End-of-the-Year Deadlines

Nov 2015

rick -2It’s hard to believe it is November already! That means there are some fast approaching deadlines that you need to be aware of.  Of course, not all these deadlines apply to everyone; however, keep in mind that these deadlines are real and there are no extensions.  Therefore, if any of these deadlines apply to you, you need to take them seriously so you can make the right decision for yourself.  All too often people make uninformed decisions as deadlines approach.  You don’t want to be in that crowd.  Rather, you want to take the appropriate amount of time so you can gather whatever information you need and make the proper decision for yourself.

The first approaching deadline deals with Medicare D.  Medicare D, the prescription drug plan is now in an open enrollment period.  This is the one time of year where people can make changes to their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.  The deadline to select a plan for 2016 is December 7.  Therefore, there is still time to do your research and make an informed decision.

It is important to remember that not only do plans change year-to-year, but in addition, your prescriptions change.  The plan you had for 2015 may not be the appropriate plan for 2016.  My advice is to research as if you do not have a plan.  Typically, people think if they had a plan last year and it was fine, they might as well just re-up for the next year.  Unfortunately, that is not a strategy you should follow, as once again, the plan that you had last year may have changed and in addition, your prescription drugs and the cost of them could also have changed.

A great place to start your research is through Medicare’s prescription drug finder on their website.  It is an excellent source of information for you.

  Another deadline that is approaching is with taxes.  For those of you who are generous in nature and are going to make year-end charitable contributions, if you are going to deduct them this year, contributions must be done before the end of the year.  Once again, I believe people need to do their research.  Not only are there scam artists that put up bogus charities just to steal your money, but there are also legitimate charities that do not spend your money wisely.  As far as I’m concerned, when you make a charitable contribution you’re hoping that the money goes to a charitable purpose, not to paying high salaries and administrative fees.  Therefore, before you give to a charity, it is important that you do some research on it.  Not only should you determine that the charity is actually legitimate, but also that they spend their money wisely.  Unfortunately, many charities are poorly run and spend an inordinate amount of their money on administrative and fundraising expenses.  Therefore, by doing your research, you can make sure that your hard-earned money goes to a charity that is legitimate and is spending your money wisely.

 Two excellent sources of information regarding charities are www.charitynavigator.org and www.give.org.  There’s a wealth of information on these websites that can assist you in making your charitable contributions.

 I wish that life was easier and that you didn’t have to check and double check so many different things.  It would be nice but unfortunately, that is not the world that we live in.  The only way that you can truly protect yourself is to take your time and do the necessary research.  Only then will you be able to make an informed decision and one that best suits your needs.

Good luck!