Schwab Offers Year-End Tips and Tools to Prepare for 2010

Seven-Point Checklist Helps Investors Plan for Tomorrow by Making Adjustments Today

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:01 am PST

Dateline:

SAN FRANCISCO

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SCHW
"Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To assist in helping everyone be financially fit, Charles Schwab is offering a series of tips to help investors be better positioned to begin the New Year.

“While it’s tempting to be more focused on holiday spending this time of year, we’re encouraging our clients to spend more time and energy on taking a serious look at their finances,” said Paul Lebouef, Charles Schwab financial consultant in Houston. “Simple tasks now — like reviewing portfolios, revisiting retirement goals, or spending time with a financial professional — could lead to tremendous benefits in the year ahead,” he added.

Year-end Financial Checklist

  1. Manage your investments for potential tax savings
    It’s smart to think ahead — especially if your investments have fallen behind. If you decide to sell losing assets before year-end, you should be able use those capital losses to offset taxable capital gains. For more tax-smart ideas, visit our tax management center.
  2. Visit with a tax professional
    To ensure you’re taking advantage of all tax benefits available, visit with a tax professional to review potential options. Beginning Jan. 1, income restrictions will be lifted from Roth IRA conversions, providing the opportunity for all investors to take advantage of this retirement-saving tool. To help decide if this is right for you, visit Schwab’s Roth IRA Conversion center.
  3. Review your portfolio
    Major market swings can cause your investment allocations to shift. By rebalancing, you can restore your target allocation, manage investment risk, and keep your portfolio in good health. Call us at 800-790-3810 to schedule a free investment consultation. Existing clients can log in to their account to try our portfolio checkup tool.
  4. Maximize your retirement plan contributions
    If you haven’t reached this year’s contribution limit for your retirement plan, kick the funding up a notch for the rest of the year and plan to maintain that contribution in 2010. The sooner you maximize your contributions, the more time your investments have to benefit from potential long-term growth.
  5. Make the most of your philanthropy
    Planning to make a contribution to a charitable organization? Donate before Dec. 31 so you can write it off on this year’s taxes. For a tax-smart approach to giving, a donor-advised fund like Schwab Charitable™ can give you immediate tax benefits, tax-free potential growth and a possible way to avoid capital gains taxes.
  6. Get smart with college savings plans
    The IRS is permitting two adjustments to 529 plans this year, as opposed the usual one — so consider a second shift before the New Year. You can also take reap potential tax benefits if you open or contribute to your kids’ or grandkids’ college savings plan of any sort before the year ends. Open a Schwab 529 account here.
  7. Spend your flexible spending account
    If you’ve covered the basics but still have some remaining funds, check your plan’s list of eligible expenses for last-minute ideas. Make sure you use the money that’s left in your account by the end of the year (or your employer’s deadline), or you’ll lose it. It’s also enrollment time for 2010 FSAs, so consider whether you’ve spent all your funds in the past and make any necessary adjustments.

For further timely tips and information, visit www.schwab.com/marketinsight.

Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, Financial Planner or Investment Manager.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.6 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 687,000 banking accounts, and $1.3 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Named "Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services" by J.D. Power and Associates in 2009, its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com.

About Schwab Charitable

Schwab Charitable™ is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund™, an independent nonprofit organization, and Schwab Charitable Trust Services, a limited liability company owned by Schwab Charitable Fund. The Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

Before investing, carefully consider the plan's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This information and more about the plans can be found in the Schwab 529 Guide and Participation Agreement available from Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and should be read carefully before investing. (1209-12179)

Contact:

Charles Schwab
Matt Hurwitz, 415-667-0480
Matt.Hurwitz@schwab.com
or
Edelman
Pablo Rodriguez, 415-486-3267
Pablo.Rodriguez@edelman.com

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