Taxes and Financial Planning

Doing Your Own Taxes and Planning… or Die Trying!

Doing Your Own Taxes and Planning… or Die Trying!

I’ve bounced back and forth over the years in preparing my own taxes or having a CPA handle the job. If you’re using TurboTax, H&R Block’s software, TaxSlayer, TaxAct, or some other software when doing your own taxes, you’re already familiar with how they’re relatively easy to use (except when they’re not). But if you’re trying to do financial planning along the way that might affect your taxes, running solo can be a struggle if you don’t know the ins …

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Using Your HSA for Retirement – How to Track It Easily and Efficiently

Using Your HSA for Retirement – How to Track It Easily and Efficiently

Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) have been around in the U.S. since the end of 2003. However, using your HSA for retirement has only been gaining popularity over the last handful of years. There’s no doubt that this is one very special account. Although designed as a medical savings account to be paired with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), there’s a crafty way to make it even more valuable. In doing so, your money goes in with pre-tax dollars, grows tax-free, …

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Investment Portfolio Changes I'm Making!

Investment Portfolio Changes I’m Making!

It’s time to make some changes to my investment portfolio! I wrote a post last month called We Have a Lot of Cash in Hand Now… Too Much! that discussed how too much of our portfolio is sitting in cash. Apparently, that’s not uncommon right now as I received a lot of feedback in the comments and replies back from my mailing list (which I recommend you sign up for on the sidebar!). So I decided to write a post …

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We Have a Lot of Cash in Hand Now… Too Much!

We Have a Lot of Cash in Hand Now… Too Much!

Having cash in hand is a good thing. Whether it’s for an emergency fund or money you’re saving up for something short-term like a car, having money at your disposal is a good thing. But there’s a limit to that goodness and having too much cash in hand can absolutely be a problem. When you have money sitting in the bank, it’s earning a little bit of interest (a real little bit in this day and age!). However, that interest …

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Owning Rental Properties Is Smart, but I’m Out, Jack!

Owning Rental Properties Is Smart, but I’m Out, Jack!

That’s right, folks – after owning rental properties since 2003, I’m now completely out of the game! In 2018, I sold the house I had bought as an investment property in 2003. And just a couple of weeks ago, we closed on selling the duplex we had purchased in 2015. Here’s the weird part – if you’ve been following my blog over the years, you know that I’m a strong advocate of owning real estate rentals. Each property can provide …

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Net Income on Our Duplex Last Year… Negative $7,400!!

I might not be the smartest businessman, but I keep thinking that a negative net income in regards to your rental property for the year is not good. And just over $7,400 in the red makes it so much worse! Ouch, what the hell happened?! This duplex was supposed to be another stream of income that would help level out the bumps from rockiness in the stock market over the coming years.  Last year though, proved to be a particularly …

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The Roth Conversion Strategy Guide for Early Retirees

The Roth Conversion Strategy Guide for Early Retirees

Doing a Roth conversion can be the key to a successful FIRE (financial independence, retire early) strategy.  That’s definitely the case for us. By doing some financial planning, this one move is allowing us to access money in our pre-tax retirement accounts with no penalty and the ability to pay little to no tax when it happens. Today, I’m going to take you through some more details on what a Roth conversion is and why it’s so valuable.  I’ll also …

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How and Why We Changed Our State of Domicile

One of the things we did before we headed to Panama was to change our state of domicile. If you’re not familiar with the term, your state of domicile refers to your principal place of residence.  If you leave for a while, it’s what can be thought of as the place you would return to afterward. In other words, it might be considered your “home base” in the U.S. – your permanent place of residence. For snowbirds that head from …

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Book Review: Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

I don’t normally write book reviews on this blog, but I’m making an exception for the new Choose FI book.  I was expecting my opinion to sway one way with the book but my impression after reading it went in a completely different direction. Chris Mamula is the author of Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence (along with coauthors Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa).  If you’re not familiar with Chris, he retired in 2017 at the young age of …

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Estimated Self-Employment Tax Used to Scare Me!

Estimated Self-Employment Tax Used to Scare Me!

I’m just going to say it – I have three very small businesses that I’ve been running for years and I’ve never paid estimated self-employment tax payments. Ouch, for shame, for shame! That’s right, I’m a complete failure in that avenue.  And that could have cost me, too. If you owe $1,000 or more come tax day in April, you might be hit with a penalty by the IRS.  In essence, it’s an interest penalty on the difference of what …

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