3 positive steps to financial well-being

steps-388914__180While you’re gathering information to prepare your 2015 tax return, set aside time for a financial review. Here are steps to get started.

  • Compile a year-end list of your assets and debts and compare the list to last year. Are you gaining or losing ground? What actions can you take to improve your financial situation in 2016?
  • Review your insurance. Do you have disability insurance to replace take-home pay if you become incapacitated? What about life insurance – will the benefit provide enough cash to pay your family’s expenses in the event something happens to you or your spouse? Is your home protected with replacement value property insurance? What about insurance for automobile accidents or lawsuits?
  • Update your will and estate plan. What changed during 2015? Did you marry? Divorce? Have a child? Move to a new state? Receive an inheritance? All of these events can affect your planning. This year, you can leave up to $5,450,000 to your heirs with no federal estate tax liability. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore estate planning, which includes expressing your wishes for who will make decisions for you in times of emergencies as well as who will receive your assets.

For more suggestions, call us. We’re here to help.

 

Insurance enrollment begins this month

friendly-reminder-1Beginning this month, you can sign up for a new 2016 health insurance policy on the health insurance Marketplace. You can also change or renew the policy you purchased during the last enrollment period. Even if your current policy has an automatic renewal feature, you’ll want to verify that you are still eligible for the federal premium tax credit.

What if you didn’t sign up last winter and didn’t have health insurance coverage in 2015? You may owe a penalty on your 2015 federal income tax return. The penalty for 2015 is the greater of $325 per adult and $162.50 per child under 18 (up to a maximum per-family penalty of $975) or 2% of your modified adjusted gross income (with a maximum of the national average premium for a Bronze plan).