Author Topic: End of year....  (Read 1879 times)

firescape

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End of year....
« on: December 18, 2017, 07:38:36 PM »
Is there something in this forum (thread or sticky), that lays out what I should be considering, with regard to my investments, as the year end approaches?
I was just re-reading the 'Investment Order', and it occurred to me that if would be great to find something concise like that, but geared toward end of the year--Here is what you should consider, and the order you should consider it in.... I've looked by haven't seen anything.
Any advice?
Thanks.

Timodeus

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 07:24:07 AM »
I think this would be valuable. I was reviewing estimated tax information for next year and was considering doing some selling of taxable investments before the end of year to adjust my basis higher. I will be doing some re-balancing as well.  A short check-list sticky I think would be helpful to catch all the little helpful year-end tasks to maximize savings for this year and sufficiently prepare for the next.

toganet

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 07:37:01 AM »
I was looking for something similar yesterday as well.  With the tax bill likely being signed and some changes taking effect in 2018, I think there are probably some unique actions that might make sense this year end vs. other years, as well.

firescape

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 06:48:13 PM »
Ok, great. I hoped there would be others out there that would use something like this.
Let's hope more people post.

ILikeDividends

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 06:58:13 PM »
Ok, great. I hoped there would be others out there that would use something like this.
Let's hope more people post.

I would venture a guess that any specific end-of-year strategies would have more to do with timing the market, rather than anything else.

That's kind of antithetical to the stay-the-course approach advocated by most on this forum.  Apart from rebalancing your asset allocation annually (at minimum) there's really not much else to strategize.

Start taking profits when you retire, as you need to.  This is not a year after year decision you should need to make, while you are in the accumulation phase.

maizeman

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 06:59:33 PM »
I agree this would be a useful checklist.

Items I can think of:

First things first estimate what your marginal tax rate is going to be based on all the data you have to date.

Any leftover 401k space (particularly solo 401k where you can do both employee and employer contributions)? It's use it or lose it, so try to fill it up before the end of the year. (You have more time before you have to make the decision on IRA contributions.)

If your marginal rate is going to be high, decide whether it makes sense to do some tax loss harvesting.

If it looks like your marginal rate is going to be lower than expected, consider doing some Traditional to Roth IRA rollovers.

Radagast

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 10:54:48 PM »
I'll tack mine onto maizeman.
First things first estimate what your marginal tax rate is going to be based on all the data you have to date.

Any leftover 401k space (particularly solo 401k where you can do both employee and employer contributions)? It's use it or lose it, so try to fill it up before the end of the year. (You have more time before you have to make the decision on IRA contributions.) including HSA, 457, and all the other options that may be available to you.

If your marginal rate is going to be high, decide whether it makes sense to do some tax loss harvesting. If it will be 15% or less (as of 2017), consider tax gain harvesting on taxable investments more than 1 year old, but do not sell enough to exceed the 15% marginal rate.

If it looks like your marginal rate is going to be lower than expected, consider doing some Traditional to Roth IRA rollovers. I assume this takes up gain harvesting space, so you might have to choose.

Rebalance if your schedule calls for it, though there is no particular reason to think that rebalanceing annually at the end of the year is better than other times, frequencies, or methods.

firescape

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 05:39:49 PM »
Ok, great. I hoped there would be others out there that would use something like this.
Let's hope more people post.

I would venture a guess that any specific end-of-year strategies would have more to do with timing the market, rather than anything else.

That's kind of antithetical to the stay-the-course approach advocated by most on this forum.  Apart from rebalancing your asset allocation annually (at minimum) there's really not much else to strategize.

Start taking profits when you retire, as you need to.  This is not a year after year decision you should need to make, while you are in the accumulation phase.
Thanks for the response. To be clear, I wasn't thinking about any market timing stuff. I'm a stay the course type of investor.
I also wasn't thinking about rebalancing either. I figure if I'm within a percent or two of where I want to be I don't bother. May not be the best approach, just what I've done.
I'll tack mine onto maizeman.
First things first estimate what your marginal tax rate is going to be based on all the data you have to date.

Any leftover 401k space (particularly solo 401k where you can do both employee and employer contributions)? It's use it or lose it, so try to fill it up before the end of the year. (You have more time before you have to make the decision on IRA contributions.) including HSA, 457, and all the other options that may be available to you.

If your marginal rate is going to be high, decide whether it makes sense to do some tax loss harvesting. If it will be 15% or less (as of 2017), consider tax gain harvesting on taxable investments more than 1 year old, but do not sell enough to exceed the 15% marginal rate.

If it looks like your marginal rate is going to be lower than expected, consider doing some Traditional to Roth IRA rollovers. I assume this takes up gain harvesting space, so you might have to choose.

Rebalance if your schedule calls for it, though there is no particular reason to think that rebalanceing annually at the end of the year is better than other times, frequencies, or methods.
Thanks Maizeman, Radagast, that's good advice. So far I've maxed out employer contributions, and maxed all my and wife's contributions to IRA's. I did rollover from Simple to Traditional earlier this year, so I don't think I could do it again. Please advise if I'm wrong.
I didn't think of looking at my marginal tax rate with regards to tax loss harvesting. I will, just don't think I quite understand how to go about it either. My marginal rate is 15%, and at the end of the year I'll be within a thousand dollars or so of going into the next higher bracket. Is it still worth it?


maizeman

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Re: End of year....
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 05:46:57 PM »
Happy to help, and it's an interesting idea, I hadn't considered an end of year checklist before.

Honestly I think the answer is that if you're already in the 15% bracket, it's probably not worth the effort to do some tax loss harvesting to bring your income down even further.

You might even think about whether it makes sense to recharacterize some of your IRA contributions as Roth to use up the rest of the space you have left in the 15% tax bracket.*

*Some people say Roth contributions only make sense in the 0% or 10% brackets, some think even in the 15% bracket it's a good deal to pay the taxes now and never have to worry on paying tax on that money again. It depends on what you expect your income to be in retirement (and your taxable/traditional/Roth breakdown of that income) and your best guess about whether taxes are likely to increase in the future.