Are You Ready For A New Year? 5 Steps To Take Before You Say Hello To 2020

By Jeff Gilbert

This year (and decade!) is quickly coming to a close, and if you’re like most Americans, you spend the month of December neck-deep in Christmas parties, shopping for gifts, and planning for travel. You might think that managing your finances can wait as you deal with the holiday busyness, but since finance-related resolutions consistently fall in the top five most popular New Year’s resolutions, (1) why don’t you give yourself a head start on your 2020 financial goals? Here are 5 critical financial actions you’ll be glad you tackled when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve!

1. Celebrate Victories And Set New Goals

What financial goals did you set when you rung in 2019? Did you stay on top of those goals or did they get swept under the rug? Take this time to reflect on the past year and mark how far you’ve come, celebrating your progress, no matter how small! Then evaluate your saving and spending from the past year, set some new goals, and adjust your financial plan, taking into account any life changes such as marriage, relocation, or a job change. 

2. Bump Up Your Savings

If possible, max out your contributions to your 401(k) by the end of the year to make the most of your retirement savings. For 2019, you can contribute as much as $19,000 (or $25,000 if you are age 50 or older). Remember, these are your contribution limits and any employer match would be in addition to this. You might also consider contributing to a Roth IRA. For 2019, you can contribute as much as $6,000 (or $7,000 if you are age 50 or older). Finish the year strong by investing in your future!

3. Take Advantage of Your Employer Benefits

While every employer has different rules that apply to the benefits they offer their employees, many benefits expire or reset at the end of the year. You work hard for these perks, so be sure to use them!

Medical and Dental Benefits

At the beginning of 2019, did you have good intentions of taking care of some dental work, blood tests, or other medical procedures lingering on your to-do list? Now’s the time to take advantage of all your healthcare needs before your deductible resets. Dental plans in particular often have a maximum coverage amount. If you haven’t used up the full amount and anticipate any treatments, make it a priority to set an appointment before December 31st.

Flexible Spending Account

Like your health insurance benefits, you’ll want to use up as much of your FSA (flexible spending account) dollars as possible by the end of the year. You are only allowed to carry over $500 to the next plan year. Check the restrictions on your account to see what the money can and cannot be used for, and take care of any needs you may have as allowed by your plan.

Sick and Vacation Time

Depending on your company, your sick or vacation time might expire at the end of the year. Check with your HR department to learn about any expiration dates. If it does expire, fit in a last-minute vacation or even a staycation. If you need to make any trips to the doctor in the near future, schedule those appointments now to make use of these benefits before you lose them.

4. Make Some Updates

To your estate plan and insurance coverage, that is. If you have taken the time and energy to create an estate plan, you’ll want to check in periodically to ensure all the documents are up to date and no major details have changed. Any significant life event is a good time to think about updating your estate plan documents. If you change any of the beneficiaries in one place, such as a life insurance policy, make sure that they are consistent with the other documents so that there is no confusion. 

Your insurance needs may have changed as the year has gone on, which is why it’s important to regularly review your insurance coverages and your designated beneficiaries to make sure they are up to date and reflect your current financial situation. For example, if you’ve paid off debt and your youngest child has just graduated from college, you may not need as much life insurance coverage since your family’s needs and liabilities have decreased. You might also want to evaluate your need for other types of insurance you may not currently have, such as long-term care insurance.

5. Give, Then Give Some More

If gifting is one of your long-term financial goals, it’s never too early to start planning for the legacy you want to leave your loved ones without sharing a good portion of it with Uncle Sam.

Each year you can gift up to $15,000 to as many people as you wish without those gifts counting against your lifetime exemption of $11.4 million. If you’ve yet to gift this year or haven’t reached the $15,000 limit for a particular recipient, make sure you do this by December 31st.

If you’re planning to itemize deductions on your 2019 tax return, be sure to make your charitable contributions before the end of the year. This includes donating appreciated securities, which may help you avoid paying taxes on the gains. Along with your other tax documents, find and organize any receipts you have from donations to charities, whether made in cash, as a securities contribution, or other type of gift.

End The Year Strong

Which of these steps do you need to take before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? Our team at Balboa Wealth Partners would love to help you finish the year strong and set you up for a successful 2020. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com to get started today! 

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

____________

(1) https://vitagene.com/blog/most-popular-2019-new-years-resolution/

BWP Weekly Market Commentary

Welcome Our New Team Members!

By Jeff Gilbert

Balboa Wealth Partners is thrilled to welcome two new additions to our team, Aarone Tirpak and Mark Zielinski! We love that our firm is growing and expanding, and we are thankful to have these two extraordinary advisors here to provide our clients with even more expertise, passion, and skill. 

Meet Aarone

Aarone joins us from Wells Fargo, where he excelled in his job as a producing branch manager. He has been in the financial industry for over three decades, beginning with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in the early ’90s and leading to opportunities to work with mass affluent clients throughout the country. He’s held various roles, including managing an advisory branch with over $1 billion in client assets, assisting clients with retirement planning, overall planning and asset management needs, as well as coaching other advisors so they can develop their own best practices to better serve their clients. He has also spent some time providing financial wellness education lectures for several Fortune 500 companies, special interest groups, and local municipal venues. 

Aarone thrives on helping his clients find confidence in their financial decision-making process and supporting fellow advisors with any and all insights and skills he has gained over the years. 

Meet Mark

Mark Zielinski has a rich and deep background in the financial industry with 38 years of experience both in investment and wealth management and financial advisor recruiting. He’s held executive roles in branch/complex and regional management with Prudential Securities, Piper Jaffray, and Wells Fargo Advisors.  He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, as well as a certificate in executive development from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark is known for being an exceptional communicator and excels in breaking down ideas into simple and easy-to-understand concepts. Mark earns client and team member trust quickly and is regularly sought after for leadership positions. He is a calculated risk-taker who balances both facts and intuition, a strategy that has proved successful in his almost four-decade career. Mark is passionate about helping people grow their businesses while building exceptional lives. 

Welcome Aarone And Mark

We believe Aarone and Mark will be powerful additions to our team and we encourage you to welcome them to the firm when you come by! If you would like to meet our new advisors or find out what Balboa Wealth Partners can do for your financial life, give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.