TIP OF THE WEEK
Amidst a frenzy of holiday parties and family gatherings, it can be easy to lose sight of your financial goals. But 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.
According to Forbes, the highest-paid radio hosts for 2018 are:
1. Howard Stern ($90 million)
2. Rush Limbaugh ($84.5 million)
3. Ryan Seacrest ($74 million)
4. Sean Hannity ($36 million)
5. Glenn Beck ($8.5 million)
NUMBER TO KNOW
46 million: The Transportation Security Administration recently estimated a record 46 million people will fly during the 2018-19 holiday season.
California won’t tax text messages
A plan to tax text messages in California has been abandoned by state regulators. California had hoped to add new monthly fees onto wireless customers’ bills to increase funding for programs to help bring connectivity to underserved residents, but the Federal Communications Commission ruled on Dec. 12 that text messages were an “information service” and not a “telecommunications service.” The California Public Utilities Commission withdrew the text tax proposal, which was scheduled to be voted on by regulators on Jan. 10, after the FCC’s ruling.
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