Taxes — If you have a taxable brokerage account, it’s probably a good idea to check on your realized gains and losses for the year, and to see what year-end distributions might still be coming. Even if we haven’t made many trades in your account this year, some mutual funds have significant taxable gains to distribute. We may be able to offset some of those gains, since many accounts have a couple of funds currently in the red.
Maximum Contributions for 2014 — If you have an retirement savings account with us, or make periodic contributions to a plan at work, you might want to review the contributions you’ve made to those accounts this year. The maximum contribution limits for 2014 for the most popular retirement savings vehicles are:
- $17,500 into 401(k), 403(b), TSP, and most 457 plans — plus $5,500 “catch-up” contributions if you’re over 50;
- $5,500 into a Traditional or Roth IRA — plus $1,000 “catch-up” contribution;
- $12,000 into a SIMPLE IRA — plus $2,500 “catch-up” contribution;
- 25% of your gross income, up to a maximum of $52,000, into a SEP IRA, though there’s no “catch-up” provision.
These contributions can be made now, or can be delayed until as late as next April 15, but sooner is better. (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/OC-Midyearretirementsavingscheckup2014.pdf)
Maximum Contributions for 2015 — And while we’re thinking about contributing to your retirement savings accounts, you might want to consider making your annual contribution as soon as possible, rather than later. Recent research by IRA expert Ed Slott shows that making a lump-sum contribution to your IRA in January will, over the long haul, be far better than waiting until the last minute or making periodic smaller contributions. (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/fund-ira-early-to-grow-bigger-account-1.aspx)
Let us know if you’re not sure which type of retirement savings accounts you might have available to you or be eligible for. We may be able to help you get started.