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MY LOOP-THE-LOOP ADDICTION
Remembering Great Times at Six Flags
Do you have a habit you know is bad for you, but for whatever reason, you just can’t quit the thrill? I do. I know that sounds bad, but I’m not talking about a smoking addiction or even a stash of Hostess Cupcakes — I’m talking about roller coasters! I’ve been a big roller coaster fan ever since I was a kid. I’ve got the stomach for even the craziest, loopiest rides, so the downside isn’t that I get sick. As I’ve gotten older, every time I go on a roller coaster, it throws my neck and back out of whack. Going upside down and zooming around curves gives me whiplash every time. It’s gotten to the point that now, whenever I plan a trip to Six Flags Great America with some friends, I schedule an appointment with my favorite chiropractor for the day I get back. I’ve been going to Six Flags to ride roller coasters ever since I was a little kid. I have a lot of great memories at the park, including the prank my high school friends and I played on the management when we visited for our senior trip. If you’ve been to the park, you might recall that they have these old cars you can drive around a track. Well, back in the day, my buddies and I hopped into a few of those cars. Then, when we were hidden from the operator by a bridge, everyone in the back car jumped out and piled into the car in front! We zoomed off, leaving the abandoned car behind under the bridge. Pretty soon, the whole ride started backing up behind the car sitting there with no driver. We had a blast watching people get confused. In the end, a worker figured out what was going on and drove the car back around the loop himself. When they figured out we were behind the prank, they threatened to toss us out if we pulled something like that again. Luckily, we kept our noses clean the rest of the trip, and I’m still welcome at Six Flags today! My chiropractor is fully aware of my self-destructive behavior. He just shakes his head when I tell him I’m going to Six Flags on such and such a day and that I’ll see him soon. The truth is, I know my body doesn’t love being thrown around on roller coasters over and over, but my brain can’t get enough. I actually look at amusement park trips as a stress reliever. There’s nothing like screaming your lungs out to wash away the tension of tax season!
evils, and really, these amusement parks should get some credit for keeping chiropractors in business.
I have been getting season passes for as long as I can remember. I always get Flash Passes, too, so we can skip the lines. But, of course, the pandemic has put a stop to my obsession for this summer, and I have really missed it. I have to find some other thrill to knock me out of adjustment, so my chiropractor can stay in business! If you’re a Six Flags regular or planning a trip for when the pandemic eases up, let me know next time you call to talk taxes. I’d love to hear about your favorite rides or any that terrify you!
If I have to pick between being stressed or shelling out for a chiropractor, I’ll go with the latter every time. Getting a little banged up is the lesser of two
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RETIRING DURING A RECESSION 3 GUIDELINES TO ENSURE A STABLE FUTURE
A few months ago, several news sources confirmed what savvy American businesspeople already suspected: The United States is currently in a recession and has been since February 2020. While a recession isn’t good for anyone, it’s especially concerning for those nearing retirement age. Those who were planning on retiring this year might be having second thoughts — for good reason. Rest assured, however, that if you’ve had fears about retiring this year, you can still go ahead with your plans as long as you keep a few things in mind. DON’T LET EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT GUIDE YOUR DECISIONS. Saving for retirement is almost inherently tied with joyful thoughts of
financial stability in your golden years. So, when something like a recession threatens that security, it’s easy to react irrationally. Before deciding what to do with your retirement funds, make sure your decisions are rooted in logic, not fear or anxiety. If you don’t know where to start, contact a financial advisor for guidance. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL. Even for financial experts, the markets are notoriously hard to predict. Rather than expend energy wishing you could sway the market, focus on making changes where you have control. You can control where your assets are invested, when you claim Social Security, and how you spend your money,
among other things. Think about how you can change these factors in your favor and don’t worry about the rest. STRESS-TEST YOUR FINANCES. While conducting a stress test might sound a little abstract, it’s something that many financial advisors can help you do with your retirement accounts. Stress-testing your finances can help you determine if now is the right time to retire or if it’s better to wait just a little bit longer. Even if things look bad right now, that could change in a year or two. As the market recovers, so do your chances of a peaceful retirement.
NEW TO THE GIG ECONOMY?
Don’t Let the Job Mess With Your Taxes!
1. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP RECORDS OF YOUR INCOME. To make filing your tax return easier, always keep your receipts and records of your income. This is particularly important if you’re paid in cash or don’t have a traditional pay stub. TAXABLE. Part-time work, temporary jobs, side gigs — income from all of them is taxable under IRS rules, even if it’s not reported on an information return form like a 1099-K, 1099-MISC, or W-2. This is true even if you’re paid in cash, property, goods, or digital currency. 3. YOUR WORKER CLASSIFICATION 2. GIG ECONOMY INCOME IS MIGHT HAVE CHANGED. Gig workers can be considered employees or independent contractors, and each classification comes with different tax rules and benefits. To figure out your classification, visit the worker classification page on IRS.gov.
4. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS CAN DEDUCT BUSINESS EXPENSES. This means that depending on the current tax limits and rules, you may be able to deduct things like auto mileage, meals, and travel expenses on your tax return. 5. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS SHOULD PAY THEIR TAXES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR IF POSSIBLE. As an independent contractor, you should make quarterly estimated tax payments so you will not get hit with a large tax bill when you file your income tax return. This will also eliminate or limit penalties for failing to make proper estimated tax payments. If you’re new to gig work, hang on to these tips, and if you know a friend in the business who could use this advice, pass this article on! You can learn more by visiting the IRS’s Gig Economy Tax Center at IRS. gov/businesses/gig-economy-tax-center, and of course, I’m always here to answer any questions you might have about gig work and your taxes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more and more people are turning to gig economy jobs like delivering for DoorDash or Instacart or doing freelance work to pay the bills. These jobs can be a great way to make ends meet when times are tough, but they do have their challenges. One of those is that gig work is tricky to navigate when it comes to paying taxes. In June, the IRS released some brand-new tax tips for workers in the gig economy. Out of that list, here are my top five:
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NEED CASH BECAUSE OF COVID-19? YOU CAN TAP YOUR RETIREMENT FUND FTR TAX TIP OF THE MONTH
RESTAURANT- STYLE FETTUCCINE ALFREDO
If you lost your job because of the coronavirus pandemic, you’re likely struggling to make ends meet right now. Maybe your mortgage payment is looming, or you’re having trouble paying off your car. If this sounds familiar and you’re looking for a way out, I just might have one for you. Here it is: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows qualifying savers to make emergency withdrawals of up to $100,000 from their 401(k)s and IRAs until Dec. 31, 2020. If you’re under 59 1/2 years old, you can access the money without the usual 10% early withdrawal penalty. You can also spread the income tax from the withdrawal over three years. However, you have the option of repaying the amount more quickly to avoid paying any tax at all. How do you qualify for these special circumstances? If you, your spouse, or anyone in your household contracted COVID-19, or if you or your spouse has lost a job, had your hours or salary cut, or had a job offer rescinded because of the pandemic, then you are eligible to take advantage of the special retirement withdrawal. Taking money from your retirement account is a difficult choice to make, but it could be necessary to get you through these unforeseen circumstances. These withdrawals will be reconciled on your next three years of tax returns (2020, 2021, and 2022). If you take $60,000 out of your retirement plan by the end of the year, for example, you have the option of reporting $20,000 for each of the three years and paying tax on that amount for those years. Or, if you’re able to pay the full amount back within the next three years, then you won’t owe any tax at all. Finally, if you report $20,000 of this income on the 2020 tax return and then you pay $20,000 back at the end of 2020, you’ll need to file an amended tax return to reconcile that repayment and decrease your income. If this sounds too complicated, never fear — I’m here to help you, your loved ones, and your friends through the IRS maze! The most important thing is that you have an option if you’re strapped for cash because of the pandemic. To talk through making the leap, give me a call today.
Inspired by The New York Times
• • • • • •
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano Freshly ground pepper, to taste Fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
2 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
• • •
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 lemon wedge
1 lb fresh fettuccine
1. In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. 2. In a large, deep skillet, while the water heats, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and sizzling (about 2 minutes). 3. In a bowl, whisk heavy cream and egg yolk until blended and pour into garlic butter. 4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until hot, not boiling. Keep warm on low heat. 5. In the large pot, cook pasta until al dente. (The pasta will float once it’s done.) Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Pour hot pasta into cream mixture and toss to coat on low heat. 6. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano and keep tossing gently until cream is mostly absorbed. If the sauce is absorbed too much, toss with extra pasta water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 7. Serve with parsley and a squeeze of lemon.
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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 Loop-the-Loop Addiction Retiring in 2020? Follow These 3 Steps! 5 Tax Tips Every Gig Worker Should Know This CARES Act Provision Could Save You From Foreclosure Restaurant-Style Fettuccine Alfredo Engaging Indoor Activities
Summertime means getting out of the house to enjoy the sunshine and the bright blue sky. But even during this great time of year, you may have to spend some of these precious days inside, not outside. Rather than scrolling through social media or reminiscing about better days, here are a few ideas you can use to turn a day spent indoors into a fun summer memory! GET CRAFTY You’re bound to have a few materials floating around the house that you can use to create a new art project or even start a new hobby. If you have extra sheets of paper lying around, then give origami a go. Do you have a shirt you don’t wear anymore but still love? Turn it into a new pillow cover or a bag. You can also create fun garden decorations by painting rocks, making a wind chime, or repurposing an old boot into a new plant holder. You never know — whatever you choose to do could become your next passion. PLAN YOUR NEXT VACATION STUCK INSIDE?
calculate the expenses of the trip, such as travel, board, food, and souvenirs. You can also research and figure out where you’re going to stay ahead of time, whether that be a hotel or an Airbnb, to optimize your experience. Once you have the groundwork done, you’ll have a better idea of how your trip will go and be able to focus on the fun stuff when the time comes! CHANGE IT UP If you’ve been putting off rearranging or reorganizing a room in your house, then a day at home is a great chance to get started. Switching up the layout of your stuff gives your home a fresh new look and provides you with an opportunity to deep-clean your space. If you have a patio or porch, then try sprucing up those outdoor spaces with new furniture, potted plants, or trendy decor. Just imagine how satisfying it will feel once everything is in a new place and sparkling clean. Even when you’d rather be outside enjoying the last days of summer, these indoor activities will keep you entertained and give you something fun to look forward to!
Spending the day inside might just be the perfect time to plan your next vacation. Use this time to
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