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Steps for your end-of-year financial checkup

(Brandpoint)

(Brandpoint)

The end of the year is an ideal time to reflect on your financial plan and review your savings and investing approach. Before you say goodbye to 2018, take these steps to maximize your savings and help position your portfolio favorably for the coming year:

Max out retirement savings (if you can): The end of year is a good time to evaluate your overall savings and determine if you can bump up what you’re putting away for retirement. For 2018, the maximum 401(k) contribution is $18,500. To help build your savings, it’s a good idea to take full advantage of your employee retirement plan, at least to the point of any employer match.

Rebalance your portfolio: According to Schwab’s Modern Wealth Index, only 46 percent of investors have rebalanced their portfolio in the last year. With the increased turbulence in the stock market recently, it’s possible your investment portfolios have strayed from their original target asset allocation. Rebalancing simply means selling positions that have become overweight in relation to your target allocation and moving the proceeds to positions that have become underweight.

Take advantage of lesser-known savings strategies: It’s open enrollment season, so if your employer offers a Health Savings Account (HSA) – and you qualify to contribute to one – consider opening one. HSAs are tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts available to people with high-deductible health plans. You can set aside money in an HSA, free of federal taxes, to pay for qualified medical expenses like doctor visits and prescription medications.</p

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