Clutter & Chaos, or Collections & Tranquility?

I'm often told "I'm overwhelmed, I don't know where to start" by my clients; and it's understandable - without systems in place it's easy for anything to get out of control. I will admit to some OCD-like tendencies, perhaps because of spending so many years living on a submarine and having no room for anything. There were several years where I was hot-racking, sharing 2 racks between 3 people; out of necessity you learn how to pack and bring only what you absolutely need. Add to that my training as a Lean Six Sigma Green belt and it's a wonder I don't have my everything in my house labeled and it's location identified (I don't, I promise : p ). I am NOT a professional organizer, although I do know a few and will gladly recommend them if asked.

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Deductable and Non Deductable Medical Expenses

This week, rather than the blog you traditionally see, I would like to share with you a list of medical expenses you can, and cannot deduct. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, when in doubt please consult with a tax professional. The IRS doesn’t allow you to deduct medical expenses until they’ve exceeded 10% of your income, but for many of us who are caring for sick/aging parents and/or a child/relative with a disability, it’s reasonable to expect you’ll meet this requirement.

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Smart moves for your tax refund

2017 Tax season is finally here. Many of you already completed your tax returns and many are still working on them, including me. Gosh, life used to be so simple when I didn’t own a business and only had W-2 income!

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Time to Give It Away

Have you looked at the holdings in your individual or joint brokerage accounts lately? Do you see lots of gains as you look through the portfolio of your taxable accounts? Would you like to avoid recognizing those capital gains and save on your taxes too?

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Roth/Traditional – What’s the Difference?

As I think most of us are aware, there are (2) types of IRAs – a Traditional and a Roth. These options are growing in availability within employer-sponsored retirement plans, and I think some explanation about the difference is warranted. Traditional accounts are tax-deferred, meaning the money put into the account is not taxed and thus your annual income is lowered. For example, if you are earning $80,000 a year and you’re filing Married Joint, you would start in the 25% bracket. If you contribute 6% of your income to a traditional retirement plan (401k, 403b) your taxable income drops to $75,200 and you end up in a lower tax bracket (15%).

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Charitable IRA Distributions

Most of us are aware the IRS requires us to take distributions from IRA’s no later than the year you reach 70 ½ (Source IRS.gov). For those who don’t necessarily “need” the money this can become an extra tax burden, and could impact how much they are paying for Medicare; because Medicare Part B premiums are based upon income reported (2) years ago (Source medicare.gov). So, what can you do if you don’t want to pay an increased income tax, increased Medicare and you don’t really “need” the money?

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