Year-End Financial Checklist

Year-End Financial Checklist

Albert Herzog IV, CFP®, CRPC®

As we wrap up the 2021 year, it’s a good time to check off those planning items that you meant to get around to doing. As a financial advisor at Executive Wealth Management, we talk about various topics with our clients throughout the year, and the following are a few of the year-end financial planning conversations we are having that you should consider.  

  1. Max your Retirement account contributions
    1. Employer Accounts. Take full advantage of any employer match benefit. In 2021, the maximum employee deferral for 401(k), 403(b), and 457 accounts is $19,500, and individuals age 50 and older can defer an additional catch-up for $6,500.
    1. IRA’s. The maximum contribution amount to a traditional or Roth IRA is $6,000, with a $1,000 catch-up for individuals age 50 and older. Be sure to review the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) limits to ensure you are eligible.
    1. Self Employed. Consider a solo 401(k). These can help boost your retirement savings and save on taxes. You must set these accounts up by December 31st.
  • Consider Roth conversions. If you have money in Traditional 401(k)s or IRAs, the period between retirement and required minimum distributions can present an excellent opportunity for Roth conversions. Now is an especially good time to consider this strategy with potential tax law changes on the horizon.
  • Review and Rebalance Portfolios. Now is a great time to rebalance your portfolio back to your target allocations. You may also find opportunities to save on taxes, such as harvesting capital losses to offset capital gains.
  • Required Minimum Distributions from Retirement accounts. If you are over 72 or have an inherited IRA, you must take a distribution based on age and marital status. These distributions are taxable unless you send them directly to a charity via a Qualified Charitable Distribution.
  • Utilize the Tax Benefits of Charitable Giving. The above-the-line deduction under the CARES Act was extended to 2021, which means you can deduct up to $300 per person ($600 for joint filers) for cash charitable contributions. For larger gifts, you may consider donating appreciated stocks instead of cash. By donating appreciated stock, you remove the tax liability from being your responsibility – fulfilling your charitable desires while being strategically smart with your wealth.

The process of finding a charity and donating money seems simple. However, just like portfolio asset allocation, slightly different approaches can yield dramatically different results. Please consult your financial, tax, or legal advisor for specifics on how making planned gifts can help you.

There are many variables that play a role in your financial success, but these items above should serve as a good starting point for deeper conversations about maximizing your financial position.

Albert Herzog IV, CFP®, CRPC® may be reached at 810.229.6446 or

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Securities are offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. EWM does not offer tax or legal advice.

Executive Wealth Management (EWM) is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Reference to registration does not imply any specific level of qualification or skill. Investment Advisor Representatives of EWM offer Investment Advice and Financial Planning Services to customers located within the United States.