December 2020 Message

Council Meeting Message December 2020

In previous years this is the time we may have been shopping for that special present, getting a tree and preparing to cook the traditional Christmas meal. This year will be different. Many will be reluctant to travel, so many may be celebrating with just the household instead of a house-full! Instead of crushes of people at the mall, our Christmas presents will be dropped at the front door by UPS, USPS or Amazon Prime. No 22 lb. turkey this year for the family members visiting from far and wide; just a small one for the few of us. While this year may be different, it may get us to slow down a bit and perhaps savor the special time of year and what we really celebrate.

We turn our thoughts to themes of “Peace on Earth” and “Goodwill to Men!” We think of our Savior’s birth in Bethlehem and the beginning of this chapter of salvation history. We think of family, both the ones we celebrate with this year in person and those who might only be present on Zoom. But we’ll make it through the season; we’ll have even more to celebrate next year.

Each year I remind my readers of some important financial issues as we move through December and hit year end. As you slow down here are some financial issues to consider at the end of the calendar year.

1. Because we’re so late in the year, you may have met your individual or family deductible on your health insurance plan. Financially this may be the opportune time for some minor procedure to be scheduled; or that visit to a specialist you may have put off. The same is true about dental insurance and sometimes even for vision coverage.

2. Speaking of health insurance, do you have a Health Savings Account? Do you have to spend the money that’s in there by year end? Some plans have a “use it or lose it” feature. Do you have to make a decision about how much to contribute next year? These are a couple of time sensitive issues.

3. If you have earned income for the year, what amount will you want to contribute to your traditional IRA, Roth IRA or 401k? Are you eligible to contribute much more based on the “catch up” provision? You won’t have to make that contribution until you pay your taxes and that could be four months away; however now is the time to start making plans.

4. Speaking of IRAs, have you received your required minimum distribution for this year? If not, the Internal Revenue Service penalty is a hefty 50% of the amount you should have received!

All of these issues come with lots of rules and regulations, so don’t go it alone. Give me a call and I will be happy to discuss any of these issues…and you can do it safely, virtually with me on the computer from the comfort of your home.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us be thankful for all the graces God has showered on us, especially the gift of his Son, our Savior! “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:5

Vivat Jesus!