It is time now on KROS for Financial Focus, brought to you by NelsonCorp Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this show are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Any indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly, registered representative securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Incorporated, a broker-dealer member FINRA, SIPC, investment advisor, representative Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Incorporated, a registered investment advisor. Cambridge and NelsonCorp Wealth Management are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax advice. Now here’s today’s financial focus program.
Good morning and welcome to this week’s Financial Focus brought to you each and every Wednesday morning right here on KROS. Well, this is Nate Kreinbrink bringing you today’s show. Hard to believe, last show of August. We will be flipping the calendar over to September here shortly. School’s back in session, hopefully kids, parents, teachers, staff, everybody back into that school routine now, their normal schedule. Fall activities in full swing, football schedules, volleyball schedules, cross country, golf, just back in full swing seeing and go. And again, Labor Day weekend this weekend. And again in our household, it’s kind of the unofficial end to summer, I guess you would say.
Looking at it from that standpoint, you flip over and now you’re into September. Again, days have started to get shorter. You will start to see again probably after this next heat wave that we are having for the weekend where it’s supposed to be back up into the nineties, things start to cool off, cooler evenings, start to see all the fall stuff transition out and getting into that. But again, hard to believe we are that far into the year. It has definitely flown by, but I hope everybody has a enjoyable Labor Day weekend coming up.
With that, I wanted to talk a little bit from today’s program. I know a big hype gets to spring-cleaning and freshing up after, the look at that as a flip side of that and what should you be looking at towards the end of the year? And then from a financial standpoint, there is some time left still in the year to be able to do some of these plans, looking at everything and making sure that you are still on track from a financial standpoint.
One of the items I wanted to talk about was again, what is your budget now that maybe your schedule has changed. Again, kids home for the summer, you maybe have a different budget with them being home. Now that they’re back in school, what does that new budget look like? And making sure that we are still on schedule with your income, with your bills, with your debt, with your savings. Where are we still at on that timeframe? Are we still being able to save what we can, and still from a finance standpoint be able to continue that budget? And if there is anything left over at the end, what debt do we have to maybe pay a little bit extra to pay that down?
And again, with where interest rates are compared to where they were say 12 months, 16 months ago, it’s important to look at that and understand, again, borrowing money now versus money that maybe has already been borrowed, what are the different interest rates on some of the loans that you have out there? And again, understanding that we want to possibly look at attacking the higher interest rate loan than what we have on there, if we do want to put anything additional into there, or look at it from an additional savings standpoint.
Again, bring into September and is getting closer to the end of the year. There are some things financially that have that 12-31 deadline. Any contributions that you make to a retirement plan through your employer, those contributions have to be in by 12-31 to be counted for your 2023 tax return. Now that is different than any savings into an IRA account or a Roth IRA account, which carry a tax deadline. Usually right around that April 15th mark, you’re able to make a prior year contribution. That deadline though is only for IRA accounts and Roth accounts. Anything into, like I mentioned, employer sponsored plan has to be in by that 12-31. And we’ve talked on the show too about doing Roth conversions, basically converting money from that tax deferred world, the traditional IRA into a tax-free world with the Roth. Any of those conversions need to be done by 1231. So again, we’ve got some time to do a little bit of planning, meeting with your accountant.
We’ve had Mike and Andy from NelsonCorp Tax Solutions on talking about the importance of that planning. If you’re looking at doing that, now is the time to do that. Don’t wait until December 30th and think we’re going to be able to do that and get it in. Let’s start that planning process and understanding to say, okay, where am I at from a tax standpoint if I do look at any conversions I have up until that 12-31 deadline, but let’s start looking at that now. The earlier you do, the better off you’re going to be and the less rush you’re going to be with it.
And secondly, let’s take a look at where our investments are. And again, we had a little bit of volatility that we had in the markets last year. This year we’ve seen a little bit of upward trending in some of that, but understanding where are your investments right now, again, with some of this market fluctuations that we’ve seen just recently. But again, depending on how frequently you look at your allocations and rebalance them back to where you feel comfortable, they may be out of skew a little bit with what you’re comfortable with.
Again, we want to take a look at that, understanding what type of investments we are, what exposure we have in there, and how they perform differently in different types of environments, whether it’s a, again, rising interest rate environment. If we get to a point where interest rates start to either plateauing or coming down, how does that impact some of the possible allocations that you have inside your plan? But again, is it US? Is it international? Is it growth? Is it value? Is it large cap? Is it small cap?
Again, like most people, they don’t understand, again, the differences between this. They just pick a couple of funds when they first started their plan. That’s where it’s going into and that’s where they continues to go into. But again, things change. Possibly your risk tolerance changes, your needs and everything for those account change, we want to make sure that our allocations and anything from that is reflected accordingly.
Also, as we get closer to the end of the year, and while you’re doing some of these checklist items, it’s important to take a look at your beneficiaries. Has there been a life-changing event that has happened throughout the course of the year so far where we need to update beneficiaries? You got married, you got divorced, maybe a parent that you had listed or whatever passed away and we need to update that or whatever the case it may be, but looking at your beneficiaries on a regular basis, making sure that they still reflect who it is that you want your assets to go to, should you pass away, making sure they’re current and then updating them again. If there’s any life-changing event that may have occurred, we want to make sure that those beneficiaries get updated to reflect that as well.
Another item that we’ve talked about a little bit on this show, is tax loss harvesting. This applies to those non-qualified investment accounts. If you have positions in there that show some gains or maybe some that show some losses, understanding that again, we could maybe offset some of those gains by looking at harvesting them against some of those losses. Again, it’s something that again, you can work with with your advisor, with your accountant to understand where you’re at and understand where you are at on the capital gains tax schedule. Okay, if you do harvest some of those gains, what are you going to be looking at? Are they long-term gains? Are they short-term gains? Have you had them for longer than a year, or have they been less than a year? Are you going to be paying a 0% capital gains or do you go up into the 15% bracket with that? So again, a lot of things that you want to start looking at to, again, get us to the end of the year, making sure that your financial roadmap per se, that you are on, is still on track.
And again, if you’re like our household, okay, having a family of five all back home for the summertime before the oldest one goes back to school. Kids are back in school then in high school and grade school, they’re on the meal plan. Again, looking at some of this, our budgets do change a little bit as far as when you go with that. Again, wintertime utilities change if you’re not on a fixed plan budget. Again, understanding that ongoing budget, and again, if you’re kind of unsure as to where that falls, I encourage you very, very strongly to start creating one within your own household. Start looking at what you pay for all of your utility bills. Keep track of that as far as how they do that. And then again, if you continue to do that year after year after year, you’ll start to see trends where you spend more, spend less in certain months as far as for those utilities.
Any other bills, cable, internet, phones, again, keep track of what we are paying for all of that. And then again, all your other expenses. How much do we spend on average in groceries? Are we eating out? Are we discretionary income, fuel, all that type of stuff. But again, once you get in the habit of keeping track of that, you’ll be able to fine tune your budget pretty directly and understand exactly where your money is going to each month. And a lot of times when people do that for the first time, they see that they’re spending X amount of dollars on this, that they never realized that it was adding up to that amount at the end of a month. Again, just something simple that you can do, but it’ll help you.
Again, especially if you’re getting closer to retirement, it is an extremely important exercise to do to make sure that you are still on track, to see how much you are going to need, not just now, but when you get to retirement, how much you are going to need as far as from a cashflow standpoint. Again, if you are closer to making it to that transition into retirement, you’re going to know what you’re going to have and be able to make that decision with confidence that you can make it work.
Any questions on any of that, give us a call, I’d be happy to help you out. Did want to mention real quick though, before we run out of time, that every Friday, NelsonCorp Wealth Management and NelsonCorp Tax Solutions are wearing jeans for charity. Money raised in the month of August will be donated to the Duke Slater Memorial Statue and Scholarship Fund. Again, this is Nate Kreinbrink with NelsonCorp Wealth Management, bringing you this week’s financial focus. Thanks for tuning in, tuning in, and have a great rest of your week.
Financial Focus is a production of NelsonCorp Wealth Management in Clinton and Davenport. The opinions voiced in the show are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Any indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Registered representative securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Incorporated, a broker dealer member FINRA, SIPC, investment advisor representative Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Incorporated, a registered investment advisor. Cambridge and NelsonCorp Wealth Management are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax advice. For more information, visit our website at www.nelsoncorp.com.