As we close out a year filled with volatility and highlighted by market losses, we know that many people are ready to turn the page to 2023. Before we do that, let’s take a look back and reflect a little on what we experienced in 2022 and then we’ll put together a financial checklist for the new year.
When you look back on 2022, one of the biggest stories came from the market, where stocks and bonds were both down double-digits. It’s rare to have consecutive down years like we just experienced, but it makes it even tougher for investors when both stocks and bonds are down.
People will buy stocks for growth and accept the potential downside by mixing in the ‘safe’ bond investment. But in a year like we had in 2022, nothing was safe. This is why you need balance outside of the market, especially if you’re close to retirement. It can be a hard lesson to learn, but these years serve as a strong reminder to make sure you’re properly diversified based on your needs.
Another story from the past year that impacted all Americans was the jump in mortgage rates. They more than doubled from the first quarter of the year and it cooled down a surging real estate sector.
Then there was Bitcoin. A risk-heavy investment that has seen some huge upswings but some equally sharp downturns. Last year we saw the latter, which brought out more crypto critics and skeptics.
And finally, you can’t forget about rising gas prices that hit all of our pockets last year. This was one of the more impactful aspects of inflation and it helped drive interest in electric vehicles. Regardless of whether you’re thinking about buying an EV vehicle or not, it will be an industry to keep an eye on over the next decade.
Now that we’ve moved on to the new year, it’s common to get questions about what action steps we can be taking over the next 12 months. We’d love to discuss these specifically with you on an individual basis, but Eric Hogarth, CFP® put together a list with a few key areas to pay attention to.
Let’s start with taxes. A fresh start provides you the chance to look at your tax withholdings to see if any adjustments need to be made. The last thing you want is the unwelcomed surprise that you didn’t withhold enough money because most of the time that extra money gets spent over the course of the year. It ends up leaving you with a bill you weren’t expecting. So be looking at what you’re doing there because tax changes are always happening.
Another thing to put on your list this year is to re-assess your retirement contributions. The limits are increasing in 2023 so that’s something that can be reviewed this year. If you don’t need the money right now, you’ll probably be better off in some type of tax-deferred, tax-advantaged, or tax-free account. You might be leery of adding more money to these accounts but that’s why we meet and discuss the options. Taking advantage of these contributions could end up saving you money down the road.
And finally, go ahead and start gathering up your tax info for filing this year. It’s so easy to overlook a document or statement so the earlier you can get a jump on it, the lower your chances of missing something will be.
Hopefully we’ll start to see some overall turnaround in the economy this year but go ahead and get the year started by getting your complimentary Money Map review. Give us a call and we’ll get it set up.
Here’s what we discuss in this episode:
0:38 – Stocks and bonds drop in 2022
2:43 – Mortgage rates doubled in 2022
4:01 – Bitcoin had an awful year in 2022
6:09 – Gas prices soared in 2022
7:46 – On the Case with Heath Grossman, CFP® – Sequence of returns risk
16:45 – New Year Checklist – Tax withholdings
17:57 – New Year Checklist – Retirement account contributions
18:56 – New Year Checklist – Gather all your tax info
19:30 – Mythbusting with Matt
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