Springtime is often associated with new beginnings like planning this year’s vegetable garden or opening day of baseball season for hundreds of Little Leaguers. After a long winter, we are anxious to get out and enjoy this time of year. Another common project is to spring clean your home. Your cleaning checklist may include dusting your ceilings fans, washing baseboards, or changing batteries in your smoke detectors. Spring is also an ideal time to spruce up your finances and below is a sample checklist of items to consider.
- File your taxes on time. There are many benefits to filing on time including faster refunds, helping to prevent tax-related identity theft, and having more time to prepare to pay a balance due. Additionally, you will need a completed tax return to assist with items like obtaining a mortgage or applying for financial aid for college. Lastly, a completed tax return will give you the time to begin to proactively engage in tax planning for the current year.
- Consolidate old retirement accounts. Gather up your investment statements and determine if there’s an opportunity to consolidate some of your accounts. Perhaps you have a 401(k) plan from a previous employer or two. You could consider combining these by rolling the accounts into a Rollover IRA. Another possible opportunity is to consult a tax professional to determine if these old retirement accounts are eligible for a Roth conversion and whether or not that would be appropriate for your circumstances.
- Automate your savings. Establishing an emergency fund and investing for retirement are two cornerstones of most financial plans. Funding both of these goals regularly will put you on the road to long-term financial success. Easy ways to automate these are having deductions happen automatically from your paycheck. You will also want to double-check to make sure you are maximizing your investment savings by utilizing any company match for your retirement plan.
- Organize and digitize important documents. Having trouble locating a copy of your will or a deed to a piece of property you might own? Consider organizing these documents and getting them into a digital format for further safekeeping. For those who may be leery about digital files, you may also consider a safe deposit box at your local bank.
The above are easy examples of basic financial spring cleaning items to consider. Perhaps the thought of this is overwhelming or you would rather spend your time doing other things. Consider hiring a CFP® professional to help streamline your finances and keep you on track with meeting your financial goals.
Published in the Victoria Advocate
Kyle W. Noack CPA/CFP® is Chief Financial Officer for Keller & Associates CPAs, PLLC and KMH Wealth Management, LLC.