November and December are the two months of the year that it seems like we all hit the fast-forward button on. Family gatherings, grandiose holiday dinners, and general end-of-year tasks leave us with calendars packed to the brim. Amidst all the holiday hubbub you might try to get your house into a (somewhat) organized shape, finally make that doctor or dentist visit that you’ve been putting off the entire year, and ultimately get the ball rolling on some plans you have for 2019.
At our office, the holiday season is admittedly less hectic compared to the rest of the year. Most people aren’t thinking about their financial portfolio; they’ve got side dishes to prepare and gifts to wrap. Nonetheless, every time January rolls around it suddenly hits everyone that tax season cometh. I’ve seen many clients in a panic thinking there’s no way they’ll get everything handled by April, wondering what they could’ve done to save themselves a paperwork overload.
Realistically, I know no one really wants to think about taxes or market predictions while surrounded by good food and friends. Personally, I’ve got a grandkid on the way and boat trips to plan for the coming year, so I understand holiday distractions! There’s a giant list of things I could say we all “should do” to prepare for next year…but you likely don’t have the time for 99% of those things, and then just end up doing none of them.
This week, I want to hit on the most important steps you can start taking now in order to avoid a headache come tax time. I know that the holiday season means we have packed schedules, but if you can make time to follow the tips below, you’ll be thanking yourself come January.
See? Not so bad. These four items can theoretically be knocked out in one day if you have the patience for it or spread out a little each week as we work our way to January. Ultimately, I just want everyone to keep in mind that the worst way to start off the new year is saying “I wish I had done xyz in the past”. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to focus on your new 2019 financial goals, rather than ask yourself what you did with all of 2018.