Year-End Finances - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Year-End Finances

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WSVN -- New Years week is one of the busiest for stylist Cynthia Winston.

But while her clients are getting ready for parties, Cynthia is planning for her financial future.

Cynthia Winston, Van Michael Miami Salon: "The most important thing for me is my retirement. I definitely try to make sure I've maxed out my 401k, and any monies that I have left over, I try to fund my IRA."

Finance expert Jacqueline LaLonde says everyone should take stock of their finances at the end of the year.

Jacqueline LaLonde, Raymond James & Associates: "You could save hundreds, if not thousands, for yourself on taxes if you just take five to 10 minutes to make sure you've gone through your Santa checklist for your own financial future."

First on the list: If you can, defer extra income like year-end bonuses to 2012, to delay paying tax; top off your 401k and IRA to maximize retirement savings and reduce taxes; and if you itemize, pay deductible expenses now.

Jacqueline LaLonde, Raymond James & Associates: "If you've been thinking about buying something, like a big purchase, big ticket item, a car or a computer or something like that, that's sales tax, so if you itemize, you're going to be able to deduct that sales tax."

Experts say you should also pay off property taxes now. You'll get a discount and you can write it off on your taxes.

And take advantage of the current small energy credits.

Jacqueline LaLonde, Raymond James & Associates: "This is one of the last years you can get that, so if you were thinking about running around and getting that new AC efficient system or something else that's energy-efficient, do it now."

Simple steps that can make a big difference in the long term.

Cynthia Winston, Van Michael Miami Salon: "That's a great gift to myself, to make sure that my finances are in order for the end of the year."

If you would like to know more about end of year financial planning or if you have story ideas for Money Monday, e-mail us at moneymonday@wsvn.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

End of Year Tax Tips

http://www.forbes.com/2005/11/23/financialplanning-money-cx_sr_1123taxes.html

Raymond James & Associates

http://raymondjames.com/jacquelinelalonde/AboutUs.aspx

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