Hello, my name is Chad Taylor, managing partner with MDT Financial Advisors here in Houston, Texas. Today is Monday, December the fourth, 2023, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and looking forward to a happy holiday season. And it's always good to kind of unwind a little bit when it gets to this time of the year. But I wanted to cover a few things to think about here before the end of the year when it comes to your finances. And I have don't know, 10 or 11 different things to kind go over. And so the first thing that I always try to remind people is look at your tax gains and your tax losses in non-retirement accounts. So keep in mind this is only for non-retirement accounts because retirement accounts, you're not taxed on gains or losses that happen throughout the year. And so for non-retirement accounts, look into your, do you have many gains that have happened?

Do you have some losses that you can offset that? It's always good to look at that. Another thing is, do you have mutual funds in non-retirement accounts? Always remember that a lot of times they distribute income here in December. And so even though you may look and not see that you have much this year, make sure you're looking throughout the month of December if you own mutual funds to see if they've distributed anything that you need to account for as well. Number two is kind of look at your asset allocation. Has it changed this year? The markets have been dynamic. The last two years have been sort of challenging as far as the markets go. So has your asset allocation shifted and do you need to shift it back or at least discuss whether you need to shift it back? So a good thing to always look at the end of the year is your asset allocation.

Next is kind of making some tax projections. Always a good time to talk with your tax preparer if you have one or if you do your taxes on your own. Kind of look at your projections this year, make an estimate as to what your income is going to be. Look at, can you delay some income till next year? Can you bring some income forward that you may have taken next year that you think your tax bracket will be lower next year? So look at all of those things as far as your tax projection goes. Kind of on those same lines. Look at your withholding. Do you need to adjust your withholding this year? Do you need to adjust your prepaid, your estimated tax payments? Always a good time to look at that when you get towards the end of the year. Next, educational savings programs.

Are you saving for someone's education in the future? Contributing to that a lot of times is you have until the end of the year to do that. And so keep that in mind. If you haven't done it yet and you are planning on it, it's getting to that time of the year. Do you want to make a gift to a family member or a charity? Remember, the gift tax exclusion for 2023 is $17,000. And so if it's you and a spouse, you can give anyone $17,000 times two because there's two of you. So $34,000 without triggering having to do a gift tax. So the gift tax exclusion is $17,000 per person. So look at that here before the end of the year. Do you have flexible savings accounts or health savings accounts? Need to make those contributions. If you have access to 'em and need to do that or want to do that, get that done before the end of the year as well.

Qualified charitable distributions or qcd S as they're called. Remember, if you're over 70 and a half, you can distribute money directly from your retirement accounts to the charity of your choice, and it does not go on your taxable income. You can do up to a hundred thousand dollars a year for that. A lot of times people use that. They've raised the age of the required minimum distribution now or the r and d, but it used to be 70 and a half for a long time and people would use those qds to send some of their required minimum distribution to their favorite charity. Now, the required minimum distribution age is higher, but you still, once you hit 70 and a half, can make those qcd to a qualified charity. So if you're going to do that there again before the end of the year, maximizing retirement contributions, if you haven't maxed out your company plan or like your 401k you have until the end of the year to do that.

If you have an IRA, remember you do, you can wait until April 15th, 2024 to make those contributions. But any kind of 401k company plan or most company plans, you have until the end of the year your required minimum distribution. I talked about that a second ago. If you have one, you have to take it before December 31st to satisfy your required minimum distribution. Don't miss that date because it's pretty painful if you do as far as your tax penalty goes. And then finally, Roth conversions. Have you looked at should you make a Roth conversion from your traditional IRA? Do that. If you're going to do it, you need to do that before the end of the year. Okay? So that's a few things to think about here before the end of the year. If you have questions about any of that, please don't hesitate to reach out. We actually have a report that from Wells Fargo Advisors that we can send you. So if you would like a copy of it, let me know. But otherwise, I hope you have a happy holiday. We look forward to a new year, and please reach out if you have any questions. Thank you.

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