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Monday, November 28, 2022

Your Money: Welcome to the second term; here is a to-do list

With the first three months of 2022 behind you, this is a good time to take stock of your financial plan. In this follow-up article, we focus on the items that can help you stick to a well-composed financial plan in the coming term.

These Are Portraits Of Bruce Helmer And Peg Webb, Financial Advisors At Wealth Enhancement Group And Pioneer Press Business Columnists
Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb

BE AWAREN THE WARNING FOR IDENTIFYING THEFT

Friday was April Fool’s Day – and a good time to make sure no one is mocking your credit card or bank accounts. More than 98.2 million people were affected by the 10 biggest data breaches during the first half of 2021, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And while most victims report losing less than $ 500, 21% say they lost more than $ 20,000 to identity criminals, according to the ITRC.

With offenses and identity theft on the rise, some people have turned to credit monitoring services for protection. These services automatically notify you of errors or inconsistencies in your credit reports so that you can proactively address potential misuse of your personal information. The three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – should give you free access to your credit report once a year to help with red flag errors or attacks on your credit. It is important to stay alert for the identity theft warning signs that may be hiding in this post (s). Indicative signs of potential identity theft include: payments reported that you did not make, credit accounts that you did not recognize, spelling errors with your name and address, and court decisions that you do not know (indicating that someone may be claiming you are in a court case).

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TAX SUBMISSION DAY AND TAX FREEDOM DAY NEAR

This year, your 2021 federal tax return is payable on April 18 (state enrollments differ: Minnesota residents have until April 18). Make sure you have calculated your traditional or Roth IRA contributions for 2021. Remember, once the dust has settled, take your completed tax return to your financial advisor to review your 2022 tax strategy. Pay special attention to taxable income reported from 1099-INT and 1099-DIV. This is a good time to determine if your investments – especially those of passive investments that are kept out of qualified plans, such as ETFs – are really tax efficient.

April 18 is also this year Tax Freedom Day. Tax Freedom Day represents how long Americans have to work to pay the country’s tax burden. It’s also an opportunity to see how well your tax-deferred 401 (k) and / or tax-exempt Roth IRA is helping your progress toward your retirement goals.

CARE FOR OLDER PARENTS

Mother’s Day is May 8 and Father’s Day is June 19. If you have aging parents, you are probably thinking about their financial and emotional well-being. Take time these days to reflect on the state of your parents’ finances, health care needs, life arrangements and estate plan. Maybe it’s time to have that difficult-but-necessary talk about their lives’ next chapter.

Know that if you care for the elderly, you are not alone: ​​The older population is already large and will continue to grow significantly in the future, which will undoubtedly put a “boomer” stamp on every aspect of life. Several statistics confirm this: Although it makes up 16% of the total American population, more than two-fifths (41%) of the American “baby tree” generation is now 65 or older. Among older adults aged 65+, 61% lived with their spouse / partner in 2020, and about 27% alone. By 2040, there will be approximately 81 million older people living in the U.S., more than twice as many as in 2000, according to the Administration for Community Living’s 2020 profile of older Americans.

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THE HALFWAY POINT IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY

We will be halfway through the year on June 30th. This is a good time to check your progress since you set your annual goals in January. Spending higher than you hoped? Track your spending for the next three months to see where it all goes. Are you making progress with that fitness program? Remember, small changes in your behavior can produce impressive results over time. The most important thing is to do your best to stay on target – but do not punish yourself if you make a small mistake.

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