The Labor Day holiday is intended as a time to "pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of America's workers." (www.history.com) To make the most of your own labors, consider taking these actions before you go back to work on Tuesday:
- Increase your 401k contribution by 1%. If you are 50 or over, are you taking advantage of the catch-up contribution? The limits for 2016 are $18,000 plus $6,000 for those age 50 and older.
- Increase your Roth IRA or 529 contribution by $50 a month. Admit it, you’re not going to miss it, so at least put it somewhere worthwhile.
- Check the fine print on your HELOC (home equity line of credit). Many people opened these as a source of extra liquidity in the mid-2000’s. A typical HELOC has a 10 year draw period followed by a 20 year payback period. If your HELOC is nearing the 10th anniversary, it will no longer serve its purpose as extra liquidity. Mosey on down to your local bank or credit union and see what they have to offer. You’ll likely find that rates and fees have gone up since the last time, but it may still be worth it.
- Check the Property Tax Estimate you received early this summer (Atlanta area). Is the appraised value reflective of the actual value? If the appraised value far exceeds the fair market value, it might be worth an appeal to lower your tax bill. If you are age 62 or older (Cobb County only), have you applied to have your school taxes dropped? This will cut your bill by about 75%.
- Hug your Family. A number of our clients, friends, and family have experienced the loss of a loved one in the past year. While life is and always will be marked by birth and death, it is never easy to lose someone you love, whether they have lived a full life or been taken too early. So go hug your family. All of them!
Please call or email if you need any assistance with the above or anything else. We are always available to help you, your family, and any friends that need objective financial guidance.