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Year-End Financial Planning


Remaining yellow leaves on trees, Radnor Financial Center

Some of the last leaves at Radnor Financial Center this year.

The last quarter is perhaps the busiest time of year at TGS Financial as we quarterback the meeting of deadlines at the intersections of tax planning, estate planning, retirement plan contributions, and required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Gains & Losses Reports

Each November, we send investment gains and losses reports to many of our clients’ accountants, as that information can be helpful when tax filings are prepared. If your accountant is not designated as a trusted contact and you’d like him or her to receive your report or review your tax planning with your advisor, please call the office and we’ll get you set up.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Each year we track and make sure that necessary distributions happen for our RMD-obliged clients (those who are 70½ and older or who have inherited IRAs). At this time of year, we’re reaching out to all clients whose RMDs have not yet been met.

Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) allow those who are 70½ or older to exclude up to $100,000 from gross income for donations paid directly to a qualified charity from an IRA. Such a donation can be used to satisfy an IRA RMD, but the QCD check must be cashed by the receiving charity before December 31 for it to count as a QCD in any given year.

Other Gifting

If you plan on making a contribution to a qualified charity, college or other not-for-profit organization, consider donating appreciated stock that you’ve held for more than a year rather than cash. This may allow you to deduct the gift and avoid paying tax on the appreciation.

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) may allow you to take a tax deduction for contributions in the current tax year, even if you don’t distribute money to charities from the fund until future years. DAFs are easy to use and can be particularly powerful if you’re in a much higher tax bracket in the current year than in future years.

Retirement Plan Contributions

Your savings rate is arguably the most important indicator of your financial success, and there is usually no better place to save than in tax-deferred qualified retirement plans.

While Traditional and Roth IRAs don’t need to be funded until you pay your taxes, 401(k)s, including solo 401(k)s, have year-end contribution deadlines.

The 2018 contribution limits for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 and TSP plans are $18,500 for those 49 and younger, and $24,500 for those 50 and older (assuming the plan allows it and income restrictions don’t apply). In 2019, these limits rise to $19,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Roth Conversions

To convert or not to convert from a Traditional to a Roth IRA is a decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis. Our Roth conversion analysis takes several factors into account, including your current and future tax brackets, projected retirement age, IRA balances, and the method by which you’ll pay conversion taxes.

Talk to Your Advisor

If you’d like to know more about these topics, please reach out to your advisor as soon as possible. Time is growing quite short in 2018!


Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by TGS Financial Advisors), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this article will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this article serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from TGS Financial Advisors. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. TGS Financial Advisors is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of this article’s content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the TGS Financial Advisors’ current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.

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