We no longer support this browser. Using a supported browser will provide a better experience.

Please update your browser.

Close browser message

Wealth Planning

10 key actions to help set yourself up for financial success

Take control of your year, right now, with a few simple moves.


We’re coming off another banner year for the stock markets, and it looks like more market strength lies ahead. But inflation is rising. COVID-19 infection rates are spiking. Interest rate hikes are on the horizon. Plus political storms are expected, given the battle lines drawn in Congress and the coming mid-year elections.

Whatever happens, be prepared on the financial front. Set yourself up to take advantage of the potential opportunities available to you, and protect yourself against potential risks.

Here are our top 10 actions you may wish to consider for your investing, planning and financial lifestyle.

Take stock of your investments  

In order of urgency, we provide a few simple holistic actions to help you set the stage for investing that supports your goals:

1. Review your portfolio—Equity markets continued to soar in 2021 and interest rates have risen. Our outlook is positive. Still, it’s important to review the risk you’re taking in each pool of capital on your balance sheet and reaffirm its purpose: Do you want it to meet your lifestyle needs? Earmarked for the next generation? Aligned to a large near-term purchase? Such considerations will inform the tweaks you may need to make to your portfolio.

2. Check your “liquidity bucket”—In major economies across the world, household savings are historically elevated, and many high-net-worth individuals are holding more cash than they probably need. Yes, it is wise to have cash on hand for near-term expenses and as a psychological safety net to weather volatility. But “strategic cash”—cash as an investment—is our least favorite asset class because interest rates are low and inflation is rising.

How much cash should you have, then, in your “liquidity bucket?” We generally suggest holding enough for one to two years’ worth of living expenses plus any near-term large expenditures. Of course, add more if you need it to feel secure. Any amount over this number can be invested for your longer-term goals.

3. Consider “megatrends”—We’ve identified some significant multi-year, overarching trends that investors may find especially attractive: digital transformation, healthcare innovation and sustainability.

We believe megatrend investments are generally best suited for longer-term goals. 

Take charge of your wealth planning

There is no time like the beginning of a new year to take care of the important wealth planning that might greatly benefit us and our families. So don’t hesitate: 

4. Take advantage of low rates while you can—Some central banks have already started raising rates, and we expect U.S. policy rates will begin to rise this year.

Consider refinancing and restructuring your debt while interest rates are still low. Also explore whether your family might benefit from any of the estate planning strategies that are potentially more lucrative when interest rates are low, such as grantor-retained annuity trusts (GRATs), charitable lead trusts (CLATs) and intra-family loans.

5. Do your annual “to do’s” ASAP—There is some planning we all should do every year, and this year is no exception. Moreover, it may be more tax-efficient to take care of these items as early in the year as possible.

No matter how young or old we may be, we should fund our retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s and IRAs.1

Once we’ve put that oxygen mask on ourselves, we can turn to help others: Decide if you want to make annual exclusion gifts. The annual exclusion is the amount that most U.S. taxpayers are allowed to give every year, free of any gift taxes, to as many individuals and for whatever use. In 2022, it’s $16,000, which means married couples can give up to $32,000.

6. Set up the year’s charitable giving—Look at the donations you made last year to help you organize your giving this year, and take a moment, with a family member or on your own, to learn more about causes you may want to support and the ways you might make a real difference. 

Whatever amount you choose to give, taking a proactive approach can help your charitable dollars have a greater impact. So prioritize your charitable goals for the year. Assess how the timing of your donation might affect your tax situation. And identify which gifting vehicle(s) might best support your strategy.  

7. Consider using your full lifetime transfer tax exemption—The lifetime exemption, or amount that any individual can give to anyone other than a U.S. citizen spouse without paying gift tax, is at record highs at $12.06 million per person ($24.12 million for a married couple).2 Under current law, it is scheduled to be reduced by 50% starting in 2026.

If you have both the capacity and the desire to give to your loved ones during life, now may be an excellent time to do so. Your J.P. Morgan team can help you quantify how much you might gift, comfortably, without compromising your lifestyle or the goals you have for yourself. 

Shape your financial lifestyle 

8. Make sure you and your family are cyber safe—As more of our life is handled online, the dangers of cyber theft and fraud grow. But there’s a lot you can do to protect your financial life and personal data.

Start the year by changing all your passwords, being sure to set a calendar reminder to change these passwords at least two more times in the coming year. Also: Remove all the apps from your devices that you do not use, add anti-virus and ad-blocking software on all your devices, and remember to use multi-factor authentication whenever you can. 

9. Explore ways to increase tax efficiency—Now is a good time to do a quick overview to make sure you are making the most of your financial resources with tax-savvy planning strategies.

For example, if you’re spending from your portfolio, are you sure you are pulling from the most efficient place? Is your mortgage structured so that you might deduct all of the interest? If you have a concentrated position, are you aware of the various opportunities (depending on whether you’ve earmarked the asset to support your lifestyle, your family or your philanthropic interests)? If you plan to sell a business in coming years, have you started your pre-transaction planning? 

10. Plan a family meeting—Two key reasons wealth diminishes across generations are (i) a lack of communication and trust, and (ii) beneficiaries’ unpreparedness. Both can be avoided simply by holding a thoughtfully structured gathering of all your financially connected family members at least once a year. This forum is your opportunity to educate the rising generation on the purpose of family resources or any of the topics listed in this article, and to discover what they would like to learn more about.  

We can help 

As 2022 starts and you look to make the most of it, your J.P. Morgan team will be there to help. Start-of-the-year meetings are an essential feature of our J.P. Morgan Wealth Management client. So now that you’ve had the opportunity to review the top 10 actions we think all clients should consider, let’s talk and discuss which of these and other moves might be right for you. 

1.The 2022 contribution limit to retirement accounts such 401(k)s and 403(b)s is $20,500 ($27,000 if you are age 50 or older); for IRAs, it’s $6,000 ($7,000 if you are age 50 or older). The employee contribution limit is $20,500 ($27,000 if you are age 50 or older); the aggregate employee and employer contribution limit is $61,000 ($67,500). 
2.

This represents a $360,000 increase from 2021 levels ($720,000 increase for a married couple).  

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Nothing in this document shall be regarded as an offer, solicitation, recommendation or advice (whether financial, accounting, legal, tax or other) given by J.P. Morgan and/or its officers or employees, irrespective of whether or not such communication was given at your request. J.P. Morgan and its affiliates and employees do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transactions.

GENERAL RISKS & CONSIDERATIONS

Any views, strategies or products discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all individuals and are subject to risks. Investors may get back less than they invested, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Nothing in this material should be relied upon in isolation for the purpose of making an investment decision. You are urged to consider carefully whether the services, products, asset classes (e.g., equities, fixed income, alternative investments, commodities, etc.) or strategies discussed are suitable to your needs. You must also consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with an investment service, product or strategy prior to making an investment decision. For this and more complete information, including discussion of your goals/situation, contact your J.P. Morgan team.


Wealth Planning Cybersecurity Insights

Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck

To learn more about J. P. Morgan’s investment business, including our accounts, products and services, as well as our relationship with you, please review our  J.P. Morgan Securities LLC Form CRS and  Guide to Investment Services and Brokerage Products.

This website is for informational purposes only, and not an offer, recommendation or solicitation of any product, strategy service or transaction. Any views, strategies or products discussed on this site may not be appropriate or suitable for all individuals and are subject to risks. Prior to making any investment or financial decisions, an investor should seek individualized advice from a personal financial, legal, tax and other professional advisors that take into account all of the particular facts and circumstances of an investor's own situation. 

This website provides information about the brokerage and investment advisory services provided by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”). When JPMS acts as a broker-dealer, a client's relationship with us and our duties to the client will be different in some important ways than a client's relationship with us and our duties to the client when we are acting as an investment advisor. A client should carefully read the agreements and disclosures received (including our Form ADV disclosure brochure, if and when applicable) in connection with our provision of services for important information about the capacity in which we will be acting.

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: • NOT FDIC INSURED • NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY • NOT A DEPOSIT OR OTHER OBLIGATION OF, OR GUARANTEED BY, JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES • SUBJECT TO INVESTMENT RISKS, INCLUDING POSSIBLE LOSS OF THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT INVESTED

Equal Housing Opportunity logo

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A., Member FDIC Not a commitment to lend. All extensions of credit are subject to credit approval 

J.P. Morgan Wealth Management is a business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which offers investment products and services through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, member FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. Certain custody and other services are provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMCB). JPMS, CIA and JPMCB are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states.

Please read additional Important Information in conjunction with these pages.