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Your 2018 Last-Chance Financial Planning Checklist

Your 2018 Last-Chance Financial Planning Checklist

| November 20, 2018
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Grab a cup of coffee, find a quiet space for an hour, and give yourself and your family the gift of getting your personal finances organized for a head start on 2019 planning!

Now is an ideal time to do a year-end check-up of your financial health and update your financial plans. Below is a list of important action items to review.

If you have any questions or concerns as you determine key items that impact your situation or need more research or discussion, feel free to call me at 305-751-8855. I will be happy to go over your concerns and discuss possible scenarios for 2018 and 2019 that best meet your tax and financial planning needs.

Click here to download and print a PDF of  Your 2018 Last-Chance Financial Planning Checklist


  • Project income for 2018 & 2019. ††
  • Project 2018 net investment income.
  • Review tax plan in light of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. ††
  • Review realized and unrealized gains and losses.
  • Collect cost-basis information on sold securities. ††
  • Review sales of appreciated property like real estate. ††
  • Check loss carry-forwards from last year. ††
  • Review potential deductions & credits for 2018. ††
  • Track donations to charity. ††
  • Review any gifting plans.
  • Access a quick checklist of Key Tax Changes for 2018


  • Max out 401(k) contributions including catch-ups.
  • Max out IRA contributions including catch-ups.
  • Analyze Roth IRA conversion scenarios: Full vs. partial vs. none. ††
  • Take required minimum distributions.
  • Open a retirement plan if newly self-employed. ††
  • Check the status of all retirement accounts.
  • Get your copy of "Retire Happy: A Simple Guide to Your Next Big Adventure"


  • Confirm investment goals and strategy.
  • Review asset allocation for rebalancing opportunities. ††
  • Review the fundamentals of portfolio positions.
  • Revisit income and savings needs. ††
  • Re-examine asset location.
  • Review outstanding loans and mortgages.
  • Review dividend distributions. ††
  • Review employee stock options. ††
  • Consider Social Security claiming options.
  • 10 things to consider when planning your financial future.


  • Review property and casualty policies. ††
  • Review costs of current insurance policies.
  • Review health insurance coverage.
  • ††Identify material changes in life, business, or financial circumstances that may require insurance adjustments.
  • Assess your life insurance needs now.


  •  50: Now you can make catch-up contributions to IRAs and some qualified retirement plans. ††
  • 55: You can take distributions from 401(k) plans without penalty if retired. ††
  • 59½: You can take distributions from IRAs without penalty. ††
  • 62–70: You can apply for Social Security benefits. ††
  • 65: You can apply for Medicare. ††
  • 70½: You must begin taking RMDs from IRAs.
  • Instructions for determining your minimum distribution.


  • Review employer’s health insurance plan.
  • Shop state health insurance exchange. ††
  • Review Health Savings Account contributions for 2018. ††
  • Spend any remaining balances in Flexible Spending Accounts. ††
  • Review Medicare enrollment options.


  • Did you move?
  • Did you sell a major asset like your home, business, or other real estate? ††
  • Did you transfer any major financial assets? ††
  • Did you refinance your house?
  • Did you change jobs?
  • Did you get married?
  • Did you end a marriage? ††
  • Did you add to the family through birth or adoption?
  • Did you lose a loved one?
  • ††Do you have a parent or other family member in need of assisted living?
  • Is there a severe illness in the family? ††
  • Did you receive a gift or inheritance?
  • 7 common mistakes to avoid when naming your beneficiaries



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Copyright © 2018 By Horsesmouth, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Horsesmouth is an independent organization providing unique, unbiased insight into critical issues facing financial advisors and their clients. License #: 4810453 Reprint Licensee: David Treece

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

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