The busy holiday season officially kicks off in just a couple of days; demanding your attention, time, and money. Before diving headfirst into the holiday hoopla, skip the Black Friday / Cyber Monday madness this year and take some time to tend to the health of your finances and retirement planning to get prepared before 2024 gets here!
Here are three things to consider...
Review Your Medicare and Social Security Cost Changes for 2024
Your Social Security benefit increases by 3.2% this year. The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2024 will result in an estimated Social Security retirement benefit increase of about $50 per month.
Most Social Security beneficiaries will see an increase in their monthly checks starting in January. SSI beneficiaries will see the increase in their December checks.
Just how much of an increase beneficiaries will actually see in their Social Security checks also depends on the size of the Medicare Part B premium for 2024.
The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $174.70 for 2024, an increase of $9.80 from $164.90 in 2023.
The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $240 in 2024, an increase of $14 from the annual deductible of $226 in 2023.
While you may not see a huge difference in the amount you're paying for Medicare Part D, it still could be slightly lower.
According to the CMS, the average monthly Part D premium is projected to decrease from $56.49 in 2023 to $55.50 in 2024.
Make Sure Your Healthcare Coverage Still Fits Your Needs
If you're on a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), you definitely want to review and if necessary, modify your healthcare coverage options BEFORE December 7th when Medicare Open Enrollment closes. We recently covered why carefully reviewing your Medicare options is so important.
You have a few days left to secure the best possible coverage for the year ahead.
Be Strategic With Your Taxes This Year
2024 will be here before we know it. Now is the time to start assessing your 2023 tax obligations to see what, if anything, you might do to reduce your bill.
Things to consider:
- Harvesting your tax losses
- Deducting your charitable contributions
- Fully funding your retirement accounts
- Taking your required minimum distributions (RMDs)
- Put your "annual gift tax exclusion" to good use
Create New Holiday Traditions That Bring People Together
And when it comes to holiday gift-giving and your finances this year, let me encourage you to reframe your "gift-giving mindset."
Focus on giving real-life experiences that allow you to strengthen your relationships and create life-long memories with your loved ones. Done right, this could even spark some fun new holiday family traditions that are budget-friendly, too.