9 Money Dates and Deadlines in December 2021

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Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.

Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.

Enter our “Money Calendar” series.

In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates in December 2021. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you.

Dec. 7 — Open enrollment ends for Medicare

The fall open enrollment period for Medicare — the federal health insurance program for seniors and people with certain disabilities — started Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7.

Medicare recipients who have yet to do their open enrollment homework should round up the following resources ASAP:

Dec. 13 — Green Monday

If you managed to miss both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, know that you will likely have another chance to snag a deal on the second Monday of December, aka Green Monday.

This retail holiday was started by eBay in 2007 because the second Monday of December was historically one of the company’s best days of the year for sales.

Last year, big names like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target were among the retailers that “celebrated” Green Monday with sales. To learn what to expect from this year’s Green Monday sales, check out “The 6 Best Things to Buy in December — and 3 to Avoid.”

Dec. 15 — Open enrollment deadline for ACA insurance plans to start in January

The annual open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act health insurance policies started Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 15. But if you want your new plan coverage to start on Jan. 1, you must enroll by Dec. 15. (If you enroll in a plan between Dec. 16 and Jan. 15, your coverage will start Feb. 1 instead.)

If you buy coverage through one of the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, this period is your opportunity to enroll or re-enroll in a plan for 2022.

For more information, or to apply for coverage or view plans, visit the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website.

Dec. 26 — Day after Christmas

We’ve seen the day after Christmas become a retail holiday of its own in recent years, generating sales on more than just holiday decorations.

So, keep an eye out. And again, check out “The 6 Best Things to Buy in December — and 3 to Avoid” to find out what types of purchases to postpone until after Christmas.

Dec. 31 — 5 tax deadlines

April 15 might be the most notorious tax deadline, but Dec. 31 brings us more federal income tax deadlines than perhaps any other day of the year.

For example, Dec. 31 is the deadline to do the following for the 2021 tax year:

  • Make contributions to most employer-sponsored retirement accounts.
  • Make charitable contributions. Normally, this opportunity for a tax write-off applies only to taxpayers who itemize their deductions. But this year, it’s also available to an extent to those who take the standard deduction, as we reported in “2 Charitable Tax Breaks Have Been Extended for 2021.”
  • Make Roth IRA conversions. This deadline is for converting traditional IRA money or pre-tax 401(k) money to a Roth IRA. You can learn more about Roth conversions in “5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes.”
  • Withdraw your first required minimum distribution (RMD). This deadline applies to people who turned 72 during the first six months of 2021, Ed Slott & Co. reports. (Those who turned 72 in the latter half of the year have until April 1, 2022, to make their first RMD due to quirks in recent federal laws.)
  • Withdraw your annual RMD: This deadline applies to anyone who turned 73 or older in 2021.