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Happy New Year, Savers and Investors! With 2024 upon us, now is a great time to start your new year financial planning because the IRS has released their updated and inflation adjusted numbers for the new Tax Year. So let’s dive into the top 3 tax minimization planning opportunities for you in 2024, so you can pay less in taxes, save more of your income, and build your wealth!


Three Big Financial Planning Updates:


  1. The IRS provided a $500 increase to the 401k maximum contribution limit! Now you can save up to $23,000 total, or a maximum of 25% of your income, for people under the age of 50.

  2. The IRS also has provided A 7% increase to the HSA maximum contribution limit! Which is now $4,150 for individuals, and $8,300 for family coverage.

  3. And lastly, the IRS has increased the Standard Deduction by $1,500. Now you will get a Standard Deduction of up to $14,600 for single filers and $29,200 for joint filers.


Bonus Tax Saving Tip: Combining the max HSA contribution, max 401k contribution, and full Standard Deduction means you could reduce your taxable income as an individual by $41,750, and a couple married filing jointly can reduce income by $83,500. That’s powerful tax savings that benefit you both presently and in the future.


So the ball is in your court! The IRS has made the updates and now it’s time for you to take action. Proactive planning can mean saving hundreds to thousands of dollars, every year, on your taxes. So plan proactively to pay the government less in taxes, keep more of your cash flow, and save and invest to build your wealth and reach your own version of financial freedom.


About the author: Daniel Caycedo is an Investment & Tax Strategist and Wealth Management Advisor for CayDen Wealth Management, a Colorado registered investment advisory firm with offices located in Broomfield, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina. Daniel works out of CayDen Wealth Management's Charlotte office, providing virtual, fiduciary, comprehensive wealth management and tax services for high performing professionals and their families. Services include proactive Financial Planning, Investment Management, & Tax Services.

With the dawn of a new year comes a wave of changes to tax laws and fresh opportunities for tax minimization within your financial planning! The recent release of IRS figures for 2024 signals the perfect time to embark on your Financial & Tax Planning journey for the new year, adopting a proactive approach to tax minimization.


At CayDen, our clients frequently hear us emphasize the value of proactive planning, which translates into saving hundreds to thousands of dollars on taxes both in the present and future—an easy financial win-win. In light of the palpable impact of inflation over the past couple of years, which may have adversely affected your short-term savings rate, it's reassuring to witness the IRS providing inflation adjustments that can directly benefit our financial situations. The simple prescription? Plan strategically to maximize your situation and minimize your taxes. Let's delve into the 2024 financial and tax planning opportunities.


IRS 2024 Tax Planning Updates


Planning Highlights of the IRS Updated Financial Figures for 2024:

(Click the carrot next to the figures below to read more about the changes)

$1,500 Increase To The Standard Deduction

The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2024 rises to $29,200, an increase of $1,500 from tax year 2023.

For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $14,600 for 2024, an increase of $750 from 2023;

and for heads of households, the standard deduction will be $21,900 for tax year 2024, an increase of $1,100 from the amount for tax year 2023.

$500 Increase To Individual Retirement Accounts Contribution Limits

$500 Increase To Company Retirement Account Contribution Limits

$400 Increase To Earned Income Tax Credit

Increases To The Marginal Rates, But Top Rate Remains 37%

$1,000 Increase To Gifting Limits

7% Increase to HSA Contribution Limits

The items listed above represent just a snapshot of the IRS-announced adjustments for tax year 2024. These figures are universally and critically important for successful financial planning and wealth-building, especially during the accumulation phase of your financial journey. While these adjustments are significant, it's essential to recognize that your specific situation may present unique tax planning opportunities. Therefore, we strongly recommend thorough research into tax law changes or, even better, consulting with a professional tax advisor to tailor your strategy and maximize your specific financial situation.


Big Tax Minimization Opportunities For Individuals & Couples


For an individual maximizing contributions to both a 401(k) and HSA, the potential reduction in taxable income is an impressive $27,150.

A couple, married filing jointly, could save and reduce their taxable income by a substantial $54,300. This translates to tremendous tax savings that benefit both the present and future. Your contributions not only decrease your income today but also grow tax-deferred into the future.


According to CayDen Wealth Management's Senior Wealth Advisor and CFP® professional, Shane Dennehy, "Maximizing retirement accounts each year provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your taxable income, helping you pay less in taxes and can also prevent you from entering a higher marginal tax bracket, or even lower the bracket you are in." This underscores the importance of regular financial planning and tax minimization to adapt to the dynamic nature of life and changing laws. Proactively planning your household finances can result in savings ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars on taxes, providing you with more resources to allocate towards what matters most to you.


In essence, proactive planning is a gift to both your present and future selves. With the IRS providing inflation-adjusted figures, the ball is now in your court. Engaging in proactive financial and tax planning not only positions you to pay less in taxes but also to save more money and foster the growth of your wealth. Seeking professional help? Don't hesitate to reach out. Your financial future awaits.



About the author: Daniel Caycedo is an Investment & Tax Strategist and Wealth Management Advisor for CayDen Wealth Management, a Colorado registered investment advisory firm with offices located in Broomfield, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina. Daniel works out of CayDen Wealth Management's Charlotte office, providing virtual, fiduciary, comprehensive wealth management and tax services for high performing professionals and their families. Services include proactive Financial Planning, Investment Management, & Tax Services.


CayDen' Financial Planning Benchmarks & Rules of Thumb


I often come across clients that know what they want to achieve financially, meaning they have goals for themselves and their families. But oftentimes they are unsure of how to get where they want to be. There is a plethora of information available on the internet about how to manage personal finances, so much in fact, that it can be overwhelming to figure out how to apply the information to your individual situation. After all, your financial journey is unique and dynamic to you, with lots of little moving parts to manage. There are many things you can get wrong or right. And your first job is to not blow it! General financial rules of thumb and CayDen’s Financial Planning Benchmarks can further help you succeed financially, now, and over the long run.


Detailed, proactive and comprehensive financial planning is worth it, but it also takes a lot of time and likely necessitates help from a financial planning professional. However, these general rules of thumb and CayDen’s Financial Planning Benchmarks can help you broadly stay on track to reach your financial goals. Some core foundational categories you can focus on, for strong overall financial health and the construction of a sturdy financial foundation include; budgeting, building and maintaining an emergency fund, making yourself attractive to Home Mortgage lenders, and saving for a comfortable retirement. Use these CayDen Planning Benchmarks to confidently plan for the future.


Budgeting


Budgeting. You may be rolling your eyes when you hear the term “Budget”, but the fact is that Cash Flow Analysis, aka “Budgeting” is an important aspect of your financial planning. Having a clear understanding of where your money is coming from, and where it is going to, is incredibly important for planning for the future. Having a clear understanding of your resources and cash flow sets the first layer of bricks on your solid financial foundation.


An accurate budget helps you clearly identify your target living expenses (needs), discretionary expenses (wants), and your surplus (savings) or deficit. Below you will find benchmarks for your three core budgeting categories, “Needs”, “Wants, & “Savings”.


Needs vs Wants vs Savings (Based On Take Home Pay)


  • 50% Needs

    • Housing, food, car-related expenses, medical expenses, and minimum debt payments

  • 30% Wants

    • Clothing, entertainment, vacations, and restaurants

  • 20% Savings

    • Emergency Fund, retirement plan, brokerage account, and extra payments towards debt(s)







Emergency Fund


Your Emergency Fund is your smart place to access money from when you need it most. It’s not a question of IF a financial rainy day will come your way, but WHEN. So you need to be prepared for the certainty of life’s uncertainty.


Emergency Funds can be held in a checking, savings, or brokerage account. But the primary goal of your Emergency Fund is liquidity and accessibility. Therefore it should be in cash or cash-equivalent, liquid investments, such as a Money Market Mutual Fund.





Emergency Fund Rules Of Thumb (Target nominal funding level)


  • Single

    • 3-6 months worth of Living Expenses

  • Dual Income Household (no dependents)

    • 3-6 months of Living Expenses

  • Dual Income Household with Dependents

    • 6-12 months of Living Expenses

  • In Retirement

    • 12-24 months after accounting for other predictable income sources






Home Purchase


Purchasing a primary home will be one of your largest financial transactions. Since it is unlikely you will be able to afford a house with your cash savings alone, you will likely need to acquire financing from a lender. Mortgage lenders are going to closely examine your financial situation to determine how much they will lend to you and on what terms. With this purchase being one of your largest lifetime financial transactions, you want to ensure that you are getting the best terms available. To get an attractive mortgage interest rate, you must have an attractive financial situation in the eyes of the lenders. Below are benchmarks to keep in mind for being attractive to a Mortgage Lender.



Home Purchasing Benchmarks


28%: Target having less than 28% of your pre-tax income set to go towards Principal and Interest, Property Tax, HOA Fees, and Homeowner Insurance Premiums.


36%: Target having less than 36% of your pre-tax income to service all forms of debt (student loans, revolving consumer debt, auto loans, mortgage, etc.)


20% Down Payment. A 20% downpayment is the most cost-effective approach because it means you avoid paying Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is a cost with no return on investment for you. So it should be avoided when possible.




Retirement Savings


The two biggest questions I get from my clients are: 1. How much do I need to retire? and 2. When can I retire?


Well, it depends on when you start! The more time that you have to save and invest for retirement, the better. The lower your current living expenses are, and the higher your savings rate, the faster you will reach your own version of Financial Freedom. Below are some benchmarks to keep in mind for targeted retirement savings.



Retirement Savings Benchmarks:

  • If you start in your 20s, save 10% - 15% of your salary, including your employee match, per year for retirement


  • If you start in your 30s, save 15% - 20% of your salary, including your employee match, per year for retirement


  • If you start in your 40s, save 25% - 35% of your salary, including your employee match, per year for retirement


  • If you start in your 50s or later, save as much as possible! You may have to consider retiring later too.



Remember, these benchmarks and financial rules of thumb can’t replace proactive, consistent financial planning. But they can help you maintain strong overall financial health and put you in a position, with focus and hard work, to realize your financial goals over the long run.



Want help from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional? Reach out today by emailing us at invest@caydenwm.com. Or, schedule your Free Financial Review and Intro Meeting using this link: https://calendly.com/caydenwealthmanagement/introductory-call?month=2023-10



About the author: Shane Dennehy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, as well as the President and Sr. Wealth Management Advisor at CayDen Wealth Management, a Colorado registered investment advisory firm with offices located in Broomfield, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina. Shane works out of CayDen Wealth Management's Broomfield office, providing virtual, fiduciary, comprehensive wealth management and tax services for high performing professionals and their families. Services include proactive Financial Planning, Investment Management, & Tax Services.



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