It's Not Too Soon for End-of-Year Financial Moves

Submitted by Edward JonesPrint Story | Email Story

We've still got a couple of months until 2019 draws to a close, but it's not too early to make some end-of-the-year financial moves. In fact, it may be a good idea to take some of these steps sooner rather than later.

Here are a few suggestions:

* Boost your 401(k) contributions.
Like many people, you might not usually contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k), which, in 2019 is $19,000, or $25,000 if you're 50 or older. Ask your employer if you can increase your 401(k) contributions in 2019, and if you receive a bonus before the year ends, you may be able to use that toward your 401(k), too.

* Add to your IRA. You have until April 15, 2020, to contribute to your IRA for the 2019 tax year, but the more you can put in now and over the next few months, the less you will have to come up with in a hurry at the filing deadline. For 2019, you can put up to $6,000 in your IRA, or $7,000 if you're 50 or older.

* Review your portfolio. It's always a good idea to review your investment portfolio at least once a year, and now is as good a time as any. But don't make any judgments based solely on your results over the past 10 months. Instead, look carefully at how your portfolio is constructed. Is it still properly diversified, or has it become overweighted in some areas? Does it still fit your risk tolerance, or do you find yourself worrying excessively about short-term price swings? These are the types of factors that might lead you to make some changes, possibly with the help of a financial professional.

* Don't forget about your RMDs. Once you turn 70 1/2, you generally need to start taking withdrawals – the technical term is "required minimum distributions," or RMDs – from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar plan. After the first year in which you take these RMDs, you must take them by the end of each year thereafter. If you don't withdraw at least the minimum amount (calculated based on your age, account balance and other factors) you face a penalty of 50 percent of what you should have taken out – a potential loss of thousands of dollars. So, take your RMDs before Dec. 31. The financial services provider that administers your IRA or 401(k) can help you determine the amount you must withdraw.

* Think about next year's opportunities. It happens to almost all of us: A year has passed, and we haven't taken the actions we had planned. So, start thinking now about what you want to do in 2020 from a financial standpoint. Can you afford to ratchet up your investments in your retirement plans? If you have children or grandchildren, have you started saving for college? Have you considered ways to protect your financial independence if you ever need some type of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay? If these or other items are on your financial to-do list, start planning now to get them done next year.

Time goes quickly – so don't get left behind without having taken the steps to keep moving toward your financial goals.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see

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Demartinis Leads MCLA Men to Second Win

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- MCLA's Mike Demartinis tied a career high with 31 points as he led the Trailblazers to a come from behind 90-82 win over Medgar Evers Saturday afternoon in the consolation round of the Western New England Invitational.
MCLA (2-2) trailed for the entire first half and eventually pulled to 40-38 at halftime. MCLA trailed 50-44 early in the second half before they started to surge behind Demartinis. He scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half.
MCLA took its first lead of the afternoon on Antoine Montgomery's bucket to make it 56-55, but still with plenty of time remaining. A few minutes later, MCLA trailed 67-64, but Quran Davis scored on back to back possessions to give the Trailblazers the lead for keeps. That started a 13-4 run that increased the MCLA lead to 77-71 with six minutes left to play.
The lead grew to 11 points on Demartinis' layup at 85-74 and MCLA cruised home from there.
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