Fall planning for your finances

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management


Summary: Learn the six money moves you can make this fall to set yourself up for success in 2024 and beyond. Find tips on investing, taxes, charitable giving, and more.

Fall financial planning.

As fall arrives, the changing of the season can be an ideal time to revisit your financial plans with a fresh perspective. Ask yourself: What goals do you still need to tackle this year? And which ones do you want to pursue in 2024? Here are six financial moves you can make in the final months of 2023 to help set yourself up for success in 2024 and beyond.

1. Revisit your asset allocation

The end of the year is a good time to revisit your investment strategy and asset allocation to help ensure your portfolio is diversified across stocks, fixed income, cash, and other asset classes in a way that fits your goals and risk tolerance. If recent gains or losses in financial markets have caused your investments to drift away from your target asset allocations, it may be time to consider rebalancing them.

If recent gains or losses in financial markets have caused your investments to drift away from your target asset allocations, it may be time to consider rebalancing them.

2. Plan for your tax return

Whether or not you live in a state with high taxes, consider how minimizing the impact of taxation on your portfolio can help you build and sustain your finances over time. For example, a tax-aware asset location strategy, may help increase after-tax returns. And, for taxable accounts, a strategy known as tax-loss harvesting can help minimize taxes owed from capital gains.

3. Maximize retirement contributions

If you’re not doing so already, consider fully funding your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), since your contributions can be made on a pretax basis. In 2023, you can save up to $22,500 through your 401(k) plan, with up to $7,500 in additional contributions for those age 50 or older. Separately, for the 2023 tax year, you can save up to $6,500 in an individual retirement account (IRA), plus an additional $1,000 if you are age 50 or older.1

4. Consider investing sustainably

Year-end may also be a good time to examine how well your portfolio aligns with your personal values. For investors concerned about issues such as climate change, for example, iinvesting in companies that lead in environmental, social, and governance best practices can help them seek to generate positive financial returns while also driving positive change on the issues they care about.

Want help integrating sustainable investing into your portfolio? E*TRADE’s Sustainable Investing hub offers solutions, perspectives, and insights.

5. Plan your charitable and holiday giving

During the holidays, many feel the call to give back. When making your gifting plans, you need to also decide whether you want to give cash, securities, or volunteer your time.

Donations of qualified appreciated stock may maximize the amount you give to your favorite causes. To find out more, visit etrade.com/donations.

You could consider making contributions to, or creating a 529 plan to help someone you care about save for college. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged way to invest for future education expenses.

6. Check in on your budget

Finally, revisit your budget ahead of the holiday shopping season and make a plan that you can stick to for spending. This can help you avoid any temptation to dip into savings or incur high interest rate credit card debt and keep you on track financially through the end of the year.

The source of this article, “Fall Planning for Your Finances,” was originally published on August 30, 2023.

1 IRS.gov, “Retirement Topics,” https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics

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