Don't miss the year-end deadline to take advantage of several money-saving opportunities.
The year is almost up! December 31 is the deadline to take advantage of several money-saving opportunities.
So it’s time to make these important financial moves before it’s too late:
Money Move #1: Review Your Retirement Contributions
The contribution limits for 2014 are:
- $17,500, or $23,000 if you’re over age 50 for workplace plans
- $5,500, or $6,500 if you’re over age 50 for IRAs
If you can bump up your final contribution(s) to reach the limit, I highly recommend it—especially if you’re expecting a year-end bonus at work.
And if you’re near or over the annual limit, adjust contributions down or temporarily suspend them until after January 1.
If you didn’t get close to maxing out your retirement plan, now is the perfect time to bump up contributions for next year. For 2015, the annual limits have been increased for workplace plans (but not for IRAs) to $18,000, or $24,000 if you’re over age 50.
Make a goal to increase your contribution rate at least one percent each year so you make steady progress on your retirement goals. You probably won’t even miss the money after a couple of paychecks!
Money Move #2: Make Charitable Contributions
December is the most popular month for charitable giving. If you itemize your taxes, you’re eligible for a tax deduction on qualified donations—but they must be completed before you ring in the New Year.
Read Which Charitable Contributions are Tax-Deductible to find out more about the kinds of donations that qualify for a tax break and how much.
Money Move #3: Make Cash Gifts
If you’re thinking about helping out a family member or friend with a big holiday gift, it’s smart to do it before the end of the year. You’re allowed to give annual gifts of up to $14,000 per person, without having to pay a gift tax.
If you want to give more than $14,000, you could make one gift now and another after the New Year to avoid any tax liability.
Read or listen to 5 Best Ways for Making Loans to Family and Friends for more details. You can also check out the frequently asked gift tax questions at IRS.gov.
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