News & Events

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.

Your Relationship with Your Phone – All Egos Aside Please!

 

“Engaging people is about meeting their needs, not yours”

                          Tony Robbins

by Carol Duschinsky

Have you ever sat in a meeting or at lunch with a friend and instead of getting their full attention it is distracted attention – quick looks at the cell phone, or “I need to take this call”, just when you are on a roll? What is the message given? “Everything else is more important”.

“I am more important”.

Or have you ever observed a parent watching their children play, or walking them in their baby carriage – parent intent on their cell phone rather than engaging with their children. How sad for both.

I would venture to say we have all been guilty of these habits without even realizing the message we are delivering. The phone has become another appendage. But in truth, it is really an object – just equipment. It should not be our point of focus most of our awake time.  So, how do we break this habit – how do we “break-up” with our phone?

Client Questions on Recent Volatility

Our office has received a few queries from nervous clients regarding the recent ups and downs the market has taken. The main concern expressed is “is this normal?” or “is this an indicator?”.  The U.S. Wealth of California client base is quite diverse, varying ages, varying professions and most relevant varying degrees of investment experience. We just want each of you to know that we are here to answer all concerns or needed clarity. We understand how important your investments are to you. Since we are experiencing recent volatility we thought it would be helpful to address the volatility the market is displaying.

First, historically speaking, volatility is a characteristic of healthy, functioning markets. Markets have periods of rise, periods of adjustment, and periods of falling. What causes these reactions are many factors. Employment, wage growth, inflation, interest rates, just to name a few. And then there are the abstract reasons, news media, public speculation, political changes, elections etc. The abstract reasons are more reactionary volatility than foundational. So, if we accept that volatility is normal in a healthy market we have answered the first client question.