Recently I was featured on Phoenix’s AZ Family Channel 3 on Your Side as their financial expert talking about how to review and get your finances in order at the end of the year.  This is the best time of year to do a little review of this year’s finances so that you can jump into the coming year with no hiccups.

Here are 11 tips to make sure closing your finances and transitioning to the New Year are seamless and painless.

  1. Make sure you spend all of the money on your FSA or HSA. Stock up on medicine, contacts, go see your eye doctor or dentist and make other appointments and purchases on your FSA or HSA so you don’t forfeit that money at the end of the year.
  2. Rollover any old work retirement plans to an IRA.
  3. Make the maximum charitable donations for tax deduction purposes (and to help make a difference in the world!)
  4. Organize your receipts.  Your tax preparer will thank you.
  5. Max out your retirement contributions for the year.
  6. If you’re retired, take your required minimum distributions.
  7. Verify your beneficiaries for your retirement funds.
  8. Review your credit reports.  I like www.creditkarma.com best. (It’s free!)
  9. Set 90-day goals for the first quarter of the year – what are your savings goals, debt pay-off goals? What do you want your money to do for you in the first 3 months of the year?
  10. Meet with your CPA now so you aren’t in crunch time mode in April.
  11. Review all of your recurring bills for accuracy and to check their amounts or unnecessary bills.  Did you sign up for a free trial? If you did and didn’t opt-out, they could be charging you.

Any other tips? What end of the year loose ends do you need to take care of?