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14 Ways to Show Your Finances Some Love This Year

This week, we explore financial planning tips that not only secure your financial future but also spread love and prosperity to those you cherish most, as well as more tips you can use to benefit your family this month and the year ahead.


1 | Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)

Taking required minimum distributions that you don’t need, and want to spread love to a charity you're passionate about? Consider making a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your account directly to charity. Not only does this fulfill your required minimum distributions, but it also exempts the amount you distribute from your taxable income. By giving back to causes close to your heart, you can make a meaningful impact while reducing your tax burden. That’s the kind of win/win we love.


2 | Front-load Your 401(k) Contributions

Show love to your future self by maximizing your 401(k) contributions early in the year as opposed to spreading them out evenly over 12 months. By reaching the 2024 limits of $23,000 sooner, your investments will have more time to grow, potentially enhancing your retirement nest egg even more. It's a proactive step toward securing financial stability for yourself and your family down the road.


3 | Set Up an IRA for a Child

Want to inspire financial skills in your kids while getting a tax advantage? Teach the next generation the value of financial planning and responsibility by setting up and contributing to an IRA for a child with earned income. Whether it's from babysitting jobs, odd jobs, or working for your business, every dollar invested grows tax-free, providing a solid foundation for their future financial well-being.


4 | Make Donations During Spring Cleaning

Ah, the annual ritual of spring cleaning. This year, let's infuse this mundane task with a dose of love and generosity. As you sift through your belongings, consider the items that no longer serve you but could bring joy to others. From gently used household furnishings to clothing and books, each item holds the potential to make a difference in someone's life.

Here's the cherry on top: for items in good condition, you may claim a charitable deduction on your 2024 income tax return, making your act of kindness even sweeter. So, as you purge the old and welcome the new, keep receipts of your donations – it may add up to some real tax savings.

5 | Give the Gift of Appreciated Stock Shares

Strengthen familial bonds while supporting charitable causes by giving appreciated securities and stock shares directly to your sibling's favorite charity. By donating your appreciated stock instead of selling it, you can avoid recognizing the gain as your income, maximizing the impact of your charitable giving while minimizing your tax liability. Sweet deal, right?


6 | Establish a 529 College Plan

Invest in the educational future of your loved ones by setting up a 529 plan. While the contributions you make to a 529 account aren’t tax deductible, contributions to these plans grow tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free when used by your loved one for qualified education expenses like housing, books, tuition, and more. Whether it's for your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or another family member, a 529 plan is a gift that keeps on giving.


7 | Make a Roth Conversion

Show love to your retirement savings by considering a Roth conversion on a traditional IRA. If your traditional IRA has declined in value, now is the ideal time to convert it to a tax-saving Roth. Doing so can reduce your income tax liability later on and let you potentially enjoy tax-free withdrawals in retirement. It's a strategic move that can optimize your retirement income while minimizing tax obligations.

8 | Spread The Love With The Annual Gift Exclusion

Don't underestimate the power of spreading love through financial generosity. Did you know you can gift up to $18,000 per person to an unlimited number of people each year? This allows you to share your wealth with family and friends in a tax-efficient manner. These gifts not only escape taxation but also foster stronger connections and deepen relationships with your loved ones. Whether it's helping with educational expenses, supporting a dream vacation, or simply offering a helping hand, annual exclusion gifts embody the spirit of giving and strengthen the bonds that matter most. With the sunset of the estate tax exemption set to occur in 2025, now is the time to make gifts if you have a taxable estate. Contact us to discuss options as there are far better ways to gift than outright.


9 | Use Up Your Lifetime Gift Tax Exemption

Use up your lifetime gift tax exemption: It's not just about securing your own financial future but also about ensuring your loved ones thrive. By leveraging your lifetime gift tax exemption, currently standing at $13.61 million per person, you can minimize estate taxes and provide a significant financial boost to your heirs during your lifetime. Whether it's funding education, helping with a down payment on a home, or simply offering financial support, using this exemption allows you to share your wealth and make a lasting impact on those you cherish most. The exemption is set to sunset in 2025, so if your estate is greater than $5M, now is the time to plan. Contact us asap as this planning does take time.


10 | Allocate More Funds To The Generation Skipping Tax Exemption

As you plan for the future, it's essential to consider the next generation. By allocating additional funds towards your generation-skipping transfer tax exemption (of up to $13.61M), you provide a seamless transfer of assets to your grandchildren or future beneficiaries. This strategic move not only minimizes tax implications but also lays the groundwork for preserving your family's wealth for generations to come.


11 | Make an Extra Mortgage Payment

Your home is more than just a place to live—it's also a valuable asset that can offer tax advantages. By making an extra mortgage payment on your primary home loan, you can increase your mortgage interest deductions on your tax return. Not only does this reduce your taxable income, but it also accelerates your path to homeownership, saving you money in the long run.


12 | Complete Repairs on Rental Property

Investing in your rental property not only enhances its value but also offers tax benefits. By completing repairs on your rental property, you can offset rental income on your tax return while providing a better living environment for your tenants. It's a win-win situation that improves your property's profitability and strengthens your relationship with your renters.


13 | Create a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust

Planning for the unexpected is an act of love towards your spouse and children, and when you know the right tools to use (like we do) you can make sure your family is provided for and protected for generations to come. One of my favorite ways to do this is using a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust.  This tool allows you to protect the assets you leave for your children from any future financial trouble, like lawsuits, or divorces.


14 | Create Your Estate Plan

Finally, don't overlook the importance of estate planning in showing love to your family. By finalizing your Will, Revocable Trust, Power of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directive, you ensure that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are protected in the event of incapacity or death. It's a vital step towards providing peace of mind for you and your family, allowing you to focus on enjoying life's precious moments together. And remember, a plan is more than a set of documents. It’s a lifetime of wise decisions about your life and legacy.


Show Your Love Where It Matters Most

The month of love might be over, but it’s never too late to make loving financial and planning decisions for your loved ones - and yourself!

As your Personal Family Lawyer® firm, we know the value of planning for the future. But we also know the value of planning for the life you want today and the legacy that extends far beyond your assets.

Schedule a complimentary 15-minute call to learn how we can help you create a Family Wealth Plan that will take care of everyone and everything you love.


This article is a service of the Law Offices of Debra L. Koven, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session™.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.


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