Russ Caffry from People's United Bank joins us to talk about some year-end financial planning issues.
Year End Planning Issues
With the end of 2012 approaching, what are some year end financial planning issues that viewers should be thinking about?
Of course taxes always come to mind when looking at year-end issues, especially this year when we don't know what income tax rates will be in 2013. We recommend to our clients that they look at year-to-date income and realized gains and work with their tax advisors to plan any actions they may want to take.
For many people this usually means trying to see if they can pay less in taxes. However with the tax rate uncertainty for next year some people may want to incur gains this year when they know what the rates will be rather than take their chances next year. @
Gifting is something else that people should be looking at before the end of the year. We recommend that people consider making charitable gifts that may be deductible on their 2012 taxes and also gifts to family members.
For people who may face estate taxes, they can gift $13,000 annually to any individual without the gift counting against their lifetime exclusion. For married couples, they can give a total of $26,000 to an individual. We think it's especially important to consider gifting since just like with income tax rates we don't know what the federal estate tax exclusion or estate tax rates will be next year.
For those of us over 50 and contributing to retirement savings plans like 401k's or 403b's, people should look at how much they've saved so far this year and whether they can make catch-up contributions before the end of the year to max out their savings.
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