Libman Tax - September 2019




A New Year Observance in Autumn What Rosh Hashana Can Teach Us About Business

On Sept. 29, my family will join millions of other Jewish Americans throughout the country to observe the start of Rosh Hashana, otherwise known as the New Year on the Jewish calendar. While it’s a time widely known for epic family gatherings, traditional (and delicious) meals, and sweet foods, the real purpose of Rosh Hashana is to ask for forgiveness for any wrongdoings committed the year prior. As a time set aside for judgment, remembrance, prayer, and penitence, Rosh Hashana allows Jewish Americans to seek out their family, friends, and acquaintances to determine if there is anything for which they need to ask forgiveness before they can move on to the new year. While Rosh Hashana is typically associated with private relationships, in my preparations this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about its place in the business setting. Just like Rosh Hashana is all about relationships, so too are businesses. Whether you’re working closely with clients, other businesses, or both, you are constantly building relationships. And, just as you might make a mistake in your personal relationships you have to acknowledge and apologize for before you can move forward, you have to do the same in business. If a client is upset with you, rather than go on the defensive, you should stop and consider what you might have done to instigate it. Maybe you ignored an email or maybe you made a joke that bothered them. In most situations, if a client or business is upset with you, you can probably narrow down a couple reasons why they feel wronged.

Even if you can’t pinpoint an exact reason, it’s important to allow the person lodging the complaint to feel safe doing so and you acknowledge their frustration thoughtfully. Start by apologizing, and then ask: “What went wrong?” Then follow with: “What can I do to make it right?” I know it’s much easier said than done, but, if you set aside your anger, retaliation, and pride, you’ll end up saving lots of business in the long run. What’s more is that, when it comes to business, usually your harshest critics are the ones who will give you the most honest feedback, and, in turn, offer you the most opportunity for growth. It’s kind of ironic when you think about it, but it’s 100% true. Whenever I’ve sat down with someone who feels they were wronged by me, I’ve found they were much more willing to talk about my mistakes and provide suggestions on how I could avoid them in the future. Sure, the criticism can be difficult to take, but it’s a much better business tactic to seek out ways to improve from your dissenters than only give attention to clients who think you are great. To make sure I practice what I preach, I will set aside some time this month to reach out to my own clients to check in and ask for opportunities for improvement. I encourage you, whether you are Jewish or not, to consider doing the same. Let’s enter the new year with a clean conscience and strategies to help us grow, both as business owners and human beings.

-Adam Libman

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Why More Adults Over 55 Continue to Work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of retirement funds, but some are also using work to keep their minds and skills sharp. In fact, most of the jobs that the 55-plus crowd goes after keep them engaged with the community and help them lead more active lives.

The BLS categorized the jobs many older workers are currently pursuing:

Real estate appraisers/assessors

• Property/real estate/community association managers • Technical writers • Tax preparers • Construction/building inspectors • Crossing guards • Clergy These seven jobs are projected to grow between 8–14% over the next six years according to BLS data. They often pay well and don’t always require a full-time commitment. Many even offer flexible schedules, which can help older workers spend more time with peers or loved ones. This balance is exactly what many older workers are looking for, especially those who are “part-time retired.”

More importantly, however, most older workers find these jobs fulfilling. They allow older folks to interact with the community and stay active, both of which, research suggests, are essential to healthy living as people age. For many, working past retirement, or not leaving the workforce entirely, can be a win-win-win: It’s a win for your bank account, a win for your health, and a win for the community.

A Client IWould TrustWith My Life … Literally!

Meet Sam Cordeiro, an Emergency Room Doctor and Awesome Guy

It’s not very often you meet a person whose personality seems to perfectly align with their chosen career. You might meet salesmen with a proclivity for convincing buyers their product is exactly what they need, but many of them will tell you it took years to perfect their sales pitch. You might meet financial advisors who always seem to keep a level head and offer the best advice, but they will later tell you their rational decision-making tactics rely on years of formal education and study. You might even meet a tax strategist and CPA who found a way to save you thousands of dollars on your tax return last year, but he will admit his ability stems from decades of working with a variety of clients. When I met one of my favorite clients, Sam Cordeiro, three years ago, he told me he was an emergency room doctor, and, after talking to him for just a few minutes during that first consultation, I was blown away by how well his profession matched his personality. Of course, he attended school for far longer than most of us, and, as a doctor, he knows everything there is to know. But it wasn’t his

education that made me realize how well-suited he was for his job; it was his overall demeanor.

He is an extremely humble and unassuming guy who always seems to keep his cool. When you think of a doctor rushing around an emergency room trying to save people’s lives, you might picture them being intensely serious. But Sam isn’t like that. He is pleasant, kind, and laid back, which makes him an excellent ER doctor. If I got beat up in an accident, I’d want a doctor like Sam treating me. His ability to stay calm and collected would be reassuring. Every day when Sam heads into work, he doesn’t know what situations will come his way. But he faces whatever comes through the hospital doors, maintains his composure, and, even though he meets patients on their worst days, he constantly reassures them without judgment. All in all, Sam is a fantastic client to work with and an all-around awesome guy. I’m glad to know he is one of the great doctors in our area entrusted with saving lives!

2 • • Pay Less Taxes by Implementing Tax Reduction Strategies

Giving College Students One Less Thing to Worry About Setting Up Loan Repayment Plans That Make Sense

School is officially back in session, and parents all across the country joined my wife Maria and me as we let out a ginormous collective sigh of relief. Don’t get us wrong; we love our kids. But we also believe it’s okay to feel totally excited for them to go back to school every fall. While younger kids and parents are celebrating the start of the academic year, a big subset of the population — recent college graduates — might be feeling a little different. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, as of Sept. 30, 2018, the average student graduates college with a loan debt amount of $33,310. Your first year out of school, you’re tasked with managing two important life events: establishing a career and paying off your tuition debt. That’s a huge number for a young adult who has been either been previously supported by parents or who has spent the last four to six years in entry level positions that work around their class schedule. If you or someone you know is in that position, the Libman Team wants you to know it’s normal to feel a little freaked out. But don’t let it stop you from taking action. Call our office at 424-253-0200 so we can help you set up a solid student loan repayment plan!

“For the past three years, I've needed an accountant who could help me figure out the best strategy for paying

my taxes and my student loans. Adam was the answer. We talked at length about the different paths available, the best way forward, as well as the unethical options that others might present and why I should avoid them. “He never pressured me in any one direction, and he earned my trust quickly. We spent two hours preparing and reviewing my taxes. Not only do I get a refund but I am also in a better position with my student loans, and I have a clear path forward for how to best repay them in the future. He's literally the person I've been searching for.” With nearly 43 million students having to borrow money to pay for their education, chances are you or someone you know is in the same predicament as Rebekah was before meeting with the Libman team. But you don’t have to be! Give us a call or email us to see how we can reduce your stress and deepen your pocket.

Check out this review from Rebekah, who called us for the same reason!

Have You Heard About Our Diamond Club?


Here at Adam Libman Tax Strategies, our Diamond Club is invitation only and reserved for our top clients. If you have questions about the privileges that come with being a Diamond Client or want more information, make sure you give Adam a call! Diamond Clients

• Randy Gleckman * • Jay & Laine Zuckerman * • Ken Ma & Juliana Tu • Max Keylor • Lynn Adkins * • Ms. X





*Founding Members of the Diamond Club

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Maria’s Corner! My New Favorite (and Adam's Least Favorite) Show

You might have heard people call millennials lazy, entitled, and afraid of long-term commitments, but that trend is starting to shift. Today, businesses can’t afford to write off millennials because they actually make up a major percentage of the workforce. According to the Pew Research Center, there were 56 million millennials either working or looking for work in 2017, making up 35% of the labor force. When so much of the country’s available labor is part of one demographic, you must ask yourself this question: How do I get millennials to work for me? CATER TO THE INDIVIDUAL Millennials don’t want to be just another cog in the machine. They want to work somewhere that values their unique skills and lets them use those skills effectively. When seeking millennial talent for your company, highly specific job listings will attract exceptional employees. Once they’re on board, be sure to nurture their skill set. Give them a chance to grow with your company, and they’ll be sure to stick around. DITCH THE 9-TO-5 STANDARD Offering more flexible work hours is a start, but if you really want to attract millennials, then your entire work environment should embrace modernity. Have the latest tech and tools for day-to- A couple weeks ago, I was browsing Netflix in search of a new show. Now that “Game of Thrones” is officially (and sadly) over and the kids are back in school full-time, I decided it was a good time to find a show I could really sink my teeth into. During my search, I came across “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” a series that follows entrepreneur and best-selling author Marie Kondo as she travels from home to home, assisting clients in clearing out the clutter in their homes and lives. This show took the world by storm when it first aired in January of this year. Millions of viewers have taken Kondo’s advice to heart by following her KonMari method which entails decluttering their house by throwing out items that do not spark joy in their hearts. With a little more free time on my hands this fall, I figured it was the perfect time to put Kondo’s KonMari method to work. The kids have piles upon piles of toys that aren’t good for anything except hurling at one another, so I started there. I then moved on to Adam’s and my closet. After donating all of my old clothes that no longer spark joy, I started going through Adam’s things, which as you can imagine he didn’t like. He has purchased a T-shirt at every concert he’s ever attended, and all they do is take up space 3 Tips for AttractingMillennial Employees

in our closet. So, with those heaps of shirts, along with jeans from back when he was in college he still swears he will fit into again one day, I have a good start on getting rid of all the unnecessary clutter. Adam still comes home every day and tries to negotiate which pair of ratty old jeans he can keep, conversations we both know he will lose! If you are looking for a new show to watch or motivation to get your house clean and tidy, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” is one you should definitely check out! Your spouse might end up hating it, but it’s still a joy to watch!

Recognition, Flexibi lity, and Purpose

day operations, offer frequent opportunities for promotions and raises, avoid micromanagement, and give your young employees room to learn and grow.


More than anything, millennials are looking for some level of personal fulfillment — not just a paycheck. Create a brand story and work culture that expresses a greater purpose for prospective employees to get behind. Set high standards for the culture you want to create and maintain those standards. If you do this right, the talent you’re looking for will come to you. Just because millennials want more flexible work schedules and individual recognition doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to work hard. In fact, the opposite is true. By adapting your company culture to suit their lifestyle preferences, you can make sure your younger employees take an interest in your business and stick around.

4 • • Pay Less Taxes by Implementing Tax Reduction Strategies

Hello Friends!

We’ve reached that time of year when hot days of summer have finally started to wane, and the crisp chill of autumn is clear on the horizon. But, before you get ready to curl up next to a fire and excitedly await the holiday season, our team here at Libman Tax Strategies encourages you to make a quick trip to our office to sit down and chat with us! If you wait until next year to talk to us about your taxes, we’re sad to say it’ll be too late for us to really do much to help save you money. You have to start now — before tax season picks up — for our team to line your pockets with a little extra cash, so do not wait. To prove we’re worth disrupting your busy schedules for an earlier meeting, we want to share a story detailing how Adam got a client a check for over $200,000 plus interest: A couple months ago, a client came to me after two years of doing his own taxes. He is a really intelligent guy and the executive vice-president of a lucrative software company, so he had the capability of doing his taxes on his own. But after paying the IRS buckets of cash after the last two tax seasons, he thought he might have made a mistake somewhere.

With some encouragement from his wife, he made an appointment with Adam to have all his paperwork looked at more closely. He might have felt strange worrying about taxes when the season didn’t start for another eight or nine months, but he knew if he had any chance of fixing errors, he’d have to start early. During that consultation, Adam noticed the client had some stock options he didn’t report properly, and, by remedying that small mistake on the client’s past two tax returns, Adam was able to get him and his wife a check from the IRS for $214,000 plus interest ! You might think you have your taxes squared away, but it never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes. Maybe you’ll even save an extra buck (or 214,000 of them) in the process! Lastly, if you’ve been efficient and already have your 2020 taxes on track, then send a friend or family member our way so we can help them save time and money, too! We promise they’ll thank you for it. Give our office a call today.

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Lessons From an Unlikely Businessman 'Some Stories: Lessons From the Edge of Business and Sport'

You’re probably familiar with the story of outdoor apparel company Patagonia and its founder, Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard’s earlier book, “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman,” explored the early struggles and triumphs of Patagonia and gave us some insight into how the company became so successful. Now, Chouinard has given us another glimpse into his world with his new book, “Some Stories: Lessons From the Edge of Business and Sport.” As the title suggests, the book is a collection of stories and beautiful photographs that illustrate how a sense of adventure, a readiness to adapt, and, above all else, a dedication to what you believe in are all necessary parts of doing anything well (including running a multimillion-

“I know of no better example than Chouinard of what entrepreneurial Americans do best,” wrote author and angler Thomas McGuane. Entrepreneurs have to take initiative and be ready to accept great risk, and Chouinard does both with the pioneering spirit of a true business owner, despite his reluctance to accept the title. He would never abandon his values or the company’s to sell a sweatshirt, and he’s constantly pulling inspiration and guidance from the natural environment. “Some Stories” explores Chouinard’s drive to learn and make mistakes along the way and paints a portrait of an icon of thoughtful action and business success.

“Some Stories” is worth it just for the stunning pictures, but if you want to be pulled in by a book, and possibly forced to reconsider whether or not you’ve been coasting with your business and life, then this is a must read. As author and reporter Jon Krakauer warns, “this book might make you think twice about what you’re doing with your own life.”

dollar business). While the book contains plenty of business advice, most of its wisdom is just as applicable to life as it is to business management.

Let the Robots Do It

Automation Has Come to Small Business

Running a small business means wearing many hats. More often than not, CEOs find themselves moonlighting as marketers, customer service specialists, human resources representatives, project managers, and just about any other job that needs doing. That’s why more and more entrepreneurs are exploring automation to free up their time and focus on growing their business rather than just keeping it afloat. AUTOMATION ON YOUR LEVEL In the past, automated systems were solely within the purview of big businesses. Applications for organization were either too expensive or too wide in scope to fit the needs of smaller companies, but those days are over. Plenty of tools have been developed to help you and your team reduce workloads and run more efficiently, no matter your company’s size. REDUCING THE CHAOS Unless your business is large enough for several project managers, chances are that every employee is responsible for their own organization. This quickly leads to miscommunication, conflicting schedules, and roadblocked projects. Thankfully, many basic functions of a project manager have been automated thanks to applications like Apptivo. With features to track tasks and submit timesheets, this scalable tool allows everyone to stay up to date on the logistics of business and make coordination a breeze.

RESPONSE TIME IS EVERYTHING Many small businesses hesitate

to bring “bots” into customer-

facing operations because they don’t want to lose their

human touch. But humans are busy, and an unanswered request for a quote or a delayed response to a question will quickly give current and potential customers a bad impression. That’s why software like Keap exists. Keap allows you to send automated email responses at the first point of contact. This message can be as simple as an acknowledgment that their message was received and will be answered soon. The important part is that your customers are reassured that they are being heard. Far from making your business more robotic, automated tools allow your team to focus on what they do best. That means more time for thoughtful customer service emails, personalized interactions with customers, and well-executed projects. That’s something you and your clients will appreciate.

6 • • Pay Less Taxes by Implementing Tax Reduction Strategies

How Did Our Office Ever Survive Without Her?

Basil Berry Sorbet


Inspired by Good Housekeeping

Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy-free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.

Every business owner can attest that without a hardworking group

of employees, everything would fall apart. With the amazing team I have here with me at the office — with my crazy antics and off-the-wall sense of humor — I


1 cup sugar

• • • •

1 cup fresh basil leaves

6 cups frozen mixed berries 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

know that to be true a little more than most. But with Brooke Scheer joining the team as our marketing manager two months ago, I honestly can’t believe we ever got by without her.


1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with 1 cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency.

Although Brooke hasn’t been here for long, she has already updated and restructured all our processes, and she’s introduced several instructional events to benefit our clients. In fact, just last month, she planned two dinner seminars where clients could learn about how to expense the family vacation and defer capital gains while we all shared a meal and drinks. When she’s not busy planning these awesome events, she is busy with mastermind seminars, talking with thought leaders in the industry, and nurturing relationships with clients through email check-ins, educational content and videos, and social media platforms. While Brooke has been quite busy these past two months, she still miraculously claims to love her job. She explains, “Although I’ve been in the marketing world for the past eight years, I dabbled primarily in the travel and bartending industries. While I loved working in both of those realms, I’ve already learned so much sharing an office with Adam and Ara. Believe it or not, I thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up in everything related to finance and accounting. It’s been such an amazing and serendipitous opportunity.” In addition to her new job, Brooke has another fantastic opportunity on the horizon. She is going to be a mom this November! We’re all extremely excited to support her on this exciting journey. While Brooke prepares for the arrival of her little one, she will continue learning all she can about accounting inside the office and reading all she can about American history outside the office.

2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold.

3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth.

4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours.

5. Scoop and serve.


If you see Brooke during your next appointment, feel free to say a quick “Hello!” You’ll be glad you did!

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150 N. Santa Anita Avenue, Suite 740 Arcadia, CA 91006 424.253.0200


INSIDE THIS ISSUE P1 Heading Into the Fall Season of Life? P2 Why Are So Many People Deciding Not to Retire? A Client IWould TrustWith My Life: Sam Cordeiro P3 Giving College Students One Less Thing to Worry About Our Diamond Club P4 Maria’s Corner How to Attract Millennials toYour Business P5 Hello Friends! P6 Lessons From an Unlikely Businessman Automation Has Come to Small Business P7 Meet an Important New Member of Our Team, Brooke Scheer! Basil Berry Sorbet P8 An Excursion in the Pennine Alps

An Alpine Excursion

Tour Monte Rosa

Nestled between Italy and Switzerland, Monte Rosa is the second highest peak in the Alps, making it one of the best views in either country and one of the more physically demanding ascents in the mountain range. In the late summer and early fall, tourists and locals alike tour Monte Rosa to pay their respects to the peak and to be challenged by the cross-country trek over the mountain. The full tour of the mountain is a nine-day journey that starts in Switzerland and crosses quickly over into Italy, winding its way through both countries before eventually returning trekkers to their starting point. The out-and-back path is the most popular route, though there are other ways to approach it. However you go, you’ll encounter massive glaciers, rigorous 1,000-meter ascents and descents, and breathtaking views that are sure to make this journey memorable. For accommodations, opt for charming mountain huts to immerse yourself in the true Alpine experience. You can book them in advance to guarantee your bunk and a dinner of spaetzle or lasagna, depending on which country you’re in that night.

Unless you’re traveling with an experienced mountaineer, a guide is recommended for touring Monte Rosa, even if you only plan to traverse a small section of the mountain. Weather can vary greatly and change quickly in this region, so you never know when you’ll encounter ice or snow, which can lower your visibility. Toward the top of the peak, you’ll even have an opportunity to cross a sprawling glacier, and having a guide will ensure you have the necessary equipment for a safe trip. On top of the spectacular views, you can expect a beautiful blend of cultures and an experience unlike any other on your tour of Monte Rosa. Plus, you may even get to see a few Swiss cows or mountain goats along the way!

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