FINDING LUCK IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES
How Hard Work and Serendipity Combined to Grow My Practice
Do you believe in luck? With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there’s been a lot of talk of “luck of the Irish” floating around, and I’ve found myself looking back over my life and wondering, “Just how much of that was luck?” Overall, I think I’m a pretty lucky guy. I’ve been able to do what I wanted with my life, and I’ve had great opportunities. How many people can say they’ve been a golf course turfgrass manager, an owner-operator truck driver, and an accounting and tax resolution specialist and found success at all three? Add in having kids on top of that, and I’ve been able to cram a lot of dreams into one life. That said, I wouldn’t have been able to do all of those things without putting in some hard work, too. Changing careers twice wasn’t easy, and being a dad certainly has its challenges. Mulling it all over, I’ve decided that I do believe in luck but with one caveat: In order to find that luck, you have to get yourself into a place to receive it. Here’s a prime example. Back in 2013, when I was looking to expand my business, I attended a tax seminar for some continuing education. In a stroke of luck, during one of the lectures, a guy in the front row stood up, announced that he wanted to sell his practice and gave his phone number out to the crowd, asking anyone who was interested in buying to give him a call. I wrote the number down and as soon as the lecture was over, I called him. We ended up meeting, and even though he had four or five big CPA firms on the hook to buy his business, too, he picked me! We even worked out a payment structure that meant I didn’t have to give him any cash up front, which made the buying process much easier for me. Taking on his clients was a huge boost to my firm, and I’d say I still have 85% of them today. Now, some people would say that whole thing was luck of the draw, but I know my hard work put me in the position to receive that luck. If I weren’t dedicated to learning as much about the IRS and tax law as I could, I wouldn’t have been at that seminar, and if I weren’t good at what I do, the guy selling his business never would have trusted me with his clients. Most important of all, I took a risk and shook on the deal, and if I hadn’t, the luck never would have materialized.
I’ve seen the same type of thing work for my clients: Once they make the move to hire me and open up about their tax problems — in other words, once they put in the work — the luck follows. One of my past clients won big by doing this. When he sought me out for tax resolution help, the state of Wisconsin was claiming he owed them $980,000, and when he tried to talk them down, going back and forth with the state agent, his debt rose to over $1 million! As soon as he hired me, I discovered the massive inflation the state had put on his debt was because of estimated tax projections for past years tax returns he had never filed. After a lot of hard work preparing income tax and sales tax returns for 12 years and some negotiation, I was able to get what he owed down to just $38,000. To people on the outside, it might have seemed like he got lucky, but the real deciding factor was that he stopped sticking his head in the sand and sought me out. I suppose the moral of this story is that if you want to get lucky, you need to take some initiative to get the ball rolling. In my experience, drive and ambition are better lucky leprechauns than the little guys in green! Paul Francetic
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RETIRE IN STYLE 3 PLACES TO RETIRE INTERNATIONALLY
Even if you’ve always planned for a comfortable retirement in the United States, choosing to live internationally could be a smart alternative to improve your standard of living in retirement. International Living Magazine’s Retirement Index has tracked objective retirement metrics — like the cost of living, democratic stability, and health care — for the last 40 years. They also take into account reports of correspondents actively living abroad. Here are some of their top picks for international retirement destinations. PANAMA Panama ranks No. 2 in International Living Magazine’s list of best places to retire internationally. With its tropical climate, proximity to the United States, excellent health care, and low tax burden, it’s easy to see why.
In Panama City, you can expect to pay at least $2,600 a month in living expenses, but housing costs are substantially lower outside of major metropolitan markets. Panama also offers excellent discounts, up to 25% off of things like airline tickets, hotels, and energy costs through its Pensionado program. COSTA RICA If it’s a textbook paradise you’re looking for, look no further than Costa Rica. Thanks to a 1948 decision to abolish their military and direct all of those funds to health care and education, Costa Rica is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America.” Known for its stable democracy, safety, and socialized health care that’s only available once you’ve obtained residency, Costa Rica also offers climates for just about everybody
— from the lush jungles of the south to the hot, dry beaches of Guanacaste in the northwest. Expect to find large communities of expats to help you acclimate. MEXICO The first things that come to mind for most people when you mention Mexico are margaritas and beach umbrellas, but this country offers a lot more than that. For starters, Mexico features an enticingly low cost of living. International Living estimates a couple could live in Mexico on anywhere from $1,500–$3,000 per month, depending on location, including health care expenses. Once you’ve obtained residency status, you can sign up for national health care plans that offer full coverage for just a few hundred dollars annually. read on Pg. 1, I can sometimes even reduce debt by 75% or more, taking a heavy weight of stress off of the debtor. Referring a friend or loved one to me is simple. All you have to do is pass along my phone number (262-752-6992) or email address (francetictax@ gmail.com). From there, all your friend will need to do is reach out to schedule a free consultation. I just ask that they bring all of their tax-related papers to the meeting — I can even go to them, if that’s easier — so I can draw up a proposal for resolving their case. These kinds of conversations are never fun, but taking the leap to put my name out there could save your friend, mom, brother, sister, coworker, or a cousin a lot of pain and worry. In the end, the benefits of making a referral far outweigh the costs!
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND WHO COULD USE MY HELP?
Save Them Stress With a Simple Conversation
that money and bills are deeply personal, and a financial misstep can feel like a dark, guilty secret.
That said, we can all pick up clues when someone we love is in financial trouble. In last month’s newsletter, I talked about a few of those red flags, including unopened mail, weight fluctuations, and the refusal to attend events they used to love, like dinner or drinks on the town. If you pick up on those clues, though, or if a friend or family member confides in you about their money problems, it can be difficult to know what to do next. You’ll want to help, of course, but what is the best way to do it? Well, if your loved one’s problems hinge on an IRS or state bank levy, wage, pension, Social Security garnishment, an audit, a payroll tax problem, or another tax complication, the best thing you can do is direct them to a tax resolution specialist like me. I help people resolve IRS and state debt and minimize that debt as much as possible. As you
According to a Wells Fargo study, 44% of Americans see finances as the absolute hardest thing to talk about with others, even close friends. Shockingly, those people think money is more difficult to discuss than death, politics, or religion! One of the reasons behind this is likely
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FTR TAX TIP OF THE MONTH
If you owe the IRS a mounting sum, it can be easy to become paralyzed and depressed just looking at it. Maybe the number has grown so large that you worry you’ll never pay it back, so you’re burying your head in the sand to avoid facing the reality of the IRS letters piling up. If all of this sounds familiar, don’t give up yet — the IRS Offer in Compromise (OIC) program might be the solution that helps reduce your debt for good. A lot of people have never heard of the IRS OIC, but as a tax resolution specialist, I take advantage of the program regularly for clients who have run up large debts. There are three types of Offer in Compromises: Doubt as to Collectability, Doubt as to Liability, and Effective Tax Administration. Depending on your circumstances, any of those three could reduce what you owe. Doubt as to Collectability gives people with more debt than they would be able to pay in the next 10 years (the IRS’s usual collection period) a chance to reduce their debt, and it’s the most common form of OIC. Doubt as to Liability does the same for people who feel they don’t owe the IRS the money in question (e.g., after an audit), and Effective Tax Administration reduces debts for people who can pay their debt, but would face hardship doing so. In the past, I’ve been able to get my clients incredible results by taking advantage of this program. In particular, I’ve seen this system work over and over again in favor of people who went through an audit representing themselves (not recommended) or had poor representation from a professional, leaving them with much higher debts than they should have had. In those cases, a Doubt as to Liability OIC is just the solution they need. The process can be messy and time- consuming (I’ve had OIC claims take anywhere from six months to more than a year), but in my experience, the relief of having your debt reduced is always worth the effort. Not everyone will qualify for an Offer in Compromise, but if you’re facing massive or seemingly unfair IRS debt (or you know someone else who is), it could be the light at the end of the tunnel. Call me today, and I’ll take a look at your case for free to determine if an IRS OIC could be an option for you. AN OFFER IN COMPROMISE COULD SLASH YOUR IRS DEBT
PESTO CHICKEN WITH BLISTERED TOMATOES
Inspired by CookingLight.com
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
• • • • •
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness
6 tbsp spinach pesto
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
• • •
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. 5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
5429 DEERFIELD ROAD MOUNT PLEASANT, WI 53406-1919
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Listen to Paul Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. on channel 1050 WLIP-AM or stream online at WLIP.com!
Paul’s Tips for Finding Luck Retire in Style Do You Have a Friend Who Could Use Our Help? How an Offer in Compromise Could Slash Your IRS Debt Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes Would You Like Some Pi?
ANOTHER SLICE OF PI(E)
Break out your calculators and grab your aprons because it’s almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike — two groups that rarely overlap. Pi Day is March 14, which, when written numerically, is 3/14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is special because it’s used to calculate the circumference of a circle. This might not sound like a big deal, but pi is used in engineering, construction, GPS, motors, power generation, and even television! If we hadn’t calculated pi, none of these achievements would be possible. Pi is pretty important, and it’s definitely worth celebrating! Here are two ways you can get in on the fun. LEARN TO RECITE PI Pi has fascinated mathematicians for centuries because it’s an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever. If you want to try your hand at memorizing some of the numbers, here are the first 50 decimal digits of pi (with spaces, so they’re easier to remember!).
3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510
To make things simple, we often round pi up to 3.14, but many people have challenged themselves to memorize and recite as many digits as possible. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the record is currently held by Rajveer Meena, who recited pi to the 70,000th digit on March 21, 2015. And he did it all while blindfolded! EAT SOME PIE Another popular way to enjoy Pi Day is to bake and eat pie. This dessert is perfect because it’s both a homophone (same pronunciation as “pi” but with a different spelling and meaning) and a circle. Challenge your friends to a pie-baking contest, or buy your favorite pie from the store and have a pie- eating contest. And, while this may be a controversial stance, we believe pizza pie deserves a place in Pi Day celebrations, too.
Here’s to Pi Day: the tastiest, nerdiest holiday of the year!
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