It’s wild to think there are only four more months in 2019.

As we get older, time sure does fly. And unfortunately, many folks get stuck in a rut from year to year. Specifically related to taxes — many do not review, or even think about their tax situation until the winter or early spring.  But please take just one piece of advice from me today:

Not only can you start planning your taxes in advance, it is by far the wisest thing you can do for an accurate, stress-free April (or at least less stress than usual).

And if planning ahead is the first item of importance, having someone to plan with is a close second.  Please give me a call so we can meet and discuss everything from strategy to accuracy regarding your taxes.

Let’s examine a hypothetical situation, and the kind of strategy we could put in place together…

Lisa Heckman’s
“Real World” Personal Strategy Note

Tax Planning: One Example of Why You Should Do It Now

“Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” -Stephen Covey

Pretend you were considering taking money out of a pension (401k) to finance a down payment on a house. This kind of strategy happens all the time. However, to complete the transaction without consulting a knowledgeable professional beforehand might result in a four- (or five-) figure mistake.

In this specific situation, I would ask you a few simple, necessary questions. And then, depending on the answers, would likely advise you to roll the money ($10,000) into a Traditional IRA. That way, you could withdraw the money at a savings of $1,000. This is because money used for a first home, up to $10,000, is penalty-free when taken from an IRA but not a 401K.

That’s called strategy. When you benefit from that kind of strategy, it’s called planning. It’s not only related to housing, 401K or IRA allotment — I want to help you experience all-around financial success moving forward.

While we’re on the topic, here are other “penalty-free” retirement account withdrawal opportunities (Note: these are NOT “tax-free” — only penalty-free):

* Unreimbursed Medical Bills
* Total and/or Permanent Disability
* Health Insurance Premiums after 12 weeks of unemployment
* Death
* Higher Education Costs
* Pending Senate Approval: Qualified Birth and Adoption Expenses

Also note that there are specific caveats to each of these options. We can discuss your best route while talking about your individual situation. There are a few other obscure situations available, but again — these decisions are best made under consultation.

Although, when working with us, there’s no certified promise of saving money (because every situation is so nuanced and unique to each client).  It’s always best we take the opportunity to review your current financial situation, just to be sure we don’t lose the ability to save you all we possibly could on your 2019 taxes.

Don’t wait until winter.  Please don’t wait until spring.  Let’s get some strategy started … right now.


Lisa Heckman
(503) 648-6184

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