The IRS is set to begin receiving tax returns on the 27th.
That means, it’s about to get VERY busy around here. Which is exactly how we like it.
We’ve been preparing since the summer for this year’s tax return process, integrating all of the nuggets we’ve been unearthing within the “new” (as of last year) tax code that we now operate under, and we are pretty excited about putting our knowledge to work on behalf of our clients.
So, again: there are many good reasons to get in here as early as possible. I covered them last week, but briefly:
- Get your (potential) refund sooner
- Peace-of-mind to get the paperwork monkey off your back
- Get ahead of the fraudsters
- Make any plans to get any amount owed handled without being in scramble-mode
- Get a jump on using the entire 2020 calendar year for effective tax planning (to save even MORE next year)
- Get a good spot on our calendar before it gets full!
That’s a bunch of good reasons.
Now when we DO meet with our clients, we are picking through history — we are helping you sort through your 2019 and make sure that the numbers match … AND, of course, that YOU are able to take advantage of every possible legal and ethical method to hold on to your hard-earned dollars (or sometimes receive a nice bump in your supply from a refundable tax credit).
But we also like to spend time future-casting.
That means that we get to be ones who dream with you — ones (beside you and your spouse) who focus not just on accurately recording “history” but also about the real-world implications for what life will look like down the line.
And when we do this, it makes me wonder if financial counselors do the same thing with retirement?
In fact, I know that some of them do.
But, on the chance that your particular financial planner only pays attention to the numbers, and doesn’t help you evaluate some of the other components of your retirement situation, here’s a few ideas for some practical things you can do.
Would you add anything to this list? I’d be interested in your comments…
How To Plan For Retirement by David Barnes
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
When you’ve hit a certain stage of life, you shouldn’t just plan for retirement, you should rehearse for it.
Because retirement can last multiple decades, it’s more important than ever that “pre-retirees” (those who plan to retire in five to seven years) practice how they want to live without work as the organizational focus of their lives.
Test different living-style options
For example, many Southern California people dream of selling the family home and traveling in an RV or going abroad. Practice this by renting a camper and going on the road for a long vacation. You may discover that travel is exhausting or boring to you.
The same holds true for relocation dreams. Rent a home where you think you may want to retire to see if it really is where you’d like to move. The weather may not suit you, or the community may not be your cup of tea. Work out these details before you commit to an expensive change.
Get your marriage prepared
Most couples spend much of their early years working and, thus, spending much of their time apart. It may take some time to get used to the other person’s schedule, habits, and routines.
Make sure you can live on a set budget
Most Southern California retirees’ income is significantly less than their preretirement income. Add up all the Social Security benefits, pension income, and 401(k) and IRA savings to calculate what you can realistically expect to live on each month. Then live on that amount for a month to determine what changes, if any, you need to make to your plans.
I hope this all helps! Again, we’d love to dream-plan with you about this when we see you this year, even if just for a few minutes while we look over your return information.
But just know that even if that conversation isn’t something you’re ready for, we’ve got your taxes covered.
To your family’s financial and emotional peace…
Barnes Accountancy Corporation