A Year End Checklist To control your Finances

A year-end checklist always gives you a number of ways to
take control of your finances—and possibly save on your taxes. Here are a few
to consider—just make sure you do them by December 31, 2012, as discussed by Charles
Schwab & Co. 

                        1                      Prepare for new tax
reporting changes.

Review legislation related to cost basis reporting that could
affect your taxes.

                        2                      Convert to a Roth IRA.

Compared to a Traditional IRA, a Roth IRA can give you
control over your income taxes when you start taking withdrawals from your
retirement account(s).

                        3                      Turn losses into potential
tax savings.

If you decide to sell losing assets before 2013, you may be
able to use those capital losses to offset taxable capital gains.         

                        4                      Explore the tax advantages
of a 529 account.

Potential tax benefits await you when you open or contribute
to a 529 college savings plan for a child or grandchild before 2013.    

                        5                      Rebalance your portfolio
for the New Year.

Market swings cause investment allocations to shift.

                        6                      Donate to a charitable
organization.

If you're planning to make a donation, do it before December
31, and you may be able to write it off on your 2012 taxes.

                        7                      Take your required minimum
distribution (RMD).

Once you reach age 70½, the IRS requires you to start taking
money out of Traditional, Rollover, SEP, or SIMPLE IRAs. Use our RMD Calculator
to estimate how much you'll need to withdraw.

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