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Personal Finance Calendar

Key Points

  • Just as financial planning is not a one-time event, it's not a once-a-year event either. Spreading tasks throughout the year can make them more manageable.
  • Following this month-by-month guide can help get your finances in tip-top shape.
  • There are actions you can take each month to keep your finances on track throughout the year.

January 

  • Resolve to make yourself financially fit this year
  • Manage your debt. Start by paying off all your high-cost, non-deductible credit cards, and then establish an emergency fund equal to 3-6 months of expenses
  • Check your employer retirement plan contribution percentage
  • 1st Medicare Open Enrollment and Advantage starts (ends March 31)
  • 15th: Pay your estimated taxes

February 

  • Check your insurance policies to be sure you're not paying too much or for the wrong coverage
  • Start organizing your 2019 taxes

March

  • If you turned 70 1/2 last year and didn't take your first-year required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA by December 31, you have until April 1 to do so
  • Get a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the three major reporting agencies on a rotating basis
  • 8th: Turn your clocks ahead!
  • 31st Medicare General and Advantage Open Enrollment Period Deadline

April

  • 1st: Your last day to take your first IRA required minimum distribution without penalty  
  • 15th: File your taxes or apply for an extension
  • 15th: Pay your Q1 estimated taxes 
  • 15th: Also the last day to contribute to your IRA for the prior year

May

  • Create (or update) an inventory of your home and personal property
  • Create (or review) your financial disaster plan

June

  • 15th: Pay your Q2 estimated taxes
  • 21st: Longest day of the year. Enjoy summer!
  • Perform a mid-year review of your finances to be sure you're on track
    • Are you on track with your retirement contributions and other savings?
    • Run a projection of your income taxes to be sure you are not paying too much or too little income tax

July

  • Get a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the three major reporting agencies on a rotating basis
  • Keep learning- add at least one good book on personal finance or investing to your summer reading list

August

  • Start thinking about your holiday budget
  • As the kids or grandkids get ready for school, consider establishing or contributing to a Coverdell Education Savings Account and/or 529 College Savings Plan on their behalf

September

  • 15th: Pay your Q3 estimated taxes
  • 30th: Last day to determine beneficiaries after an IRA owner's death
  • Begin Final quarter tasks (Listed below)
  • Review your estate plan
  • If you want to establish a simple IRA this year for your small business, the account must be opened by October 1
  • You have until October 15 to re-characterize a Roth IRA conversion

October

  • 1st: Extended trust and estate tax returns due
  • 15th Medicare Advantage and drug plan open enrollment starts (ends Dec. 7)
  • 15th Extended individual tax returns due
  • 15th Last day to re-characterize a Roth conversion
  • Run a projection of your current-year income tax liability to get a head start on your year-end tax planning

November

  • 1st: Turn your clocks back!
  • Get a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the three major reporting agencies on a rotating basis
  • Take time to give thanks for another year of financial success. Review your charitable giving program and consider making tax-deductible gifts to charity

December

  • 31st: Last day for stocks, RMD's, itemized deductions, & gifts to count for 2020 taxes
  • If you want to establish an individual 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan for your small business, the account must be opened by December 31
  • Request your annual Social Security benefit statement from ssa.gov 
 
Final Quarter Tasks

Final Quarter Tasks

  • Project income for 2019 and 2020
  • Review unrealized investment gains and losses
  • Collect cost-basis information on sold investments
  • Review sales of appreciated properties
  • Review potential credits and deductions
  • Track donations to charity
  • Take required minimum distributions
  • Review Medicare enrollment options
  • Review your fund trusts
  • Contribute to college education accounts or gift cash to family
  • Review any gifting plans