As the year comes to a close, it’s a good time to do a little financial housekeeping. Here are a few smart moves to consider:
Tackle your outstanding credit card debt
Seven percent of Americans are still carrying debt from last year’s holiday season, according to Consumer Reports. Come up with a pay-off strategy — whether that’s paying off the cards with the highest rates first or paying off the card with the lowest balance — and put it to work. You’ll save a bundle on interest.
Reduce your tax liability
If you own stocks and mutual funds outside your retirement accounts, 2014 has been a prosperous year. But on April 15, you’re going to have to share some of your good fortune with the Internal Revenue Service, so it’s wise to start looking for ways to minimize the bite now.
Do you have any poor-performing investments? You can sell them at a loss to offset capital gains from other investments sold throughout the year.
Some other tax moves:
- Clean out your closets and make charitable donations
- Give the gift of cash — you can give up to $14,000 to as many individuals as you’d like without filing a gift-tax return, but you must do this before Dec. 31
- Gift securities
- Contribute to your 401(k)
- Defer income if 2014 was a high-income year.
Reassess your housing situation
Reconsidering your housing is important now because mortgage rates are below 4 percent and projected to rise to 5 percent by the end of 2015, according to Zillow.
With rents projected to rise faster than home values in 2015, it’s a good time to put the wheels in motion if you have any intention of buying a home. After all, a 1 percent rise in mortgage rates reduces affordability by whopping 11 percent.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, [email protected] or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.