BEND, Ore. - The holiday season brings lots of festivities but also ushers in the new year. While you may be too busy to notice, Dec. 31 is almost upon us. Local tax and financial experts say there are some things you may want to consider to avoid a financial cliff of your own.
Local tax expert Sheila Wilton said, "2013 is in a lot of peoples minds right now, and things probably will change."
She says now is the time to accomplish last-minute tax advantages that will expire at year's end.
Wilton encourages taxpayers to make contributions to an education savings account, donate things you no longer need, and make all of your cash donations by Dec. 31.
Also consider making any political contributions by the end of the year. Wilton says it's also a good time to start collecting all of the records you will need when filing your taxes next year.
Financial planner David Rosell insists now is the time to review and make changes to your investment strategy.
"This is an opportune time to rebalance accounts and make sure you're invested among all the asset classes based on your age, your risk tolerance and your time horizons," Rosell said.
Rosell urges people to consider converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.
"Any dollar in the Roth IRA is not only going to grow tax-free, but in retirement, you'll be able to distribute it with zero taxes," he said.
Although not everyone visits a tax or investment professional yearly, experts say this may be a good year to do so. They also say that looking ahead to 2013 is key.
While it may be your goal to finish the year ahead, Rosell says, "A goal without a plan is nothing but a wish. And a lot of people out there are wishing, and it's really time to get out and plan.