A year-end financial cheat sheet from Steve Sexton

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“Winning In Life” is the radio show hosted by financial advisor Steve Sexton. Steve is the President of Sexton Advisory Group and Director of the Financial Knowledge Institute. Each week on the show, he provides his listeners with exclusive advice in financial planning and updates, business planning, health issues, and charities making a difference.  “Winning in Life” airs every Sunday morning at 9:00 KCBQ 1170 AM. If you have any financial planning questions give the Sexton Advisory group at (1-800) 560 -2611 a call today.

In this week’s show Steve updated listeners with interesting news clips from major names. Last Wednesday Apple was down to 6.4% because of the Android market and tablet market cutting in on Apple. We are seeing a shift as more and more people are getting into the tablet market. On another note, Red Lobster and Olive Garden have completely revamped their menus, but even with the new menu sales has not increased. Starbucks took a big hit a couple years ago which caused them to close down about 1000 stores. Now they are adding another 1500 stores in the US. It costs about 450,000 to open each store but the profits are a million dollars per year. They plan to open about 2000 more in China and around the globe by the year 2014.

A new year, a new tax increase. That’s right, taxes are going up and the reality here is this, you cannot just sit on your couch and do nothing. Talk to your CPA and financial advisor and see how these potential tax changes can affect you in the future. In the next 30 days sit down with your financial advisor, especially if you are in retirement, because then it is not about what you make but what you keep.

Steve provided listeners a year-end cheat sheet:

  1. Check your net worth from now to what it was last year around this same time. Can you boost your progress or do you need to make some changes? You can boost your progress by paying down debt, increasing assets, or both.
  2. Review your investment performance. Look at all of them and check your benchmarks. Ask your financial advisor why you are keeping these investments, if there is value in them, or why they are not moving forward.
  3. Check your progress towards retirement. Will you still have stress-free retirement? Track your progress continually.
  4. Stuff money into your IRA if you’re still working. You would rather pay taxes on the seed rather than the entire giant harvest.
  5. Use your flexible spending account. Use it or lose it. If you have money left in the dependent care account, use it on day camps or child care camps during the holidays while you work.
  6. If your medical expenses are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, you can deduct the amount of income to about 7.5%.
  7. Tax target. Talk to a professional. The prospect of a fiscal cliff has set the traditional vice on its ear.
  8. Be aware of senior deadlines! Open enrollment for Medicare ends on December  7th and people age 70 and a half and older have until December 31st to take out their required minimum distribution.
  9. Make a plan for paying big bills in the year of 2013 and estimate non monthly expenses that might be spent in the New Year.

Don’t miss Steve on “Winning in Life” every Sunday morning at KCBQ 1170AM at 9:00AM. If you have any questions, feel free to submit your questions here at Winning In Life Radio. Steve may choose to answer your question live on the show, giving you the opportunity to win a $50 American Express gift card.


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