You do: Establish a small, doable monthly goal for the year— feeling ambitious? Pick two larger goals that you can work on for the entire year. Need ideas? "Kickstart 2024 With Solid Financial Goals" by listening to this podcast episode.
Pay: If you're self-employed or underpaying based on your income, make 2023 fourth-quarter estimated tax payments by January 15.
You do: Start organizing your W-2s, dividend statements, and other tax documents. Are you interested in learning how small business owners can reduce their tax bill? Watch now.
Bonus: Sign up for electronic tax returns to speed up the process.
You do: Select a date in March to create a plan for any tax refunds, bonuses, or pay increases you might get. You can read our ideas for tax refunds here.
Medicare reminder: March 31 is the last day for Medicare enrollees to apply for Parts A and B for coverage beginning in July.
You do: File your individual tax return by April 15. Use IRS Form 4868 if you need an extension, but note there may be penalties if you have taxes due. Taxes during retirement- it's more complicated than you think. Listen now.
Bonus: The last day to make 2023 IRA contributions is April 15. Could you contribute more to reap tax benefits? Log in to your account to find out.
You do: Take time to figure out your debt load. Deciding whether to invest or use the funds to pay off debt may be challenging when you receive extra money. You can use this calculator to help analyze your situation.
Bonus: Review and adjust your budget for significant events or activities in the coming months, like attending weddings or taking a vacation.
You do: The final date to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for the 2024–2025 school year is June 30. However, the earlier you apply, the better. The FAFSA helps determine your child’s eligibility for financial aid. Listen to this podcast episode for simplified FAFSA and student loan(s) advice.
To pay: If you're self-employed or underpaying based on your income, make second-quarter estimated tax payments by June 15.
You do: Midyear is a great time to review your financial resolutions. Are you hitting spending and saving targets? If not, watch our video for practical and effective ways to keep your financial resolutions on track. You have time to change your habits before the year ends.
Bonus: Adjust your budget to add extra contributions to your IRA or 401(k).
You do: Pick a day to check your credit score using one of the three free credit check services: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Checking your credit reports can help you detect any inaccurate or in complete information a lender might see. Then, you can learn what affects a credit score and how to improve it.
Bonus: Automate as much as possible by setting up auto-pay on your bills. Watch now for some tips when using personal finance apps.
You do: The employer benefits enrollment period typically starts in the fall and lasts four to six weeks. Set a reminder to review employee benefits like 401(k), health election, and life and disability insurance. Use our long-term care needs calculator.
Pay: If you're self-employed or underpaying based on your income, make third-quarter estimated tax payments by September 15.
You do: You can file a FAFSA for the 2024–2025 school year starting October 1. The last date you can file for that academic year is June 30, 2024. Keep in mind that each state and college may have its own deadlines. Check the Federal Student Aid website for more info. It's never too early to start planning for college expenses. Listen to the Reach Your Summit Podcast for some great tips.
Pay: If you filed for an extension on your taxes, October 15 is your new deadline.
You do: The deadline for a charitable contribution in a given tax year is Dec. 31 of that year. Explore donor-advised funds and strategically time your charitable contributions for financial planning success. For more insights, check out our blog post on charitable giving.
Health insurance reminder: The federal health insurance marketplace enrollment for 2025 coverage starts November 1.
You do: Enroll or change 2025 federal health coverage plans by December 15.
Take: Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are the minimum amounts you must withdraw from your retirement accounts each year. You generally must start taking withdrawals from your traditional IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and retirement plan accounts when you reach age 72 (73 if you reach age 72 after Dec. 31, 2022). Calculate your retirement plan withdrawals here.