Smart Money Moves to Make Before Year End

You can take action now to lower your taxes, save money and enhance your finances for 2022.

photo of person jumping between 2021 and 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As 2021 heads into the history books, here are some things you can do to start 2022 on your best financial footing. Whether it’s to maximize your stock investments, minimize your taxes, get the most out of your employee health accounts or even stay on top of expiring credit card rewards, now is a good time to:

Tune Up Your Stock Portfolio

With all that’s happened this year, this is a good time to make sure your stock investments are aligned for your goals. It’s likely that your portfolio will need to be rebalanced. It’s been a volatile few months, and you can leverage this to your advantage. You’ll also want to account for the potential for higher interest rates in the coming months. Here’s some guidance to attending to your stocks at the end of the year.—Read more

Make These Moves to Lower Your Tax Bill

Things you do now can have a significant impact on the amount of taxes you have to pay in April. We have a list of 10 things you can do to make sure you've done what you can to make that figure as low as possible.

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Whether it’s to prepay bills for deductible expenses or to sell investments that have lost value, there are things you should do this time of year to make sure you’re not paying unnecessary money to Uncle Sam.

You should also max out your tax deductible retirement savings and contributions. Check your charitable donations to make the most of their impact on your taxes, whether you itemize or not.

And if you're thinking of investing in a mutual fund at the end of the year, make sure to check when the fund is paying it's capital gain distribution. You don’t want to pay tax on gains you didn’t enjoy. —Read more

Pay Attention to Your Retirement Savings

The IRS imposes limits on how much you can contribute to retirement accounts that receive special tax treatment. For 401(k)s, those limits this year are $19,500 or up to $26,000 if you’re 50 or older by the end of the year. For IRAs, the limits are $6,000 or $7,000, depending on your age.

Accounts for self-employed individuals also have limits.

To maximize your retirement savings, check out these ways to boost your retirement savings at the end of the year. —Read more

Manage Your Employee Health Benefits

Both flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts deserve your attention this time of year.

With FSAs, you need to make sure you’re not going to lose unspent funds. So this may be a time to schedule medical appointments or make certain purchases.

With HSAs, you don’t have to worry about losing unspent funds. But you may want to maximize the money you have set aside for future health expenses, including, potentially, during retirement. —Read more

Remember Your Credit Card Rewards

Credit card rewards expire, and they can be a moving target. Some cards have relaxed those expiration dates because of the pandemic.

The end of the year is a good time to check your rewards and ensure that you don’t let them expire before you can use them. —Read more