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The end of the year is always a time for reflection, and your personal finances are no exception. Even in a year marked by record-high inflation, there’s a good chance your finances aren’t as bad as you might think. But as 2022 winds down, it’s the perfect time to conduct a year-end review. Using the buckets below, you can end 2022 on a strong note and head into 2023 with all the necessary adjustments you might need. Here’s your year-end financial checklist.

Max out your retirement contributions

If you have the means, you should max out your retirement contributions to maximize savings before the deadline is up at the end of the year. Currently, 401(k) participants are able to contribute as much as $20,500 (which was already a $1,000 increase from 2021). For IRAs—traditional and Roth—you can max out at $6,000 in 2022.

Good news for big savers next year: Beginning in January 2023, you will be able to contribute $22,500 to your 401(k) plan—a nearly 10% cap increase. Plus, those 50 and older will be able to contribute an addition $7,500 for a maximum contribution of $30,000. The IRS is also increasing the contribution limit for both traditional and Roth IRAs up to $6,500 in 2023 (a $500 increase from this year).

Don’t lose out on flexible spending dollars

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), time is running out to use up your remaining balance. Check in with your employer’s rules regarding any balance remaining on Dec. 31 this year, so you aren’t left forfeiting your hard-earned funds.

If you’re unlikely to pack out the rest of your year with doctor’s appointments—either because everywhere is booked months in advance or because that simply sounds dreadful—fear not. You can spend your remaining FSA funds on other qualifying healthcare costs. You can use FSA funds to upgrade your prescription eyeglasses or buy more contact lenses. You could also hit your local pharmacy and stock up on certain FSA-eligible over-the-counter products, like first aid supplies, popular cold medicines, and even sunscreen. You can find a complete list at the FSA store here.

The employee health FSA contribution limit for 2023 will be $3,050, which is a $200 increase over the 2022 limit.

Review tax withholdings

Sure, Tax Day isn’t for a few more months. Still, now is a good time to review your tax withholdings and payments. If you had a major life event in 2022—like a marriage, divorce, or child—you probably want to adjust your withholding. Check out the Tax Withholding Estimator from the IRS to effectively tailor how much income tax to withhold. Here’s how inflation might help lower your taxes in 2023.

Update your beneficiaries

Like we mention above, if you had a major life change, you’ll want to update the beneficiaries of your finances accordingly. Write down the names of everyone included in the beneficiary portion of your bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities. The end of the year is a prime time to take stock of anyone who may have entered or exited your life and needs to be covered (or perhaps removed).

Review your financial goals

No matter the current state of your finances, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Sit down and physically write out where you could boost the health of your personal finances. Think: Do you have a plan to pay off your debt? Does your spending need to reined in? Are you saving where you could be investing, or vice versa?

Think about your priorities going into the new year. You might consider investing in a financial professional to use as a sounding board, as their perspective could be the nudge you need to create and achieve your short- and long-term financial goals.



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