Financial Fitness

Your Year-End Planning Checklist

Follow this end-of-2019 checklist to potentially reduce your tax bill this year and keep your financial goals moving forward.

October 21, 2019

Help keep yourself on the right financial path with a few key actions between now and the end of the year, including maximizing retirement account contributions, completing charitable donations, and finishing any Roth IRA conversions. This checklist can help you stay on track.


  • CREATE or add to your education savings program (including 529 plans)
  • REVIEW your beneficiary designations and make any necessary adjustments due to life changes (birth of child or grandchild, marriage, divorce, death)
  • DEVELOP a plan to complete charitable and family member gifts by year-end.
  • REVIEW your Medicare Part D choices if you receive Medicare benefits; the window for enrolling or changing plans is October 15 to December 7.
  • CONSIDER funding a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA), if applicable, during your employer’s annual benefits enrollment period.
  • REVIEW your insurance coverage to make sure it’s adequate for your needs.


  • MAXIMIZE your contributions to your employer retirement accounts. If contributing to your IRA, the deadline is April 15, 2020.
  • REMEMBER that when selling securities you own, the trade date, not the settlement date, determines the year of the sale and recognition of any gain or loss in most situations. Trades executed on or before December 31, 2019, will be taxable events in 2019.
  • TAKE required minimum distributions (RMDs) if you’re age 70 ½ or older; discuss with your tax advisor the suitability of qualified charitable distributions (QCDs).
  • MAKE gifts to individuals or charities. The annual gift tax exclusion amount for 2019 gifts to individuals is $15,000.
  • COMPLETE any Roth IRA conversions.
  • DETERMINE if now is the time to exercise or disqualify any company-granted stock options you own.
  • PREPARE for filing tax returns by organizing records or receipts for income and expenses.
  • TAKE precautions now to avoid tax-related identity theft. If you suspect that you’ve received a scam letter, phone call, or email, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
  • MAKE an appointment for early next year to talk with your local Social Security Administration office if you plan to retire in 2020 or will reach full retirement age for Social Security in 2020.

Additional Resources

Did you miss our year-end checklist for October? Take a look to make sure you’ve crossed these items off your list, too.

Check out Wells Fargo Tax Center for more guidance on your 2019 year-end planning.

Wells Fargo Advisors is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advice. If legal or tax assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.