It’s hard to believe that we are entering the last few months of the year. Kids are back into school and parents are settling into their work routine again. And for those of us without kids in a metropolitan area, this means more people on the road and morning commute traffic is back! Normal life is here, until next summer…

Now that we’re in the last quarter of the year, there are some areas to focus on to ensure you close out 2019 with a bang. Use this checklist as a guide to assess your financial wellbeing.

  • Re-visit your target spending goals and your emergency fund. It’s never too late for a fresh start.  Please refer to “New Year, Fresh Start:  Improving Your Financial Health in 2019”.

  • Assess your holiday spending estimates. Be realistic when thinking about how much you plan to spend this upcoming holiday season.

  • Check in on your employment status. What is your income and earning potential? Get serious about where you are going financially and professionally within your career and consider whether it’s time to make changes.

  • Boost your savings for the year. After you’ve re-visited your spending targets, look for ways to save more. You can maximize your 401k savings by contributing $19,000 in 2019 (if you’re over 50, you have a $6,000 catch up contribution amount). Consider contributing to a Traditional or Roth IRA and carving off a piece of your year-end bonus to put toward your financial goals.

  • Meet with your accountant and financial planner to review tax strategies. There may be opportunities for self-employed pre-tax retirement savings, tax loss harvesting within your investment portfolio, deductions for charitable giving, or taking advantage of the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction for small businesses. If you’re over 70 ½ taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), you can also consider Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from your IRA to directly reduce your gross income.

  • Request your annual credit report. By law, you can receive a free credit report from all three agencies through every 12 months. Review the accounts opened in your name and look for ways to improve your credit score, if possible.

  • Set your financial goals. Now is the time to look at your current financial goals, check off those that you have met, and focus on what you want to complete by year end. If you haven’t set any financial goals yet, now is the time.

The last quarter of the year is the time to refocus on your financial wellbeing. Take advantage of the time between now and the holiday rush to go through this checklist. Work through each point and leverage your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM to help ensure you are on track.


Modera Wealth Management, LLC (“Modera”) is an SEC-registered investment advisor with places of business in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Modera may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. SEC registration does not imply any level of skill or training. For information pertaining to our registration status, fees and services, please contact us or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure web site ( to obtain a copy of our disclosure statement set forth in Form ADV Part 2A. Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.

This article is limited to the dissemination of general information about Modera’s investment advisory and financial planning services that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be interpreted or construed as investment advice nor as legal, tax or accounting advice nor as personalized financial planning, tax planning or wealth management advice. For legal, tax and accounting-related matters, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified attorney or accountant. This article is not a substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Modera. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. The statements, information and opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice.

Investing in the markets involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security or to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. Individual client asset allocations and investment strategies differ based on varying degrees of diversification and other factors. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or guarantee against a loss.