“I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is, I could be just as proud for half of the money.”
Take the Sting out of Taxes with An Innovative Roth Conversion
Last week in “Escaping the Tax Deferral Trap, Part 1,” we busted the myth that tax-deferred retirement plans save money in the long run. (Not unless taxes go down and/or you earn less in retirement.) We looked at the truth about traditional 401(k)s and IRAs and explored some of the ways you can free your money from a tax-deferred account.
However, there are many situations where it pays to KEEP your dollars in a tax-deferred account, such as:
“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”
Busting the Myth of Tax-Deferred “Savings”
Should you be putting money into tax-deferred accounts or after-tax accounts? It’s a big question every investor must consider.
One way we explain tax deferral is to ask our clients, “Would you rather pay tax on the SEED or pay tax on the HARVEST?” When you invest in after-tax vehicles, you’ve already paid tax on the seed. If you are deferring taxes in a traditional 401(k), IRA or other qualified retirement plan, such as a 403(b), you’ll pay taxes on the harvest.
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– Saint Augustine
This week’s post is a guest post from Kate Phillips of Total Wealth. Kate is our marketing and communications manager and we’ve missed her while she’s been taking her dream trip!
How to Enjoy Awesome Vacations (without breaking your budget!)
I just returned from a FABULOUS 2-week vacation, enjoying Italy’s stunning southern coast on “The Ultimate Sorrento and Amalfi Coast Tour,” a small-group tour with Adventure On Italy. Truly my dream trip to Southern Italy, it was full of highlights I will never forget:
- Exploring the medieval Arogonese Castle (Castello Arogonese) on the island of Ischia;
- Spending a day at Pompeii and Herculaneum with our own guide;
- Sitting in on a concert rehearsal at La Mortello Gardens;
- Hiking “The Path of the Gods” (Sentiero Degli Dei) from Positano, with stunning views from the cliffs above Mediterranean Sea;
- Touring the Cathedral and sampling Limoncello at Amalfi;
- Viewing an amazing photography exhibit at the Villa Ruffalo at Ravello;
- Exploring the island of Capri in a convertible and taking a chairlift to enjoy “top of the island” views;
- Discovering my favorite shops and a fascinating museum in skinny back streets of Sorrento;
- Enjoying a cooking class with a highly skilled and entertaining Italian chef.
As an added bonus, this trip was also the first time I enjoyed letting someone ELSE plan and arrange my accommodations and travel (except my flights and travel before and after the tour). This was especially a treat as travel planning can consume many hours (especially with my research-heavy tendencies!)
You might say I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, as I’ve also traveled to Hawaii, Grand Cayman, and Puerto Aventuras, Mexico recently. Looking at my travel itinerary, you might think that I’m in a different income bracket than I actually am! But travel doesn’t need to “break the bank.” I believe that almost anyone can make travel a part of their life experience. And why shouldn’t we? Travel enriches our lives, stimulates our minds as well as our senses, and nourishes our souls.
“A decision is a choice associated with an action.”
– Chris Spetzler, DecisionEducation.org
Today’s blog post is a guest post from Dr. George Huang of Freedompreneur.com. Once a surgeon, Dr. Huang now works with business owners and thought leaders to help them raise their revenue while expanding their influence. Over the years, he has been a client of Partners for Prosperity and has been directly involved with our business development. We are grateful to include his wisdom on our blog.
The stories we tell about ourselves and others shape and define our experience of life. The choices and decisions we make, as well as the outcomes of those choices and decisions, create the canvas of those stories we tell.
Most of us strive to make good decisions in our personal and professional lives. Clearly, some decisions are more important than others. Some decisions are life-changing, such as deciding who to marry and where to go college. Some decisions are significant, such as what investments to make and which house to buy. Other decisions are spontaneous, ranging from casual (what color shirt should I wear today?) to potentially life-altering (should I drive to work when the roads are icy?)
“The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.”
– H. L. Mencken
The internet can be a source of reliable news and information, but there is no arguing that the cybernet is also filled with “Clickbait” from advertisers hoping to push products or simply secure a few cents a lead, hundreds of times a day. And when it comes to clicks, fear and panic reigns.
Lately, it seems that there is much fear and panic being created around the dollar. Is the end near, and should you liquidate your assets and buy gold? While we don’t claim to have a crystal ball, we’ll explore these concerns today with a fresh viewpoint.
Is the Dollar Collapsing?
First, let’s get “the bad news” out of the way. Financially speaking, there actually IS a LOT to be concerned about these days:
“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
The Sage of Saving
Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men, and is seen as one of the greatest long-term investors of our time. But a key secret to his ability to amass great wealth gets much less attention than his savvy purchases of businesses and assets through Berkshire Hathaway.
Many investors and business owners have earned great fortunes, but have spent them almost as quickly. Buffet is famous for frugality, understanding that saving more is the first step to enjoying the fruits of compound interest. To him, each dollar is a seed that he can plant, knowing it will multiply into many more dollars over time.
“You’ve got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
“It’s time to hedge!” said a popular financial author a few of weeks ago as the stock market plunged then started a violent roller-coaster ride. But is hedging really the best strategy?
Let’s look at exactly what hedging implies. According to Investopedia.com, the definition of “Hedge” is, “Making an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements in an asset. Normally, a hedge consists of taking an offsetting position in a related security, such as a futures contract.”
A popular phrase is our culture is “hedging your bets” to protect yourself from loss, in case you place a losing bet. You’re betting on two or more horses in case your favorite doesn’t perform as you hope. Dictionary.com expands, “Lessen one’s chance of loss by counterbalancing it with other bets, investments, or the like.”