Braud Power Finish Line

By Joanna G. Burish

As the year comes to an end and the holiday cheer seems to start before Halloween these days, people often think that planning can take a break and we can get back to it when doing our New Year’s resolutions, right?

Ladies let me tell you, “Big mistake. BIG!” The truth is, NOW is the time to plan for the best decisions you’ll make all year and set yourself up for #winning next year. Some common mistakes people make when it comes to year end planning are as basic as failure or procrastination to plan, chasing the market, assuming everything will be fine, putting off estate planning, and worse yet … doing it themselves. To avoid these pitfalls, collaborate on these six topics with your trifecta dream team, being your financial advisor, your accountant, and an attorney (specifically an Estate and Trust expert), as you head towards the finish line of 2020.

BONUS: Do you need or want to find tax deductions? Now come on, anyone who knows me knows this final item has to make this finish line list! Give a tax-deductible charitable contribution to a nonprofit that means something to you. For me this year it’s Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Affordable Dental Care and Clean Lakes Alliance.

Ladies, it’s true that finances can be difficult and/or emotional for many of us. The best way to gain your Braud Power is to educate yourself with your options, develop a holistic plan, implement it, and measure your success — at least once at year end. Using this list will help you gain knowledge to leap into 2021 like the winner that you are! If you’d like a more holistic list, email me at [email protected] as I’m happy to send you a more comprehensive list to Braud Power your holistic planning forward!


  1. Consider tax gain/loss harvesting and portfolio rebalancing – these could be the biggest tax saving strategies for many. If you’d like to know your own investment profile, email me and I’ll send you the profile questionnaire.
  2. Know year-end deadlines. One example is the 2020 contribution limit for employees who participate in a 401(k) plan. You will need to make all your contributions by December 31. The advantage is reducing your taxable income and at the same time, helping you to save.
  3. Did you leave your job? If you had a 401(k) make sure you don’t leave that behind! Get an understanding of the difference between a Traditional and a Roth IRA, and your year-end options when you talk with your financial advisor.
  4. Life changes need to be integrated into your planning! Did you have a baby, buy a home, get married or divorced? Now is the time to adjust or update your will and estate plan, or who you listed as your beneficiary on your life insurance policy. When life changes, your plan needs to change with you, for you.
  5. Make sure your family is well protected if something happens to you by developing a plan B. Avoiding this conversation because you’re young and healthy now will absolutely cost you so much more than just money. Planning for these risks with a “one and done strategy” will not serve you holistically. Talk with your advisor as to the best options to protecting your family’s lifestyle.
  6. Have you talked with your parents about their own planning, estate, or wills? Believe me, talking with my mom on this is not an easy conversation, but because I love her so much, I want to make sure she, and our family, are ready for anything. This can be a good time to gently review their plan for long-term care coverage. If you don’t have a plan, it can cost you your life’s savings. Considering the average cost of long-term care today is between $5,000- $9,000 monthly…you do the math. It won’t take long to deplete those savings meant for big dreams.

Contact Joanna Burish directly at 608-658-3482 or

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Joanna Burish is an Insurance Agent of NM. There may be instances when this agent represents companies in addition to NM or its subsidiaries.

While links to other websites are provided for convenience and information, please be advised that except for information related to Northwestern Mutual (NM), the inclusion of, or linking to, other websites does not imply NM endorsement of, nor responsibility for, those websites.

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