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5 questions to ask your financial advisor before the end of the year

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The end of the year is a time to give thanks and celebrate the holidays with our families. It’s also an opportunity to reevaluate the previous 12 months and ask your financial advisor some very productive questions.

1. What’s your investment decision process?

2. Should we do anything to mitigate my tax exposure?

There are several options to reduce your taxes that you may have overlooked, including contributing to a retirement account, depreciating rental property or harvesting tax losses. Ask your advisor to review the holdings and transactions throughout the year to determine if it make sense to capture capital gains and match it against a loss.

To the extent that you have an opportunity to increase deductions next year, now would be a good time to schedule some tax planning for 2023 when there’s finally a lull in the action.

3. What am I paying for that I’m not utilizing?

Sometimes I must remind clients that I can help them with other areas of their life because they’re so focused on the investments. A financial planner does more than invest your hard-earned money; we also provide estate, long-term-care and education planning. Take advantage of all the services your advisor offers and maximize the relationship.

Sharon Epperson's money moves to make heading into 2023

4. Am I on track to meet my goals?

When we experience a declining market, it’s natural to review how much you’ve lost, but it may prove more worthwhile to know how it has impacted your ability to meet established goals. This will put the year into perspective, allow you to focus on a long-term vision and hopefully prevent a knee-jerk reaction that may undo years of hard work and planning.

5. Should we do anything different?

Your goals evolve over time, and that should change how an advisor manages your affairs. Did you have a life changing event, find a new passion or experience a health event that requires a different approach?

There are times when clients choose to work longer in a lower-paying career that they find more rewarding. To the extent that you suffered losses in a retirement account, you’ll want to find out how that impacts your ability to retire while you still have time to adjust.

Define what you want your life to look like and enlist your team of advisors to help you get there.

This is the perfect time to identify how your advisor intends to respond to an economy with a higher cost of capital, higher cost of living and historically low liquidity, all of which reduces the odds of an immediate market rebound.

Your financial advisor drives the bus, but it’s still your bus. Make sure you tell them where you’re trying to go.

— By Ivory Johnson, certified financial planner and founder of Delancey Wealth Management, LLC

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