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Year End Housekeeping !
Old 12-28-2017, 12:47 PM   #1
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Year End Housekeeping !

Check bank, brokerage account, IRA beneficiaries, update will if needed and health care directives. OK what am I missing and what year end housekeeping administrative duties do you do ?

The only thing constant in life is change.
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Old 12-28-2017, 02:05 PM   #2
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I make sure I’ve downloaded all investment statements and filed them in the appropriate electronic folder. Also if there are any year-end tax issues (harvesting losses, deduction “bunching, etc., I do that.

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Old 12-28-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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Have something special to toast the new year. Doesn't have to be alcoholic, or even liquid, but it has to be special.

In my family, the tradition has always been to eat a piece of pickled herring on New Year's Day. I believe it's something they brought over from northern Europe.

In addition to that, I always save a special bottle of beer for New Year's Eve. There is a Westvleteren 12 waiting for me on Sunday evening.

On the financial side, the usual, and I also like to make sure my "Open this on my death" instructions are updated for DW.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:16 PM   #4
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I do a pro forma tax return for this year, next year, and the year when I start drawing RMDs & SS.

Finalize Q4 estimated tax payment for state and Federal.

prepare a simple annual expense summary and portfolio summary and review with my spouse.

Extract an annual summary of prescription co-pays from pharmacy website for HSA reimbursement.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:40 PM   #5
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1. Tally up % of asset allocations for rebalancing start of Jan

2. Tally up HSA qualified medical expenses (consists of verifying what I've entered during the year, in a spreadsheet)

3. Create 2018 budget

Watch some TV when done.
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:09 PM   #6
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Maybe prepay your property taxes if you're in a state where you are going to lose a meaningful deduction next year. Assuming they have been "assessed" of course.
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Old 01-01-2018, 05:53 PM   #7
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I download all transactions from taxable account(s) into a spreadsheet and (electronically) store away that spreadsheet file on the hard drive (I find this much easier than downloading all statements). Mostly this is just me being my anal self, but it has some benefits. I can sort by type of transaction to quickly get the fee $$$ taken out for my FA (although that will no longer be deductible starting in 2018). Also, I can see all dividend receipts, as a check against the 1099s when I receive them. And of course the buys and sells make it easy to fill in Schedule D. I had trouble one year with the download directly from Fidelity, so I feel better doing Schedule D "manually".

Oh, and of course one should change the batteries on the smoke alarms, test the CO2 alarm.

Other things on my list, which I culled from various other lists found on this forum, over the years:

Put ticklers on my Gmail calendar to pay estimated taxes each quarter
Review and update retirement planning spreadsheet
Set up budget/expense tracking spreadsheet for new year
Make sure all accounts have beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries
Download all health insurance transactions from previous year (we have expenses > 7.5% of our income)
Update letter to the kids that has all of our key financial information -- account numbers, current values, login info, etc.
Think about and if needed, update will, healthcare POA, etc.
Run a free credit check report with one of the three companies
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not necessarily a year-end task, but important
Old 01-01-2018, 06:21 PM   #8
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not necessarily a year-end task, but important

If divorced, double-check that your ex-spouse is no longer your beneficiary.

I've heard of this being overlooked in the commotion/haste of a divorce more times that you'd think. And it's only been discovered upon the (usually unexpected) death of said individual and to the dismayed surprise of the second spouse (assuming a remarriage)....while the ex (first spouse) was delightfully surprised at the generosity of their ex upon death.


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