Posted onJune 20, 2021|Comments Off on When to Visit a Doctor in Longview to Treat Your Back Pain?
Almost 80% of people all over the world suffer from pain in the back some time in their life. Sometimes this pain becomes severe with time whereas sometimes it can go away. If you live in Longview Texas and are suffering from lower back pain then you must know when to search for back doctors in Longview TX to treat your problem. The information provided in this write-up can be helpful for you in this regard.
Why do you have back pain?
You can have back pain due to various reasons including disc pain, joint pain, nerve pain or muscular pain, etc. According to experts, these back pains are normally neither dangerous nor harmful but they can be annoying in most cases. Pain in your back can be a sign or symptom of some other severe problem like infection in the spine, cancer-affected spine or fracture in the spine, etc. Though they are some of the rare conditions but the severity of the problem can increase if you go on delaying to find back doctors in Longview TX.
When should I see a back doctor?
You need not visit a back doctor as the pain starts hurting your back. Initially, you can apply ice and take some OTC medication to relieve your back pain. According to experts, instead of taking a bed rest initially you must remain active and take it easy to relieve your back pain. But if it prolongs for several weeks or becomes severe then you must see back doctors in Longview TX without avoiding participating in normal routine activities.
However, you should go for medical care as soon as possible if you are suffering from back pain after trauma or it is associated with fever. If you experience loss of strength, loss of functioning of bowel or bladder, or losing weight mysteriously along with your back pain even then you must visit your back doctor without any delay. If you have back pain due to some severe disease like infection, fracture or cancer even then you must visit your doctor immediately.
Which doctor should I visit for back pain?
A general healthcare provider can be helpful for you if you are experiencing back pain due to a mild injury or some strain in the recent past. But if the back pain is continuing for some time, severe or associated with some other condition like tingling to numbness in the legs or arms then you must see back doctors in Longview TX.
You should find a doctor who specializes in treating back pain without any surgery. He can be an assistant orthopedic physician, physiatrist, or chiropractor. They can help in reducing your back pain by providing the right treatment after assessing your condition. Depending upon the severity of your condition they can also refer to a back specialist like a specialist in pain management, spinal surgery or physiotherapist, etc.
So when you visit back doctors in Longview TX, they will go through your medical history, examine you physically, and suggests some tests before providing you a proper treatment.
Woods Chiropractic Center
Address: 111 Community Blvd Longview, TX
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Tooth loss can cause a lot of problems. It will affect your eating ability and your appearance. Needless to mention, it will affect your confidence. However, you can get back your look, confidence, and eating ability by dental implants. This procedure can replace your missing tooth successfully. The discomfort level will be less. It will look and feel natural. If you want more details about dental implants, you can go through the following article.
Protect the Remaining Teeth
People normally go with fixed bridges to replace a missing tooth. But this procedure will need some alteration. The alteration will make the remaining healthy teeth vulnerable and weak. You will not experience this problem while going with implants. Dental implants do not need any alteration. Also, it will offer a fully functional and longer-lasting replacement for the missing tooth.
Satisfactory Success Rate
Implants have a higher success rate in comparison to other dental procedures. It has ninety-five to ninety-eight success rates. The rate will vary depending on your condition and the expertise of the dentist. Dental implants have been around for the last three decades and the procedures have been supported by thousands of studies.
Prevent Bone Loss
Unlike other dental procedures, implants can preserve your jawbone health. Once your tooth is lost, the bone begins to weaken over the period of time. The reason is that the jawbone will not receive stimulation in the absence of a tooth. Implants will replace the missing the tooth mimicking the simulation. That will prevent further deterioration.
Last for a Long
Implants will last for the lifetime. Once you have done this procedure, it will not have the chip, cavity, or similar kind of problems. The root, spaceships, and missiles will be made from titanium. That ensures a lasting result.
Look and Feel Natural
Dental implants offer a natural look. No one can distinguish between implants and real tooth without expertise. They will look great. In fact, they can be colored and shaped to match well with your existing teeth. When it comes to the functionality, you will feel like real teeth. There will be no discomfort. You can talk and eat confidently. Also, implants do not demand extra care and attention. You can simply brush and floss like your real teeth. You might not experience these benefits with other procedures.
Not That Expensive
Dental implants are normally considered as an expensive procedure. You will have to spend more upfront. However, it is a one-time investment. Once implants are in place, you do not need any replacement or upkeep in the future. It will work like a normal tooth. If you go with other procedures such as bridges or dentures, you are going to spend for the lifetime.
Make Eating Easier
With implants, eating will be easy like normal teeth. You can eat anything that you want including crunchy carrots and chewy lollies.
Dental implants are ideal for any missing tooth. However, you should always visit an experienced OKC Implants dentist and discuss the procedures in details to ensure a better outcome.
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Posted onJanuary 4, 2019|Comments Off on How Orthodontist Is Different From Dentist
Our teeth have a very important role to play as far as our bodies are concerned. Our teeth help in ensuring that the food we eat is sent to the digestive tract in an easily digestible form and shape. Further quality teeth and gums also go a long way in ensuring overall looks and appearances. This again is very important given the fact that we live in a world where looks and external appearances matter as much as inner talents and other character attributes. Hence today we have different streams of services as far as overall oral health and dentistry is concerned. Perhaps around five of six decades back we only had a dentist who used to take care of everything. But today we have different professionals handling different problems. In this article, we will try and find out the difference between an Shawnee orthodontist and a dentist. We are sure it will go a long way in educating and informing customers and help them to make the right choice between a dentist and an orthodontist.
What Are Their Similarities?
There is one common area of similarity between an orthodontist and a dentist. Yes, it is obvious. Both of them are into the business of providing their patients with the right oral care. Usually, it is seen that an orthodontist also undertakes the jobs and responsibilities of a dentist. In other words, he takes care of regular problems like treating teeth pain, helping with filling up of tooth decay, extracting painful and damaged tooth amongst other things. Hence it would not be out of place to mention here that there are many situations where the role of dentists and orthodontists overlap.
How Are They Different?
However, we need to understand that there are more differences compared to similarities between these two professionals. An orthodontist is a more complex profession and it requires additional schooling and undergoing special dentistry related studies, surgeries, processes and procedures. It is akin to a doctor undergoing special studies so that he or she is able to become a surgeon. While dentists usually restrict themselves to handling routine stuff like teeth pain, teeth whitening, filling of decayed tooth and tooth extraction, orthodontists are known for offering much more. They come in handy when there is a need for doing some cosmetic upgrades to the teeth. The role of these professionals is quite wide and we share below a few reasons where their services could quite useful.
They also could help improve the overall alignment of teeth and help straighten crooked teeth or teeth which have not been properly formed.
They also could help in other cosmetic processes like permanent whitening of teeth and also fixing some more complex issues that could have been with patients ever since their birth.
The Final Word
In fine, there is no doubt that when it comes to a combination of routine dentistry issues and cosmetic changes to the teeth and gums, the role of orthodontist becomes quite important and extremely crucial.
Address:717 S I-35 Service Rd, Moore, OK
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Nowadays, braces come in a variety of options that the customers can choose from. Efforts are being made for the past many years to make the braces unnoticeable, but they are still much adult friendly. So, the researchers have come up with Invisalign, a new type of transparent braces that is fast overcoming the traditional braces for gaining a perfect smile. It is a more discreet way of achieving straight teeth. The EnvisagingRichmond TX bracesare look like a shiny transparent gum shield, which is molded in a perfect way to slot over the teeth. With the use of a perfect impression and molding technique, these Invisalign braces stay in place and bring about the desired results effectively. Then, as the teeth start moving, the braces are replaced by a new set that matches the ne orientation and helps to sustain it, while continuing with the straightening process. Although, Invisalign braces are not used on the larger scale yet, their excellent benefits make them suitable as the main form of dental treatment. One of its greatest advantages is the replacement of retainers.
Retainers have to worn by people choosing traditional methods after the removal of metal braces so that the teeth maintain their position and become permanently fixed. And as the retainers have to be used for three to six months, the overall process becomes too long. Invisalign has made it possible to get rid of the retainers completely. Consequently, people are able to enjoy the straighter teeth even during the ongoing treatment. Being discreet and unnoticeable is what makes the Invisalign braces much more beneficial over the metal braces. The other benefits of Invisalign include a more effective brushing and flossing. As Invisalign allows the customers to remove the transparent braces while brushing or flossing, which is not possible with the traditional braces, it allows better and easier cleaning of teeth. For people who wish to have their teeth whitened and straightened at the same time, the envisaging tray can also be used as a whitening tray. This dual functionality of envisaging gives it an upper hand over the traditional metal braces.
In addition to these benefits, there is also the advantage of less likelihood of soreness. As there are no sharp points or metal edges in the Invisalign braces in Sugar land, soreness of the gums or the area surrounding the teeth do not take place. Also, there are less chances of decaying or gum disease with the Invisalign aligners. The absence of metal parts removes out the chances of cuts in the mouth. With metal braces, there are problems of loosening of the metal brackets. So, people have to keep visiting their dentist every now and then. This is not the case with Invisalign. And unlike the traditional braces, there is no restriction in envisaging on the kinds of food people want to eat during the teeth straightening process. People can easily eat sugary snakes, hard fruits like apples, and fizzy drinks. Since its discovery, Invisalign has worked wonders for many happy customers. They are grateful to this exciting new method of Invisalign for letting them have perfect smiles and high self-esteem.
Posted onOctober 24, 2018|Comments Off on Selecting The Appropriate Dental Practitioner For You
At present, almost every one of us is in the habit of visiting the dental practitioner at least twice every year. However, one will come across multiple choices when it comes to choosing an appropriate dentist for his or her dental requirements. A dentist is one individual who can make a significant difference in maintaining the health of the teeth as well as the gums. There are likewise different specialties in their profession as well. In other words, different types of dental physicians are adept at taking care of different components of our oral health. In fact, there is a specialty which will suit every single person out there when it comes to selecting the dentists. However, the good thing is that the majority of the towns and cities across the globe come with lots of dentists who are not only certified but also competent as well. In the subsequent paragraphs, we will throw some light on the different types of dentists available at present.
These professionals focus their practice on looking after the younger generation which includes infants as well as kids through puberty. As a matter of fact, you’ll come across many young children who require constant dental care so as to keep their gums tidy as well as healthy with the emergence of new teeth during this particular phase of their lives. Moreover, several pediatric dental practitioners likewise add video games to their clinics as well as colorful paintings on the walls which will help the toddlers to overcome their nervousness ahead of the consultation. In this way, this helps to make the atmosphere quite playful as well as amusing for everybody.
This category of dental practitioners usually concentrates on beautifying the smiles of their patients. Amongst the services offered by okc invisalign dentists, whitening of yellow or stained teeth, as well as bleaching, deserves special mention. Besides these, they are also known to take care of cracked enamel as well as apply veneers too.
A general dental practitioner will usually take care of the oral health of individuals of all ages, along with several other general dental issues which might include maintenance as well as repairs. In most cases, these types of dentists are known to serve the entire family as a whole.
In oklahoma city orthodontists are those dental physicians who work on straightening of the teeth. Although the majority of the patients consist of children, adults of every age are also quite common. At present, you’ll come across braces in different types of appearances and shapes. Unlike the past, when tin grins used to fill up the smiles, the contemporary method will be to create a more innovative and cool look by applying brightly colored and clear apparatuses.
These are those dental physicians who look after the pulp as well as tissue encircling each tooth. In fact, they will take care of the adjoining region of the teeth which consists of arteries, nerves, fibrous and lymphatic tissues, all of which are essential to oral health. They are also experienced enough to perform root canals, applying crowns and also repairing damaged or cracked teeth.
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Posted onMarch 15, 2018|Comments Off on Why Real Estate Will Always Be More Desirable Than Stocks
For most of my post college life, I’ve had a drastically larger exposure to real estate over stocks. I needed a place to live so I figured it was better to pay down a mortgage than to pay someone rent. When it was time to buy another property, I simply rented out my old place for positive cash flow, and enjoyed my new place until it was time to rent it out again and buy a new place.
I’ve gone through this buy-rent-buy cycle three times now, and it’s been by far the easiest way to make and save several million in tax-advantageous dollars. Within the next five years, our plan is to go through another cycle and buy a Hawaiian beach property and rent out our current San Francisco primary residence.
Now that my exposure to stocks and real estate are more equal after the sale of a SF rental in 2017, I’ve had time to think about the two asset classes more objectively. And during this time, I’ve noticed anti-housing crusaders reach deafening levels!
The main reason why there is so much rage against real estate is due to the human condition.
Why Real Estate Will Always Be More Desirable Than Stocks
You crave what you can’t have.
The people who are the most vocal against real estate are the ones who have the most desire for real estate.
They are the activists who push government to enact laws that tax foreign buyers, tax absentee property owners, and build more housing because their rent is too damn high.
They are the bloggers who cherry pick a bad home sale to prove prices are weakening in an obviously booming city.
They are your friends and acquaintances who call you a trust fund baby, don’t believe you scrimped and saved all those years, or try to make you feel bad about your purchase.
To buy real estate responsibly, you need to go through these steps:
Save enough for a 20% downpayment to avoid PMI.
Have a financial institution deem you creditworthy enough to qualify for a mortgage.
Make an attractive enough offer to be accepted by the seller.
Have the guts to agree to the terms and take on the property.
At each stage, there is risk of rejection or failure.
It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice to save $300,000 for a down payment on a median priced home in New York City. Therefore, most people don’t and get pissed at those who do. The human condition assigns luck to the achievements of others and skill to our own.
Due to more stringent lending standards since the financial crisis, the average credit score for those qualifying for a mortgage is over 720 (excellent). Banks also won’t lend to folks with a debt-to-income ratio of over 43%. If you get rejected for a mortgage, which has happened to me because I didn’t have two years worth of freelance income at the time, you will naturally hate the lender and housing in general.
In competitive housing market, it’s common to get rejected multiple times before finally giving an offer good enough to be accepted. Each rejection beats you down because you always dream about what your life would be like in the property you are pursuing. Get rejected enough and you’ll either put out some crazy high offer to your detriment or get really bitter at the entire process.
Related: Spray And Pray: A Cheap Way To Potentially Buy A Property
Once your offer is accepted, you need to muster up the courage to transfer a good chunk of savings into escrow and in most cases assume a mortgage. Plenty of people get cold feet and back out from their offer. It takes guts to take such concentrated risk. If you backed out only to see the property resell years later for lots more than you could have bought it for, of course you’re going to be pissed off.
Related: No Financing Contingency: A Way To Offer All Cash Without Having All Cash
Now let’s look at how difficult it is to acquire stock.
The barrier to entry to buying stock is pretty much ZERO. Robo-advisors like Wealthfront can build you a stock portfolio for free starting with just $500. You can open up a Fidelity brokerage account with $100 and buy roughly 70 ETFs commission free. There’s even a new fintech company called Robinhood that allows you to trade everything commission free.
When anybody and everybody can buy stock, stock simply becomes less desirable. When there is only one panoramic ocean view property in on a 10,000 square foot lot with a hot tub time machine owned by someone who will never sell, of course the property will be more desirable than any stock on the planet.
Why do you think there’s not nearly the same level of rage against owning stocks?
Think about this: It’s somehow OK to rent all your life and be short the housing market. Yet if anybody decided to short the S&P 500 index their entire life, they’d be considered a buffoon.
Other Reasons Why Real Estate Is Attractive
1) You are the CEO, not a minority investor. Every physical real estate investment you make puts you in charge. As CEO, you are able to make improvements, cut costs (refinance your mortgage), raise rents, find better tenants, and market accordingly. Of course you are still at the mercy of the economic cycle, but overall you have much more leeway in making wealth optimizing decisions. When you invest in a public or private company, you are a minority investor who is putting his or her faith in management. Sometimes managers commit fraud or blow their companies to smithereens while making mega millions for themselves.
2) Leverage other people’s money cheaply. Thanks to mortgage interest rates coming down for 30+ years, qualified real estate investors can borrow money at 30+ year lows. Given the cost of capital is lower, the returns tend to be higher. Cheap interest rates also attract more borrowers, bringing more liquidity to the real estate market, which in turn puts upward pressure on prices. Even if real estate only tracks inflation over the long run, a 3% increase on a property where you put 20% down is a 15% cash-on-cash return. At this rate, in five years you will have more than doubled your equity. Just don’t get caught being overly levered in a down market.
3) More tax advantages. Not only can you deduct the interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage indebtedness on your primary home in 2018 and beyond, you can also sell your primary home for tax free profits up to $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married couples if you live in the home for at least two of the last five years. Thanks to depreciation, a non-cash expense, you can shield your rental income as well. All expenses associated with managing your rental properties are also deductible against your rental income. If you are in the 32% marginal federal income tax bracket or higher, all the more reason to own your primary residence.
2018 Federal Income Tax Rates
4) Tangible asset. Real estate is something you can see, feel, and utilize. Life is about living, and real estate can provide a higher quality of life compared to a rental that is not properly maintained. I always believe in buying real estate for living first, cash flow second, and principal appreciation third. With stocks, there is no utility unless you spend the dividends or sell positions to purchase something. As a majority investor, the feeling of owning my primary residence is 1000X greater than the feeling of owning this Macbook I’m typing this post on, despite owning $150,000 in Apple stock.
5) Easier to analyze and make better investment decisions. It is much more difficult to analyze a company’s income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet than it is to analyze a property’s financial statements. This is why it’s often better to just buy an S&P 500 index fund for your stock allocation and call it a day. If you buy an individual stock, it may doincredibly well, or you might lose your shirt because you misjudged competitive pressures. For example, anybody who bought Blue Apron stock at the IPO is now down 75% because they misjudged Amazon coming into the market and crushing them. Anybody who bought Lehman Brothers or Enron lost everything. With real estate, it’s easier to estimate rental income, occupancy levels, new supply, job growth, and population growth.
6) Less visible volatility. Your house value could be tanking and you would never know it since there isn’t a daily ticker symbol. During the 2008-2009 downturn, I still got to enjoy my vacation property in Lake Tahoe 20 days a year even though its value was plunging. Meanwhile, looking at the TV or computer screen just made me mad at how much I was losing in my stock portfolio. When your investment is less volatile, it’s much easier to stay the course and not sell at the bottom.
7) A greater source of pride. After a while, making money for money’s sake is a pretty empty feeling. Money needs to be used for something, such as buying real estate to raise a family. Every time I drive by my rental property I feel proud to have made the purchase in 2003. It reminds me of the time when I was 26 years old and still trying to make a name for myself at the job. I have zero sense of pride with my stock portfolio, partly because nobody sees it and nobody uses it.
8) More insulated. Real estate is local. If you’ve made a good decision to buy in an economically strong region, you will be more insulated from the national economy or the global economy. Look at prices in superstar cities such as NYC, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris, and San Francisco. They fall the least, recover the soonest and gain the most. Of course if tech ever collapses, my real estate holdings will be crunched. Therefore, I sold one SF property and reinvested $500,000 of the proceeds in real estate crowdfunding projects everywhere else but San Francisco for diversification purposes.
9) The government is on your side. There are two organizations not worth fighting against: the Federal Reserve and the Central Government. Not only do you get generous mortgage interest tax deductions and tax free profits, the government sometimes bails out overextended homeowners during bad times. I got a free loan modification on my vacation property mortgage from Bank of America, even though I didn’t need it. The government forced BoA to cut my 30-year fixed mortgage from 5.875% down to 4.25%. Programs such as HARP 1.0 and HARP 2.0 allowed folks without hefty downpayments to get in on the action. There are plenty of non-recourse states such as California and Nevada which don’t go after your other assets if you decide to stop paying your mortgage and squat for months.
10) You’ll save your children from angst and despair. When you die, you can pass on your real estate holdings to your children using a stepped up cost basis to let them create their own memories, tax free. With the estate tax limit threshold now $11 million per person, you’ve got twice the room to pass on assets tax free than during the last administration. All the people who are anti-housing could have been saved if their parents decided to invest in real estate 30 years ago. Life is so much easier once housing is cheap or free. If you’re willing to provide an education for your children, perhaps you should also be willing to provide housing just in case they need it.
Related: Why I Wanted To Build A Real Estate Empire
Real Estate FOMO Is The Illest
In a bull market, the average person’s day job income will likely never catch up with their local real estate market. For example, when the San Francisco median home price jumped from $1,000,000 to $1,100,000, the median income of $80,000 would have to jump 125% just to stay even.
The good thing is that real estate goes in cycles. You are finally seeing markets like Toronto, New York City, London, and San Francisco soften due to new supply, rising mortgage rates, residents moving away, and property prices that have far outstripped wage increases. Healthy downturns will usually last 2-3 years before stabilizing and then resume their upward trajectory.
Hopefully during soft times, folks who want to buy homes will have already aggressively saved and figured out ways to boost their income. Otherwise, it’ll be the same cycle of angst, anger, and despair over and over again.
Why I’m Investing In The Heartland of America
BURL: The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow
Readers, do you agree that real estate will always be more desirable than stocks for the reasons I’ve stated? If not, please share why!
The post Why Real Estate Will Always Be More Desirable Than Stocks appeared first on Financial Samurai.
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Posted onMarch 12, 2018|Comments Off on What Does Early Retirement Feel Like? The Positives And Negatives Of Not Working For A Living
Financial independence and retirement are used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences. Financial independence is usually applicable to people across their entire lifespan. Those who cashed out $5 million dollars worth of Facebook stock at the age of 30 are financially independent just like those who saved $5 million in their retirement funds by the age of 65.
Retirement, on the other hand, is a term often used to describe someone in the last quarter of their lives e.g. ages 65 and up. This is why some folks get so hot and bothered if you aren’t in the upper ages but say you are retired. They don’t think you deserve retirement because you’re not old enough! If you don’t want unwanted attention as an early retiree, just say you are unemployed, on sabbatical, or an entrepreneur.
The reality is all of us would rather be financially independent earlier, so we have more time to enjoy our wealth. When the director of admissions at UC Berkeley asked why I was applying so early (25), I told her it was because I knew what I wanted to do and felt it best to leverage an MBA degree sooner, for a longer period of time. Little did I know I’d be done 10 years later.
Although I’m no longer considered an early retiree due to the endless hours it takes being a full-time dad and maintaining this website, I did have at least one year of early retirement life after 2012 where I was completely carefree. For those curious about what early retirement feels like, I’m going to highlight all the positives and negatives I can think of since leaving the workforce in 2012.
The Positives Of Early Retirement
* No longer having to commute in traffic feels like heaven. It’s funny that not riding the bus was the first positive that came to mind as opposed to workplace politics, stress, or more common answers. I used to leave the house around 7:20am every morning to catch the 7:23am bus around the corner. Despite my punctuality, the bus would either not arrive on time or be so full of people I’d have to walk another 5 blocks just to get on. Now when I see folks crammed in buses I can’t help but smile.
* Running errands is easy. I do all my errands around 10:45am or 2:30pm, because that is when most people are still at work. There’s no traffic or lines at the store during these hours and I’m much more efficient in getting things done. I continue to wonder why everybody wants to come to work at 8am and leave at 5pm. It took me 1.5 hours to drive 20 miles to pick up my parents at Oakland Airport due to traffic the other month. It only takes 35 minutes during off peak hours. Come into work earlier and leave a little earlier. Your stress level will go way down.
* Lots of free entertainment. There is an incredible amount of free entertainment during the week. Part of it is because organizations want to show their community support and free access on weekdays provides the lowest amount of damage to their bottom lines. Museums that cost $15-$20 to enter are usually free at least once a month. There are also free cooking classes by Williams Sonoma, free interior design parties by AirBnb, free rock climbing lessons by REI, and so on. There are always free music festivals at various public parks as well here in SF.
* You learn to become more self-sufficient. When I was busy working, I didn’t have time to figure out how to fix the leaky toilet. I would call the plumber and pay him $150-$250 at a time. Nowadays, I simply search on YouTube for a home maintenance tutorial and voila! Call me handyman Sam. If I can’t fix something I’ll chat up the local hardware store attendee and see if he can tell me what’s wrong. Having a smartphone to videotape the issues helps tremendously. Learning how to do things myself has also saved me a lot of time and money on rental property maintenance.
* Better nightlife. Because I used to start work by 7:30am every morning for the past 10 years, I was tired by 10pm. I just wanted to stay in and watch some TV after work. Now I’m always down to go out for dinner or drinks with friends during the weekdays. I’ve attended multiple events that last until 11pm and am ecstatic to not have to go to work the next day.
* Better friendships. I spend more time cultivating my offline relationships now that I don’t work. Those thin relationships one has on Facebook become stronger as you actually send them personal messages to see what’s up and hang out. The more you go out, the more friends you’ll meet. This is especially helpful for single folks. Social integration is vital for happiness.
* Better family relationships. I spend much more time speaking to and visiting my family now that I have more time. Spending more time with family is probably the most rewarding part about retirement. The younger you are, the more you appreciate it because you likely have more family still around. While I was working, literally months would go by where I didn’t interact with my parents because I was too busy.
* More comprehensive posts. Good posts can take a long time to write. But with so much more time now, I can afford to write meatier content that can help more folks. Meatier content also tends to do better in the search engines, bringing in more traffic, and more revenue. In the past, I’d write 750 word posts. Now I’m able to spend more time researching to produce posts that are double in length on average.
* More purpose in life. Most people I know don’t believe their purpose in life is to do whatever they do at their jobs. Plenty of folks start getting depressed when they talk about spending all their time at a job that doesn’t really make a positive impact. They see a job as a stepping stone for something greater and can’t wait to get out. Once you no longer have to work for a living, you hone in on exactly what you want to do that provides meaning.
* In better shape. Without having to sit in a chair for hours at a time, you’ll naturally burn more calories being more active. At 5’10”, I used to struggle maintaining a weight of ~165 lbs, now it requires less effort because I now play tennis, bike, walk, or hike at least three times a week compared to just once or twice a week while working. Being in better shape feels great. It might even extend your life, who knows!
* You can always keep busy. One of the biggest fears working people have before retirement is figuring out what they are going to do with all their free time. I worried how I was going to go from working 70 hours a week to just writing for 20 hours a week and playing sports in the afternoon. If you have a hobby you are passionate about, you don’t have to worry about not being able to fill the void in retirement. There is an endless amount of things to do.
* No fear of getting fired. No employee is ever safe in this hyper competitive world. You could be a star performer, but if your new boss hates you for whatever reason, you’re done. I used to worry about whether I’d be called into the HR’s office due to a recession, underperformance, complaint, error on my expense report, etc. Now there is no worry.
* A more positive disposition. Do you know that smile you get after carving down a black diamond or riding a jet ski over some waves? You will catch yourself smiling without even knowing because people will randomly smile back at you because you’re smiling at them. Smiling when you don’t even know it is probably the #1 outward signal for true happiness.
* The ability to be present with your kids. Our baby boy is the most precious thing in the world and has crystalized the value of early retirement. Before our son was born, it was nice to travel, sleep in, play sports, and write. But now, I’m excited each morning to give my son a hug and play with him for hours. Every day we thank our lucky stars that we get to spend the critical first five years of his life raising him before kindergarten. They grow up so fast!
The Negatives Of Early Retirement
* Become more impatient with delays and waste. Traffic and long lunch lines used to annoy me, but now they really annoy me because I hardly ever experience them anymore. I get annoyed with myself for going anywhere during peak rush hour. I really try not to meet anybody if I have to commute during the hours of 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm. I have to remind myself when it’s bumper to bumper thank goodness I no longer have to deal with such jams on a regular basis.
* Gets lonely sometimes. While your friends and acquaintances are busy working, you’re sometimes busy doing nothing. If you don’t have a partner or family, then you might end up having breakfast, lunch, and dinner alone. I’ve built a small network of work-from-home, unemployed, or work at night friends to play tennis and hang out with. I’m trying to meet more people through a softball meetup that I’ve joined, but I haven’t met anybody I’d like to hang out with so far. It’s easy to feel disconnected if you’re always working from home.
* Easy to get lazy. Before my son was born, I found myself taking hour long naps after lunch, watching too much sports on TV, and chilling in the hot tub for hours. It takes a lot more discipline once you’ve retired to push yourself to do something meaningful because nobody is telling you what to do.
* Potentially less money. This one is obvious, but maybe not. You only voluntarily retire and stay retired if you have enough money to support your desired lifestyle. It’s a different situation if you are forced into retirement. It did sting a little bit to no longer have a healthy W2 income the first six months. However, just like how we adapt quickly to a nice bonus or raise, we also adapt quickly to a loss of income. The fear of running out of money in retirement is overblown.
* Vacations aren’t as exciting anymore. I used to love taking five to six weeks of vacation every year. If my old job could grant 10 weeks of vacation a year, I would have stayed on for at least another five years. Now that we can go on vacation 365 days a year, it’s just not that exciting anymore. We did travel for 6-8 weeks between 2012 – 2016, but by the end of 2016 we were completely traveled out. All the churches in Europe started looking the same.
Other Observations After Retirement
* Spend less time on social media. I spend probably 50% less time on Twitter than when I was working. Perhaps it’s because Twitter was a great way to pass the time during commutes or in between meetings. I also continue to spend very little time on Facebook except for my tennis team group page.
* Know a lot of unemployed people. No matter what time during the day I go out between Monday and Friday, there are tons of people out on the street or hanging out at the tennis courts. When you’re working, you think everybody is holed up in an office building and only comes out during lunch or when the clock strikes 5pm. In reality, plenty of people are unemployed or have flexible work schedules.
* Discover so many different ways to live. When I was working I just figured most people just had a normal 8am – 5pm day job. But during my time away from work I’ve met dog walkers, nannies, professional athletes, teachers during summer vacations, government employees who retired early with great pensions, bartenders, strippers, bouncers, tennis teachers, coffee shop owners, small business owners, and plenty of online entrepreneurs who enjoy a lot of freedom during the day. Related: Abolish Welfare Mentality: A Janitor Makes $271,000 A Year
* No desire to play golf. The cliché is that once guys retire we end up playing golf all day. I thought I would love to play at least once a week with all my free time, but instead, I found the game to be absolutely boring when I had to play it alone or with strangers. Further, the game takes way too long.
* Feel inspired by older workers. Every time I go grocery shopping, I bump into cashiers and baggers who are over 60 years old. They probably only make around $13 an hour. Their hard work inspires me to not take things for granted and keep this site going. Everybody starts off with different opportunities in life. We’ve got to make the most of what we’ve got.
* Just want to feel useful. If I don’t feel useful to someone, I feel like a loser. Hence, I try and stay busy writing online, volunteering as a foster kid mentor, doing work around the house, and coaching high school tennis while I’m not taking care of my baby boy. Retirement takes away that good feeling of having someone depending on you for guidance.
* Constantly wonder what else is there in life. When I was busy working, I didn’t have much time left to think about philosophy. With so much more free time I sometimes think, is this all there is to life? Starting Financial Samurai has given me a strong sense of purpose. I recommend all retirees start their own site as well to find their tribe online.
* It gets harder to stay retired over time. The first six months of retirement were full of excitement, fear, and joy. As time went on, I adapted to my newfound freedom by creating a routine that best suited my desires. Once I mastered my routine life got incredibly easy. When life gets easy, life also begins to get boring. With such a strong economy since 2012, I couldn’t help be do some consulting with several fintech companies and see if I could build Financial Samurai into something larger. See: Staying Retired Is Impossible Once You Retire Early
* You need much less money than you think to be happy. My biggest surprise since leaving my day job is realizing how much less I need to be happy by about 30% – 50%. One of the reasons is that once you’re retired, you no longer have to save for retirement. It feels foreign to spend 100% of your retirement income or passive income, but that’s what you get to do if you truly have enough. Further, you are so much happier in retirement that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make you happy.
Early Retirement Is So Worth It
There are studies that show death comes quicker after retirement due to a lack of purpose. With the internet and so much good we can do once we have our free time back, I can’t see how anybody would ever feel permanently lost in retirement. Try volunteering at a charity or mentoring a child if you start feeling aimless. Everybody could use a helping hand.
Retiring early is a blessing because our bodies still allow us to climb the steepest Mayan steps and start the most daunting businesses when we still have the energy. Hopefully this post gives you some inspiration to get up a little earlier, save more money, and take calculated risks to retire early as well. The feeling of being able to do whatever you want is priceless.
The Dark Side Of Early Retirement
How Much Do I Need To Save To Retire Early?
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Posted onMarch 10, 2018|Comments Off on Your Investment Mistake May Actually Be An Investment Win
In my post discussing how managing your family’s money can be a full-time job, I reveal how I didn’t realize my wife’s SEP-IRA account was sitting on 25% cash for who knows how long. With so many accounts to manage, this mistake ended up costing us several thousand dollars in opportunity cost. As a result, I’ve been considering hiring a money manager to help us out.
I’d like to highlight a couple insightful comments from the post that have made me realize several things that may be beneficial to all of you doing your best to achieve financial freedom.
“I am bothered that your WIFE did not notice that HER SEP-IRA was not in alignment with your agreed-upon investment framework!
Perhaps the solution, instead of hiring an outside money manager, is to let your wife, the one person in your life that you can trust 100% and who has nothing but the best interest of your family at heart, take a greater role in managing your investments. Not only would that reduce your burden, it would give you peace of mind knowing that your financially hands-on wife and mother of your child would be ready and able to keep everything on track financially if the day ever comes when you aren’t able to.”
Dunny’s response to OlderandWiser,
“I am in agreement that both partners should be involved in financial matters in order to be able to help with plans and decisions and to take over if required. On the other hand, “mistakes” like leaving some cash sitting around are not serious.
There will be other places where you make more than expected to more than offset the places where you make less than expected. What matters is total return and constantly increasing net worth. So you made a 20% overall return instead of 20.01% overall return that year.
You can’t always optimize everything and simplifying is probably going to make optimizing easier so you don’t miss anything serious. Family matters and health sometimes take more of a priority.“
These comments are insightful because they highlight several things:
1) OlderandWiser’s comment should give us all hope that we will eventually stop making financial mistakes the older we get. I asked him whether he has ever made any financial mistakes before and it doesn’t seem like he has recently. His comment also reminds us to have regular financial checkups with our partners.
2) It’s easy to judge someone’s errors, especially when they make them public. What folks should realize is that the division of labor in each household is different and should be respected based on what works for them. I’m comfortable sharing my errors because I want to get better. Every day I realize how little I know. And to learn from others is one of the best ways to improve. Further, I know other people can learn from my mistakes as well.
3) What is considered an error is different for everyone. My error was not making my wife a potential 20% return from her 25% cash balance in 2017. Others believe an error is buying Bitcoin at $19,500 with a credit card charging a 25% APR.
4) If you’ve already reached financial independence where you no longer have to work, there’s no reason to stress out about always optimizing your finances to the max.
5) Finally, perhaps the error is not an error at all, but a win.
Viewing A Financial Error As A Financial Win
Since 1999, my goal has been to build as much wealth as possible through capital appreciation. If my goal was to get to a $10 million liquid net worth, I wanted to find ways to get to $10 million quickly, not slowly through dividends. The best way I knew how was to buy growth stocks, San Francisco real estate, and an online business.
Once I achieved my financial goal, the strategy was to shift from capital appreciation to capital preservation. The capital preservation strategy would beat inflation by 2-3X while also providing steady income during retirement. After all, once you’ve won the game, there’s really no need taking excessive risk anymore.
I reached a baseline level of financial independence in 2012 that has since grown thanks to an incredible run in the stock market, real estate market, and online business. As a result, it’s not a bad idea for us to dial back risk.
Instead of viewing the 25% cash allocation as a loss in my wife’s SEP-IRA, I now see it as a win to be able to deploy her cash during an 11% stock market correction in February while also purchasing bonds at lower prices with higher yields. If the stock market had tanked by 50% in 2017, you could easily argue that holding cash was a win.
You see, unless our passive income dries up and our online business goes bankrupt, there will always be new cash to invest. The same goes for anybody with a no . You’ll never get the perfect cash balance or the perfect investment allocation at any given time.
Therefore, don’t stress about fnancial perfection, enjoy the overall accumulation process instead. Nitpicking about every single financial detail is unneeded stress.
There’s a great Chinese saying that I hope you guys follow, “If the direction is correct, sooner or later you will get there.”
Related: The Three Levels Of Financial Independence: Because Money Is Only Part Of The Equation
Readers, have you ever turned an investment mistake into an investment win? Does it really matter about always optimizing your finances given nobody really knows how the future will play out? Do you think excessive focus on your finances can hurt your overall well-being? Illustration by CKongSavage.com
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Posted onMarch 7, 2018|Comments Off on A Day In The Life Of Two Stay At Home Parents Who Also Work
The purpose of this article is to:
Help folks realize that working from home and taking care of a child is not as easy as you might think. It’s actually much easier to drop your kid off at daycare.
Discuss ways to be a better parent and more efficient producer while at home.
Encourage the 3% of the male parent population who are stay at home dads to speak up about their experiences. And of course hear from stay at home moms as well.
According to Pew Research, two-parent households where both parents work full-time today make up 46 percent of the population, compared to 31 percent in 1970. We didn’t want to be one of the 46 percent so we carefully planned for a life where we could both spend much as time raising our son while also keeping intellectually stimulated.
Working from home is more efficient than working in an office. You don’t have to waste time commuting. You’ll never get interrupted by colleagues and there aren’t as many meetings. I can get done in four hours what it takes 10 hours to do in the office.
Before my son was born, I thought it’d be relatively easy to be a stay at home and work from home dad as well. But I was wrong. Here are some reasons why it’s difficult to do both:
1) A life is in your hands. One look away and your baby or toddler could suffocate from a pillow, fall off the sofa, bonk his head while trying to stand, impale his eyes with a stick, or die in his sleep. You are always on duty as a stay at home parent. The only time you can rest is if your little one rests. Even then, rest may be a rarity as he may wake up constantly for the first several years. If you slack off at work, like most people do, generally nothing bad happens. If you slack off with your baby, it could be a disaster.
2) It’s impossible to create good work and provide quality care at the same time. Because you can’t lose site of your baby for more than several seconds, the idea of concurrently working and caring is impossible. I can hold my baby on the floor and read my phone at the same time, but that’s about it. Goodness forbid you have to do something like write, draw, or design for work. When taking care of a little one, it’s best to be 100% present.
3) You lose your independence. There is never a regular schedule to follow when you are a stay at home parent. Your day is dictated by your little one’s sleep schedule, bathroom schedule, eating schedule, and doctor’s visits. You are working whenever there is a glimpse of free time like I’m doing now at 11pm. The more independent you were before having kids, the harder the adjustment.
4) You relive all the unpleasantries of life. Most of us who are healthy don’t see the doctor more than once a year. But if you have a little one, you are visiting a pediatrician about every three months and visiting other specialists if your baby has other developmental issues. While at the pediatrician, your baby is examined thoroughly and gets injected with vaccines, which hopefully cause no harm. And if you have to visit the hospital or a specialist, you may see other patients with issues much worse than your little one’s.
5) You are always tired. Getting enough sleep is one of the keys to a happy and productive life. Your cognitive ability literally declines by 80%+ if you are sleep deprived. Having to take care of your little one while also having the responsibility of financially providing for your family drastically cuts into the amount and quality of sleep you can get. For the first three months of my baby’s life, I felt like I pulled an all-nighter at work every other night. You get through the exhaustion by telling yourself, “this too shall pass.”
6) You feel their pain. If you are a normal, sympathetic human being, you will feel the pain your child goes through as if it were your own. When your baby or toddler is crying, your body will naturally tense up trying to figure out what’s wrong. Is he hungry? Is he tired? Does he have a tummy ache? A cold? Is he too hot? Does he have a blocked nasal passage? The longer your little one cries, the more pain you will feel until it can sometimes become unbearable.
Division Of Labor
Having a partner makes life easier. For all the single parents out there, you deserve ALL the respect in the world for trying to make things work. Your ability to multi-task is truly extraordinary.
My wife and I work well together because I spent my career in a client facing role that was responsible for revenue generation and she spent her career in an operations role to help make the system work. I would not be where I am today without my wife.
Primary Dad Responsibilities
* Writing articles and creating podcasts (iTunes channel link)
* Revenue generation and business development
* Social media
* Mass media outreach
* Attending business functions
* Conducting written and oral interviews
* Reading and researching about a baby’s developmental milestones
* Driving the family
* Ordering and preparing food
* Cleaning bottles, dishes, kitchen, and dining room
* Investing cash flow and managing our net worth, which can be a full-time job
* Gardening and home maintenance
* HS tennis coaching (3.5 months a year) and foster kid mentoring (once a week)
* Provide at ~6 hours of care for our son (1-3 hours in the morning, 1-3 hours in the afternoon, and 2-4 hours in the evening, depending on afternoon/evening functions)
Source: Census Bureau.
Primary Mom Responsibilities
* Business accounting and bookkeeping
* Calculating and paying business taxes and California state business filings
* Managing business office
* General operations including payroll, health insurance, dental insurance, workers comp insurance
* Graphics and working with graphic designers
* Miscellaneous business related functions such as coming up with promotional codes, coordinating with our system administrator to fix bugs, customer support
* Taking care of our son from bedtime to morning (this is is huge because he wakes up multiple times a night)
* Ordering all baby food, clothing, diapers, supplies, toys, carriers, strollers, chairs, and books
* Scheduling doctors appointments
* Handles all communications and troubleshooting with insurance agents, back end partners, and vendors such as Aweber, Comcast, AT&T, utility companies etc.
* Manages all back end functions for the e-book store
* Occasional editing of articles
* Diaper changing
* Working on achieving gross motor and fine motor milestones
* Estate planning
* Keeping the house tidy
Phew! After writing out all the responsibilities, it’s no wonder why they say a stay at home parent is worth about $100,000 a year in salary while working 90 hours a week on average. There’s a lot to do!
A Day In The Life Of A Work From Home And Stay At Home Parent
After about the third month, I could not take staying up all night and working all day anymore. As a result, I asked my wife to be the sole caretaker once our little one went to bed. Thank God for her because I wouldn’t be able to continue my writing cadence on Financial Samurai without her. So please give my wife a big THANK YOU if you’ve enjoyed Financial Samurai this year.
My wife is the CEO of our little one, and I’m the COO. For our business, I’m the CEO and she’s the COO. Since I’m an extrovert and she’s an introvert, this works well.
Here’s a typical schedule PST:
6am – 8am: Freshen up, read comments, respond to e-mails, follow up on loose ends, write a post, check investments, and make investment allocation decisions. My goal is to get 80%+ of my work done before my wife and my baby wake up so I can relieve her for 1-3 hours in the morning.
7:45am – 8:00am: Wash bottles, put away dishes, clean kitchen countertops, clean dining table. The goal is to do as much cleaning before our little one wakes up.
8am – 11am: Watch the little one for 1-3 hours so mama can shower, change, pump, catch up on news, e-mail, and rest. The rougher the night, the longer I will takeover. During this time I or we will change his diaper and feed him breakfast. We try our best to go for a walk outside in our Baby Bjorn carrier to get some fresh air and exercise.
I’ve had to do some major work adjustment this year because I’m a morning person, and for the past 5.5 years, I’ve written the majority of my posts during this time period. The mornings are when I’m most creative. By the evening, my creative energy disappears because I’m more tired.
11 am – 1pm: Our son will nap between 30 minutes – 1.5 hours in the late morning. We’ll try to use this time to catch up on work or take a power nap ourselves.
1pm – 2pm: Lunch time! Our goal is to feed him 40+ bites of solid food and have him drink 4-6 ounces of milk. He’s not that picky of an eater, thank goodness. But he doesn’t eat that much compared to other babies his each.
2pm – 4pm: When we have the energy, we’ll go for a walk in the botanical gardens, the science museum, or go to a local playground. Otherwise, we’ll just have him roam the house and discover new things we’re constantly getting him.
4pm – 6pm: More time spent diaper changing, playing, and helping our little one reach milestones. We’ll also do a lot of fun cognitive exercises like trying to stack toys and constantly read stories. Currently we’re working on clapping, waving, finger pointing, and walking at 11 months old.
6pm – 7:30pm: We give him a warm bath to signal it’s sleep time within the next hour or so. I’ll either make the bath or watch over him while my wife makes the bath. We’ll then dry him up and try and feed him a 6-8 ounce bottle. If we are successful, my wife will sit him up right for 20-30 minutes while we read him several of his favorite books. During this time, it’s important to get a burp out of him to minimize his chances of spitting up during the night and choking.
7:30pm – 12midnight: My wife and I try to spend at least one hour of alone time together each night. 60% of the time it works. 40% of the time we’re either too tired or have to catch up on work that we missed during the day.
I’m awake until midnight to provide assistance if my wife needs a bottle warmed up, a diaper change, or some tag team soothing. All she has to do is text me. If no assistance is needed, I do about an hour of online work and unwind.
Midnight – 7:30am: Despite a long day, my wife is now flying solo. She is constantly waking up to soothe our son, feed him, and pump. Sometimes he cries out for no good reason and then goes back to bed. But the random cries always wake up my wife because she is so in tune with his rhythm. Knowing my wife takes care of the entire night now is the reason why I’m motivated to keep working hard on the business during the day.
Source: 2014 Census Bureau
Tips For Better Work And Childcare
Here’s what we’ve learned to make things better at home for the first year. They say that the first year of care is the toughest. Feel free to share whether you think this is true or not.
1) Get as much sleep as possible. Without enough sleep everything goes downhill. You will be dumber, slower, crankier, less patient, and less attentive. Your relationships will suffer without sleep. Therefore, if it’s a choice between going down the Facebook rabbit hole or sleep, always choose sleep.
2) Find help. If you have a spouse that works or you have work to do at home and don’t have a fellow stay-at-home spouse, find help ASAP. It is a PITA to find someone you can trust and depend on, therefore you must start the interview process as soon as possible. The cost is well worth it. Further, the cost won’t last forever since your son or daughter will eventually go to school.
3) Set time and space boundaries. If you don’t set boundaries, there will be constant interruption when it’s time to work. Lock yourself in a room to work more efficiently. Nobody can bother you unless it’s an emergency. You will feel so much better if you can get the most important work out of the way in the morning. If not, your mind will wander about the things left undone when its your turn to take care of your little one.
4) Communicate, communicate communicate. There can never be enough communication. Always remind your partner about your upcoming schedule so they don’t make assumptions about your availability. If you have a particularly long day in the future, let it be known so your partner can mentally prepare beforehand. Use shared Notes and Calendar reminders on your phone.
Things Get Better Over Time
I’ve noticed an improvement in the quality of our lives as each month goes by. The first three months were brutal due to the tremendous lack of sleep for everyone. By the sixth month, our son would often sleep at least three hours in one stretch, and sometimes 4-5 hours at a time.
We made a conscience decision NOT to sleep train our baby using the cry-it-out method because we have nowhere to go the next morning. It also hurts us too much to abandon him in the crib and hear him cry until he hyperventilates. As a result, our days and nights are long. But we believe that by the time our son is 3, he should be able to sleep at least 8 hours a night uninterrupted, so we soldier on.
Even though it’s hard being a stay at home parent who also has a business to run, I’ve never felt so much love, satisfaction, and gratitude as I have during the first year of my son’s life. My son has crystallized the value of financial independence and having a lifestyle business.
We’ve had our rough moments mostly due to my lack of patience, a loss of freedom, constant worry as first-time parents, and her sleep deprivation. But we know that in the end, we will look back and know we did the best we could no matter how our son turns out.
Thoughts On Becoming A Better Father
When Is The Best Age To Have A Baby? An Economic And Biological Analysis
Is Private Kindergarten Through High School Worth It?
Readers, anybody a stay at home and work from home parent? How do you make things work? What are some of the difficult moments you’ve had to overcome? Again, please thank my wife because without here, there wouldn’t be as much content on Financial Samurai.
* My wife joins me on the podcast to share her perspectives.
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Posted onMarch 5, 2018|Comments Off on Five Lessons From Doing My Taxes For Over 10 Years
This post is sponsored by H&R Block.
In 2000, I paid a CPA $500 to file my incredibly simple tax return because I had no idea what I was doing. Granted, I had a lot of trades in 1999 to calculate since it was the dotcom mania back then.
After realizing $500 was expensive, I paid $250 for an H&R Block CPA to do my taxes and show me the ropes for a couple years. After getting comfortable with all the forms and jargon, I started doing my taxes myself using H&R Block’s tax software. They started with a CD-ROM that I had to buy at an electronics retailer, but now everything is online, thank goodness.
I’m probably never going to pay a CPA to do my taxes again because H&R Block’s tax preparation software is so easy to use from home. It will ask you questions about your situation before getting started so it has the right forms for you to fill out. Further, the tax software is always up to date with the latest tax rules.
For those of you who want to have a H&R Block tax professional do your taxes remotely (because who wants to go to an office), they’ve come up with the H&R Block Tax Pro Go program. I tried them for one year because I had questions regarding a couple K-1 filings from my private investments. It was very helpful to talk to a tax professional who inputted the information for me when I was stuck.
The product provides remote tax preparation with just a few easy steps.
1. Tax Pro Match & Upfront Pricing: Answer a few questions about yourself, get matched with the best Tax Pro for your needs based on your answers, and see your actual price upfront, starting at less than $60 for one federal and one state return.
2. Tax Document Upload: You upload your digital tax documents securely. If you don’t have a document ready, you can save your progress and resume where you left off.
3. Talk With a Tax Pro: Your Tax Pro personally calls you once your forms are received. You can also securely message them at any time throughout the process.
4. Virtual Tax Preparation: You return is completed within 5 business days and sent to
you, along with an explanation of your credits and deductions for review and approval before you pay.
5. Pay & File: You approve your return and choose how to pay. Or use your refund and pay nothing out of pocket. Then H&R Block files your return on your behalf.
Five Things I Learned Doing My Own Taxes
1) Make sure you input your cost base for all trades. A decade ago I had a $250,000+ erroneous tax bill because I forgot to input around $1,000,000 in cost base for various trades. My real profit was less than $150,000, but the IRS thought I had $1,000,000 in profits. Never again will I make this mistake!
2) Private investments will often require you to file an extension. Whether you invest in private equity, venture debt, or various alternative investments, there’s a good chance you’ll have to file an extension because their tax forms seldom ever arrive by the April 15-17 deadline to do your taxes. You’ll have to do an initial filing and pay any estimated taxes owed, file an extension, and then revisit your taxes before the October 10 deadline.
3) The IRS is not as scary as they seem. When I had my missing cost base debacle, I called the IRS to get some help. They were very empathetic and helpful in explaining to me what I should do next. I filed everything appropriately and didn’t pay a penalty. I also double counted my home mortgage interest deduction once and simply paid the penalty of the overage. The movies make the IRS out to be scary monsters. But in reality, I’ve found them to be caring folks who realize errors do happen.
4) You learn how to optimize your taxes. Nobody cares more about your money than you. When you do your own taxes you are able to input pro-forma figures to see what your tax liability will look like if you take that job, sign up a new freelance client, relocate to a different state, or buy that 6,000 pound SUV for your business. Inputting various income and expense figures helps you figure out how you want to best earn and spend your money.
5) You learn how to maximize your life. When you do your own taxes, you realize how inefficient it is to earn W2 income or only earn W2 income. You also see how unrewarding it is to make a high income due to our progressive tax structure. As a result, you are less inclined to do uninspiring work just because of they pay. You’ll strive to earn passive income that is often taxed at lower rates, figure out an ideal income where happiness no longer increases, and care less about chasing the almighty buck. Once you become highly involved with your taxes, you take steps to live more freely.
Understand Your Taxes At The Very Least
You don’t need to do your own taxes, but at the very least, you should understand how your income and investments are taxed, and what you can legally do to minimize your tax liability. Taxes will likely be your largest ongoing expense.
What I suggest everybody do is try to do your own taxes once with the help of tax software and a CPA to answer all your questions. If the time you spent is beneficial, then do your taxes yourself with online software, especially if your taxes are relatively simple. If your taxes are complicated, then go the hybrid route or hire a CPA whom you can guide.
You can visit https://hrblock.com/taxprogo to start your return. I’ll be starting my return the first week of April and ultimately file an extension due to three private investment K-1s that will arrive past the deadline.
Readers, what are some lessons you’ve learned from filing your own taxes? With tax software so easy to use and tax documents all downloadable online, what are some of the reasons why some people still pay someone to do their taxes?
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