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Money Fix: Last call to make smart year-end moves

Believe it or not, it's almost the year that was. The countdown to Dec. 31 is on. It's last call to get a slew of things done.

Here's what should top the list.

Rebalance investments: "Evaluate your portfolio. Is it achieving your goals?" asks Stacy Francis, president of Francis Financial in Manhattan. Also, if your target asset allocation has shifted due to market change, rebalance to get back on track.

Prepay state and New York City taxes: This will create an income tax deduction if you qualify to itemize personal deductions. "If this is not done, unnecessary income taxes would be paid," explains Martine Levine, chief financial officer of 4Thought Financial Group in Syosset.

Revisit your employer's offerings: It's benefit decision time. "Don't just hit 'repeat.' Evaluate your employer's options for everything. Maximize what's being offered. Your selections should reflect any life changes," says J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA in San Antonio.

Max out your 401(k), at least to the point you qualify for a match. "Don't leave money on the table," says Rick Hu, a managing director at Northwestern Mutual in Manhattan.

Review financials: Did you meet savings goals for this year? Have you taken on more debt? Evaluate spending, weed out unnecessary expenses and update your budget for 2016.

Reflect: Year-end is a key milestone. "What do you want your money to help you achieve in the next one, three, five, 10 years and beyond?" asks Keith Lanton, president of Lantern Investments in Melville. "Your life is constantly changing. If you don't know where you're going, you aren't going to get there."


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