“If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?”
– Basil S. Walsh

I’m writing this on Columbus Day…which is really an interesting holiday, right? Chances are, if it weren’t for the fact that government offices shut down for it (most notably, the USPS), I’m not sure that many folks would celebrate it much anymore. It seems so distant from our current world–the notion that a man (and his crew) would set sail with no real map to guide them…and find a vast continent.

And, of course, there’s plenty of criticism (some deserved, much not deserved) about how “Euro-centric” this celebration really is. After all, it’s not like this continent was uninhabited! (And, I will say that much of the criticism doesn’t take into account the very nature of how nations were built throughout history–fairly or not, it was through war and conquest.) So, these factors have led to a slow decline in appreciation for Christopher Columbus.

But leaving aside the controversy, let’s celebrate the extraordinary accomplishment of a brave entrepreneur … who put aside fear and accomplished something great.

What’s your next ocean? We’d love to help you cross it…let us know how we can help! Good Dick hd

Before I get to this week’s Strategy Note, a few tax items of note:

1) I’ve written often about the $8,000.00 First-Time Homebuyer’s Credit, and urging folks to move on it before it expired. Well, if you’re serving our country in the armed services, you’ve got some breathing room–it’s been extended for you.


2) This one is more of a chuckler…and an admittedly self-serving item.

Still thinking about “going it alone” on your taxes this year? Well, beware of turning to the IRS for help on the phone. Turns out the IRS didn’t answer 22.4 million phone calls last tax season.

Ouch: http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/10/irs-didnt-answer.html

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It’s a pretty low bar to hurdle, but I think I can confidently declare that we WILL answer the phone around here! (Or, at least return the call promptly if we happen to be very busy–which does seem to occur more and more.)

I’m keeping this week’s Strategy Note relatively short and sweet…I think it’s worth your time, and–especially–your action.

(And, again–please do feel free to leave comments. I read every one that comes my way!)

“Real World” Personal Strategy

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Plan Now For Tax Season Money from Home movie full

Too many clients (almost all of them) wait until the late winter or early spring before they look at their tax obligations. Even worse, they wait until that season before they speak with their professional in any kind of pro-active way.

That’s a problem, and it could be costing you some serious savings.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that you were considering taking money out of a pension (401k) to finance the down payment on a house. It’s quite a common maneuver. But let’s say next that you do this withOUT discussing it ahead of time with a professional. That could be a four (or five) figure mistake.

If you were to come into our offices before such a move, I would ask you a few easy, but very important questions, and then (depending on the answer) likely advise you to first roll the money ($10,000) into a Traditional IRA. You could then withdraw the money at a savings of $1,000.00. 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.

Would you be pleased by that move? I’d guess “yes”, especially if you knew about another couple I know of who failed to plan. This couple learned of the $41,000.00 penalty –when they had to pay it for doing the same thing, but from their 401(k).

Ouch. Running with Scissors download

There is no guarantee that you will save by speaking to us in advance. But this I CAN guarantee: If you don’t speak with us, we won’t be able to save you a dime.

Call, or email right away!

I hope this helps!