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Retirement is not Rocket Science

 

Retirement is not Rocket Science

By Michael Velazquez

Predicting Your Financial Future

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”

(credited to Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker)

Predicting Your Financial Future

By Michael Velazquez

Can you predict the future? I suspect most of you reading this would say no. For those that would say yes, perhaps you need some therapy (humor intended).

What if I asked you: “do you feel connected to your financial future?” Behavioral finance, like any young science or field of knowledge, is a work in progress. It is now moving into its second generation and attracting bright young minds furthering our collective cause in this space. Two such individuals at Kansas State University have just published a study that suggests we might be able to predict our financial future, or at least impact it depending on our ability to visualize our future financial self. The more vividly we can imagine our future financial self, or the more connected we are to that mental model, and the related details of financial goals, the more we influence behavioral changes that will make it more likely we will accomplish those goals.

Your Credit Cards

Your Credit Cards

Credit cards are like cars. If you use them too much too fast, you get a ticket and have to go to court and your insurance goes up (your credit gets dinged). If you don’t use them enough, they get rusty and the motor goes stale (your credit gets dinged). If you tend to think of a credit card as free money, you may be surprised when you don’t have the money to pay the balance, with interest added; how could you, when you didn't have the money to begin with – the whole reason you used the credit card! This means a bigger portion of your payments are going to interest and the balance keeps growing and growing.

A Woman’s Point of View – Suddenly Being Alone

“I am woman hear me roar.”

Lyrics from song sung by Helen Reddy

A Woman’s Point of View – Suddenly Being Alone

by Carol Duschinsky

In today’s world so many women suddenly find themselves alone, without a partner. This change arises from the death of a spouse, a divorce, or a long-term live-in relationship suddenly ended. Whatever the reason, the period following, the adjustment period is now a reality, and for most women a period of uncertainty and fear. Most women’s distress are on two levels, emotional distress and financial distress. Both need to be dealt with and faced. This is so foreign. Being the only one to evaluate and make decisions. This topic can lead to a very lengthy and complicated article, so I am going to get to the healing process, at least the healing process from my point of view.  So, to begin, ask yourself “what would you do if you were not afraid?”

Dealing with emotional distress –

Most women are more social than men. They develop deeper girlfriend relationships, and because they are usually the nurturers are closer to their children on an emotional level. So, lean on those relationships and be with people instead of grieving alone and letting all the negatives overwhelm you. But, don’t just go to them to dump all your challenges, share their friendship. Listen to their stories, laugh with them, and at times yes, cry with them. You will find that in sharing in their lives too, will result in less mental anguish about your own life.

Realize that you are learning to cope without a partner to talk it out with. Build your confidence take control. You are still you, the girl you were before you had a partner. Recall those attributes and start exercising them in your daily life. This could take some dusting off. It is natural that couples adopt a role that each play in the relationship. Now you will have the only role.

A Woman’s Point of View – Suddenly Being Alone

“I am woman hear me roar.”

Lyrics from song sung by Helen Reddy

A Woman’s Point of View – Suddenly Being Alone

by Carol Duschinsky

In today’s world so many women suddenly find themselves alone, without a partner. This change arises from the death of a spouse, a divorce, or a long-term live-in relationship suddenly ended. Whatever the reason, the period following, the adjustment period is now a reality, and for most women a period of uncertainty and fear. Most women’s distress are on two levels, emotional distress and financial distress. Both need to be dealt with and faced. This is so foreign. Being the only one to evaluate and make decisions. This topic can lead to a very lengthy and complicated article, so I am going to get to the healing process, at least the healing process from my point of view.  So, to begin, ask yourself “what would you do if you were not afraid?”

Dealing with emotional distress –

Most women are more social than men. They develop deeper girlfriend relationships, and because they are usually the nurturers are closer to their children on an emotional level. So, lean on those relationships and be with people instead of grieving alone and letting all the negatives overwhelm you. But, don’t just go to them to dump all your challenges, share their friendship. Listen to their stories, laugh with them, and at times yes, cry with them. You will find that in sharing in their lives too, will result in less mental anguish about your own life.

Realize that you are learning to cope without a partner to talk it out with. Build your confidence take control. You are still you, the girl you were before you had a partner. Recall those attributes and start exercising them in your daily life. This could take some dusting off. It is natural that couples adopt a role that each play in the relationship. Now you will have the only role.

Part III – What to do if you owe money to the IRS

 

     Part III – What to do if you owe money to the IRS

What do you get when you put the words “THE” and “IRS” together?   THEIRS.

They will get THEIRS one way or another, but you do have a say in the matter, even when you owe them. Here is a primer.

Whatever you do, file your return on time

Even if you can’t pay what you owe. The failure-to-file penalty is the most onerous of all: 5% of the tax due for any month, or fraction of a month it is late, up to 25%.

Make a partial payment

Even if you can’t pay the whole tax bill, pay as much as you can. As long as you owe, the interest and penalties keep adding up. But, it also depends on the length of time, amount and where the money is coming from. Consider IRS does not report what you owe to credit bureaus as long as no liens are filed.

Request a payment extension

If you haven't applied for a payment extension before, this could be another option. After you file your tax forms without payment, the IRS will contact you to ask whether you would be able to pay within 120 days. If you choose this option, the agency will charge you a monthly fee of 0.5 percent of the amount owed. 

Tax Series Part II: Demystifying the Tax Benefits of IRA's and ROTH IRA's

    Tax Series Part II:    Demystifying the Tax Benefits of IRA's and ROTH IRA's

What is an IRA?

Credit Where Credit is Due in Three Parts

Introduction to the Tax Series: Part I: What do Plumbing and Taxes have in common?

 “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax”

Albert Einstein

   

Introduction to the Tax Series

It’s tax time and everyone’s thoughts seem to be on taxes. We decided to help by providing a perspective of a financial advisor who happens to be a CPA as well. It will be intended to inform and educate. This theme will appear in the coming weeks leading up to tax filing deadlines in the middle of April and beyond. The lineup will be as follows:

Part I -  What do Plumbing and Taxes have in common?

Part II - Demystifying the Tax Benefits of IRA’s and ROTH IRA’s

Part III - What to do if You Owe Money to the IRS

Part IV - Preparing for the New Tax Law

 

Part I: What do Plumbing and Taxes have in common?

We have all heard the phrase on TV crime dramas: “He who represents himself in court has a fool for a client”. We believe this concept applies equally to your taxes. Which leads to my plumbing project. If you think there is no connection between my plumbing and your taxes, think again.

When my kids were younger, we wanted to modernize their bathroom without a complete remodel. The first priority was to swap out old faucets made of the kind of plastic that turns yellow. When my wife and I agreed, we then disagreed (married readers will understand). She expected me to call a plumber and I was expecting to do it myself. How difficult could it be? Initially, I prevailed and was committed to proving her wrong. We picked out the replacement faucets. I went back home and, armed with my tool chest, proceeded to scope out the project. It should be noted that I seldom used my own tools, and trepidations aside, it was too late to turn back. “I got this!” was my valiant refrain, that is, if I could find a wrench that would fit underneath the sink. After 30 minutes of futility and frustration, I tried disconnecting the faucets from the top, only to see, to my horror, the plastic break and water start gushing everywhere. Only then did I suffer the indignity of asking my wife to shut off the water main, after which I called a plumber. I was happy to pay to get it done right.

Introduction to the Tax Series: Part I: What do Plumbing and Taxes have in common?

 “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax”

Albert Einstein

   

Introduction to the Tax Series

It’s tax time and everyone’s thoughts seem to be on taxes. We decided to help by providing a perspective of a financial advisor who happens to be a CPA as well. It will be intended to inform and educate. This theme will appear in the coming weeks leading up to tax filing deadlines in the middle of April and beyond. The lineup will be as follows:

Part I -  What do Plumbing and Taxes have in common?

Part II - Demystifying the Tax Benefits of IRA’s and ROTH IRA’s

Part III - What to do if You Owe Money to the IRS

Part IV - Preparing for the New Tax Law

 

Part I: What do Plumbing and Taxes have in common?

We have all heard the phrase on TV crime dramas: “He who represents himself in court has a fool for a client”. We believe this concept applies equally to your taxes. Which leads to my plumbing project. If you think there is no connection between my plumbing and your taxes, think again.

When my kids were younger, we wanted to modernize their bathroom without a complete remodel. The first priority was to swap out old faucets made of the kind of plastic that turns yellow. When my wife and I agreed, we then disagreed (married readers will understand). She expected me to call a plumber and I was expecting to do it myself. How difficult could it be? Initially, I prevailed and was committed to proving her wrong. We picked out the replacement faucets. I went back home and, armed with my tool chest, proceeded to scope out the project. It should be noted that I seldom used my own tools, and trepidations aside, it was too late to turn back. “I got this!” was my valiant refrain, that is, if I could find a wrench that would fit underneath the sink. After 30 minutes of futility and frustration, I tried disconnecting the faucets from the top, only to see, to my horror, the plastic break and water start gushing everywhere. Only then did I suffer the indignity of asking my wife to shut off the water main, after which I called a plumber. I was happy to pay to get it done right.

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