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Local financial professional: Make money moves now

Even though tax season formally begins in April, acting now can reduce your overall tax burden.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- If you want to set yourself up for a successful new year and future, it is never too early to start making money moves. Local financial professional Tim Kulhanek, with Stonebridge Insurance and Wealth Management, says making a plan for your money is a good start.

What money moves should we consider?

  • Resolutions rarely stick; instead of setting sky-high goals for yourself, set specific, measurable and realistic financial objectives

  • Be diligent: Set deadlines, track your progress and hold yourself accountable whenever you fall short

  • If it all feels like too much, make an appointment with a financial professional to lay out a unique plan

Maximize your retirement savings

  • Americans as a whole are underprepared for retirement, with more than one-third saying they’ve never had a retirement account at all

  • Make contributions to your retirement fund every month

  • You can contribute up to $22,500 in your 401(k) and up to $6,500 in your IRA; those 50 and older can add an extra $6,500 to their 401(k) and an additional $1,000 to an IRA

  • The contributions you make to your 401(k) reduce your taxable income for the year

  • By increasing your contributions, you will be taking home less money, but you could be paying less in taxes while saving more for your future

Rebalance your portfolio

  • Your investments should have the appropriate amount of diversification and risk for your unique circumstances

  • As you get closer to retirement, rebalancing your portfolio to reduce its exposure to risk can help prevent it from losing value right when you need it most

  • If your account assets are down, it may be worth considering converting a traditional retirement account to a Roth IRA

  • While you’ll have to pay taxes on these converted assets now, the good news is that you can withdraw them tax-free in the future

Plan for taxes

  • If your taxable investment accounts have suffered losses this year, tax-loss harvesting is a strategy some investors can use to sell investments at a loss to help offset the taxes they have to pay on other gain; you can then buy different investments so you don’t lock in your losses if the market rises in the future

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