THE STRAIGHT S K I N N Y
Reviewing Your Plan so You Can Live Your Life JUST CHECKING IN
As tax season finally comes to a close, taxpayers are celebrating surviving the largest tax overhaul in decades. This tax law will sunset in 2026, but it’s still vital that you take advantage of the downtime after this first season to evaluate if there are any changes we need to make to your financial plan. For example, tax refunds should be smaller for most people this year than they were in years past. The new tax law lays out policies so workers get paid higher wages each paycheck. If you got a refund from the government and it was small, that’s a great result. That means you didn’t give Uncle Sam an interest- free loan! If you did get a big return, perhaps we need to re-evaluate your withholdings. There are a number of circumstances to consider when you make these changes. This is why I schedule annual reviews with all of my clients. I want to see or talk to every client before the summer starts to make sure your financial plan is still working for you. Plus, as your life changes, it’s always good to get feedback on various decisions. Wouldn’t you rather have the perspective to make the right decision instead of going in blind? It’s easier to fix things early. If you got a big refund from the government this tax season, let’s examine ways you can save efficiently. Since the market fluctuates, you’ll want to have a cushion that shields you from unexpected expenses. Or, if you’re retiring in a few years, evaluating current strategies and planned eventualities will help you transition more smoothly. Being prepared will keep you from being stranded. Here’s the thing: It’s okay to spend your money, as long as you understand your numbers. We spend a long time saving; it’s a habit for many. It’s a strange and sometimes uncomfortable feeling, though, to begin spending what you’ve saved. In fact, some of my clients may be surprised to learn that I’m a big advocate of spending money on life improvements or experiences. As my sign in the office states, “Life is short. Buy the shoes.” So long as prudence is involved, I encourage clients to take on new experiences and invest in their
homes or futures. Power-wash the house after the spring thaw or go see this expansive, beautiful country beyond your home state. Take a road trip and see America; it’s an adventure. It’s time to begin enjoying the fruits of your labors.
I’m actually taking my own advice this year. I will be traveling to Helena, Montana for a reunion with my mom’s side of the family this summer (our parents are originally from Montana). Many of my brothers, our kids, and their spouses are planning to reconnect for a raucous adventure in America’s Big Sky country. We’ll be riding into town on motorcycles, RVs, and vans; I’m sure they’ll probably hear us coming. Hopefully, we’ll also get to visit Yellowstone National Park. If you’ve never been there, put it on your bucket list. The whole area is just gorgeous.
Since it’s May, we wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms. We hope you’ll attend our Client Appreciation Event on May 16! I’m loving this spring weather!
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