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Year-End Planning Checklist
Presented by Greg Patterson
The end of the year always tends to be a busy time for everyone.
If you haven’t taken a look at your financial life in a while, now is an
ideal time to consider year-end tax strategies that may benefit you
and help you plan for the year ahead.
General Wealth Management Strategies—Offset Capital Gains & Defer
• Harvest your losses by selling taxable investments, keeping in mind short
term losses are most effective at offsetting capital gains. Note: wait at least 31
days before buying back a holding sold for a loss to avoid the IRS wash sale
• Take your deductions this year (pay your 2018 Q4 state income tax payment,
medical expenses, deductible interest and alimony payments before
• Evaluate if you should delay purchasing mutual fund shares until after
January 1, 2019, to avoid capital gains taxes on brand new investments.
• Defer your year-end bonus, the sale of capital gain property and receipt of
distributions to delay income to the following year.
• Increase your W-2 federal income withholding amount in preparation for a
significant tax bill or to avoid the under-withholding tax penalty.
• If you are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), or if you are close
to being in the Alternative Minimum Tax, you should speak with your CPA or
other tax advisor before implementing these strategies.
Retirement Planning—Seize Opportunities and Avoid Missteps
Avoid mandatory tax withholding by making a direct rollover distribution to
an eligible retirement plan, including an IRA.
If you are 50 or older, take advantage of catching up on IRA contributions and
certain qualified retirement plans.
Maximize your IRA contributions.
Convert from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.
Avoid taking IRA distributions prior to age 591/2; otherwise, a 10% early
withdrawal penalty may apply.
Consider increasing your 401(k) and retirement account contributions.
Take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) if you are past the age of
Determine the optimal time to begin taking Social Security benefits, which
you can apply for between ages 62 and 70.
Explore taking employer stock under favorable tax rules.
Gifting—Give to Loved Ones and Those in Need
Gift up to $15,000 per individual in federal tax-free gifts.
Contribute to charities using appreciated stock in place of cash to reduce
capital gains in your portfolio while generating an income tax deduction.
Give an outright charitable gift of cash for an immediate income tax
Set up a Donor Advised Fund for an immediate income tax deduction and
provide immediate and future donor gifting to charity over time.
Set up a private foundation for an immediate income tax deduction and
provide complete control over current and future charitable giving.
Make a will or trust bequest so that the estate can take both income and estate
If you are over 7014 in 2018 and would like to make a donation to charity
from your IRA, you can donate up to $100,000 under favorable tax provisions
as of 2018.
Planning for 2019—Set Yourself Up for Success in the Upcoming Year
• Discuss major life events with your advisor, such as a marriage or divorce,
The Shoreline I December 2018
births or deaths in the family, job or employment changes, and significant
elective expenses (real estate purchases, college tuition payments, etc.).
• Send capital gains and investment income information to your accountant for
a more accurate year-end projection.
• Ensure your account paperwork, risk tolerance and investment objectives are
up to date with your advisor.
• Revisit contribution amounts to your 529 Plan college savings accounts.
• Review Medicare Part D plan, and make any changes needed before the open
enrollment ends on December 7.
• Double check your beneficiary designations and update as necessary.
• Check your Health Savings Account contributions for 2018, and confirm you
have spent the entire balance in your Flexible Spending Accounts.
If you have any questions or need assistance with any of the above items or other
issues related to your financial life, we are here to help. We wish you all a Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year. God Bless.
This material has been provided for general informational purposes only by
Greg Patterson of Atlantic Wealth Management located at 712 Bridges Street,
Morehead City, NC 28557. Mr. Patterson can be reached at 515-7800 or greg@
myatlanticwealth.com. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment
Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC,
a Registered Investment Adviser. This material is general in nature and does not
address your specific situation. For your specific investment needs, please discuss your
individual circumstances with your representative. Commonwealth does not provide
tax or legal advice, and nothing in the accompanying information should be construed
as specific tax or legal advice. Copyright 2018.
Meet Your Town Staff
(Continued from page 7)
is needed on the water. Not being able to imagine being involved in water rescue, I
commented on how frightening that must be at times. Dan explained that the water
doesn’t scare him, but that one must have respect for the water and learn to under
stand it. And, yes, there are times when you need to be afraid.
Dan’s wife, Stephanie, is from Beaufort. They met in 2000 and married in 2003.
She works as an insurance underwriter in Morehead City. Not surprisingly, when
together in what little spare time they have, they like to be on the water, boating and
fishing, as much as their time will allow. Dan likes to cook and is the chief breakfast
cook at the Fire Department, as well as the chef at home. Dan explains that Stepha
nie “is not too keen on cooking.” Considering that Dan is very fond of sashimi, he
might be a bit hard to cook for. On the other hand, you might not need to cook at
Something you may be surprised to know is that the Sparkses have a passion for
rescuing cats. They presently have 13 adopted cats, ranging from 1.5 to 16 years of
age. Dan explains, “We rescue, we feed, we fix, we take care of them and we love
Lillian Wall Greer