Year-end tips from our advisors

Jeff Hoffmann
Posted by Jeff Hoffmann
Private Client Services

As the year winds down, it’s natural to reflect back on all that’s happened in 2014 and how those events potentially position you for the coming year. And as you look forward, are there things you can do now to help make sure you’re in the best possible situation for 2015, especially in terms of your financial standing?

2 African-American men meeting to discuss financial plans sitting in front of a coffee table with open laptop.One common area for active review — and possible action — is your portfolio. I’ve asked two of our advisors in Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group to share some tips that might help in your year-end review. (Of course you should also consult legal and/or tax experts on the ideas below.)

Rachel DeLauro, a market leader in Los Angeles, offered these tips that can also be useful for year-end evaluations:

  • Contribute the maximum limit available to your tax-deferred compensation and/or retirement plans. For instance, if you are a participant in a 401(k) plan, make sure you have contributed the maximum allowed on a pre-tax basis. For 2014 this is $17,500. If you are 50 or older remember you have an additional $5,500 catch up provision.
  • If you have an imbedded capital loss and have been holding onto that asset hoping the value will increase, it might be worth selling that asset and taking the loss.
  • Make a year-end gift of money (cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card or payroll deduction). Retain a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2014 even if you don’t pay the credit card bill until 2015.
Monte Schatz, a market leader in Omaha, suggested that a Charitable Remainder Trust could be a useful consideration for many clients at this time of year.

If you plan to sell a significant asset in 2015, he says, you may be able to avoid capital gains tax on the sale, retain the income from investing the sales proceeds and take a charitable deduction for at least part of the value of the property.

Remember to check with your tax or legal professionals, as appropriate, on the above items. And if you wish to learn more or speak with a wealth management advisor, visit our site.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2015!

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  • Anonymous says:

    lol if you can contribute 17,500 to your 401k you doing vey, very, very well.

    Reply | 5 years ago

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