There is no doubt we are spending less during this pandemic on everything but medical and cleaning supplies. We hope to someday increase our budget again for travel and entertainment, but now is a good time to review your monthly bills and take inventory on how much you are spending on a monthly basis. This is what it costs to be you. Please do your best to let us know what your average monthly costs are so that we can invest you properly based on your current and projected monthly costs. If you aren’t sure, mint.com remains the best free budget tracking tool. You can contact our office for a Sample Cash Flow worksheet for you to track your own spending. Either way, we are happy to guide you through this important exercise.
In Maryland, the Primary elections will be held on June 2, 2020. Absentee ballots have been mailed to registered voters and the April date on them can be ignored. Printed name and voter signature are required to validate the ballot, and these are entered on the return envelope provided. It has been noted that in the Baltimore mayoral primary, ballots were received too late to be counted and there is a holiday coming up. The website https://elections.maryland.gov/voting offers additional information on voting alternatives and voter registration as well as information for the 2020 General Election. For information on other states’ absentee voting, please visit https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot.
If you are still working and contributing to a retirement plan, you may be wondering if you should continue contributing at the rate we suggested for you before COVID-19. We do suggest that you continue to contribute to your company retirement plan. If you are offered a Roth 401(k) or 403(b) option, we should review annually whether this option is best for at least some of your salary deferral. At minimum, we generally recommend that you contribute enough to get the match from your company.
The 5498 is an IRS form indicating that you’ve made an IRA or other retirement plan (SEP, SIMPLE, etc.) contribution in this tax year. You are not required to file it with your tax return. This form is not posted until May because you can contribute to an IRA for the previous year through your tax-filing deadline. This means you will have likely finished your taxes before you receive this form. You are not required to keep the form but can certainly do so with your 2019 tax forms for future reference. We keep all custodian-related tax forms for you, as does your custodian (Schwab, TD).
As always, we are here as a resource for those that you care about and for. If you are worried that your family and/or friends may have been given improper financial guidance or are losing their hard-earned assets, we are available for a free second opinion or guidance to make sure they stay financially safe.
Be well and have a wonderful week!