The end of each year is a great time to take stock of many areas of life. One place that deserves consideration is personal finance. Here are some financial moves to consider making before 2020 comes to a close.
Tax Loss Harvesting
While 2020 has generally been a good year for the major stock indicators like the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, many companies have seen the price of their stock fall. This provides an excellent opportunity to take advantage of tax-loss harvesting. By selling stocks or funds that have lost value, it’s possible to write off the loss for tax purposes. There is a limit of $3,000 against non-investment income. However, any losses that exceed this annual limit can carry over to future years to reduce taxable income.
Review of Insurance Coverage
Insurance costs tend to go up over time. While many people have their options related to health insurance limited by their employer, there are many auto, life, and home insurance options. Getting a few insurance quotes can be a great way to save money. Insurance is a necessary purchase that can mitigate risk, but it’s unnecessary to pay more than the bare minimum for comparable coverage.
Consider Roth Conversions
Many American workers have 401(k) plans leftover from previous employers. Those who have a relatively low marginal tax rate might want to consider converting their old 401(k) investments into a Roth IRA. This will likely increase a household’s tax bill in the current year, but it can be a great move at low tax rates. Roth IRAs do not incur taxation when withdrawals take place. This means that a Roth account’s investments can grow indefinitely and allow future retirees to avoid a big tax bill.
Those with debts might want to look into refinancing them. This might involve a credit card balance transfer or refinancing a home mortgage. Interest rates are near record lows, and refinancing any debt can allow borrowers to save thousands in interest costs over the life of an outstanding loan. This can free up cash flow every month, or it could cut down on the length of time a family stays in debt. Lower interest rates can provide a win-win situation for those who take advantage of them.