fulfilled.

– Consolidate IRA’s to streamline

4. Do you agree with last minute IRA Contributions?

You have until April 15to fund IRA and back door Roth IRA

– Consult CPA to find out if this is something you can do

5. Review Asset Allocation

– Be deliberate and tactical

– Don’t forget your 401(k)

– US Stocks up 10%, Foreign stocks down 10%. Asset allocation that you intended to have.

6. Review Your Beneficiaries

– 401(k)

– 529’s

– Life Insurance

7. Fund Kid’s College Accounts

– Take advantage of CT state tax deduction of 5%. Could save you upwards of $500. Earnings grow tax deferred.

8. Increase your 401(k) Contribution

– We often set this and forget it. Increase by at least 1% annually.

– Contribute up to your employer match (if applicable)

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