Falling into Year-End Financial Planning

Fall signals change: cooler weather, return to school, and football games are just a few of the trademarks of Fall in Iowa. These changes also serve as a reminder that the year is coming to an end. Between now and the New Year there is still plenty of time to improve your overall financial picture through proactive planning. Here is a list of topics to consider as we head into the final months of 2023:

  • Focus on Tax-Conscious Charitable Giving With charities reaching out for donations, it is prudent to review how you have been making your charitable contributions and whether it is the most tax-efficient manner. 
    • Gifting a long-term appreciated security directly to a charity allows you to avoid having to sell the security and realize the gain associated with the sale, potentially saving taxes. 
    • If you are over the age of 70 ½, you can utilize Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD), whereby you gift money out of an IRA directly to a qualified charity. Amounts distributed as a QCD are not included in your taxable income.
    • Consider establishing a Donor Advised Fund. These allow you to bunch together multiple years of donations into one tax year. This can be helpful if you have higher income this year than you expect in future years, or if you swing between using the standard deduction and itemizing.
  • Create a Strategic Plan for Your Retirement Income
    • Many times, there are years between when a person retires and when their required minimum distribution starts at either age 73 or 75. This “gap” in income can present an opportunity for tax planning. For example, if you are retired and your income is lower than anticipated in future years, consider filling up lower tax brackets by utilizing a Roth conversion. This involves transferring assets from a pre-tax retirement account into a Roth IRA. While the conversion is considered taxable income for the current year, you may be paying less tax today than you would in the future, plus you are converting money into an account that can grow tax-free.
  • Review your Portfolio for Tax Efficiency
    • Equity markets have been mixed this year, so it is timely to review your overall portfolio allocation and rebalance as needed, making sure your level of risk still aligns with your long-term goals. 
    • Consider reviewing what accounts you hold specific investments in. By placing less tax-efficient investments in tax-advantaged accounts, rather than taxable accounts, you can optimize your portfolio’s performance.
    • Look for opportunities to harvest any capital losses in taxable accounts if this can benefit you with regards to your taxes.

As you gear up for year-end, make sure that you take time to review your financial plan. If you would like to discuss how these or other strategies might improve your financial picture, we’re here to help.


Mike Giudici, CFP®, MBA is a senior director of wealth management with Choreo, an independent firm focused on redefining the RIA’s place in the wealth advisory industry. He helps clients navigate all areas of their financial lives. www.choreoadvisors.com

Choreo, LLC is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training of the adviser or its representatives.

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