December 2019
Dirty Money

Let's say you need someone to help you do something really important. Would you settle for someone who just Googled it? Would you look for someone with the right professional license? Or would you hold out for the guy who literally wrote the book on whatever it is you need to do? Expertise doesn't guarantee success: great surgeons still lose patients; great lawyers still lose cases; and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks still throw into double coverage all the time. But sometimes professional prowess is well worth the extra cost.

2019 Last-Minute Year-End Tax Saving Strategies:
 
Here are the six strategies that you can implement before the end of the year. Five of the strategies increase your tax deductions, and one (the Roth) strategy increases your retirement benefits.

  1. Put your retirement plan in place no later than December 31 so you are absolutely sure that you have a plan. In fact, be sure to make a contribution to the plan before December 31.
  2. Convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. The long-term savings here can be huge. Make sure to leave the converted funds in the Roth for at least five years.
  3. If you have a Section 105 plan in place and you have not been reimbursing expenses monthly, do a reimbursement now to get your 2019 deductions, and then put yourself on a monthly reimbursement schedule in 2020.
  4. If you have not implemented your qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA), make sure to get that done properly now. If you have not yet put a QSEHRA in place and you plan to do so on January 1, do that now and just suffer that $50-per-employee penalty should you be found out. Alternately, consider implementing an individual care HRA (ICHRA) in 2020.
  5. If you operate your business as an S corporation and you want an above-the-line tax deduction for the cost of your health insurance, you need the S corporation to (a) pay for or reimburse you for the health insurance and (b) put it on your W-2. Make sure that the reimbursement happens before December 31 and that you have the reimbursement set up to show on the W-2.
  6. Claim the tax credit for the group health insurance you give your employees. If you provide your employees with group health insurance, see whether your pay structure and number of employees put you in a position to claim a 50 percent tax credit for some or all of the monies you paid for health insurance in 2019 and, possibly, prior years.
 

John Halterman shares his thoughts on the US House passing a minimum wage bill that will increase minimum wage federally to $15 an hour.
As of July 2019, unemployment in West Virginia has been the lowest it has ever been since October 2008. West Virginia is now leading the nation in personal Economic Growth. Why is West Virginia in such a good place right now? John Halterman says: leadership, focusing on being a state that policy is designed around Economic Growth, and it's workforce being higher skilled and more educated are the reasons why.
Get Started With Yoga

Yoga has a number of health benefits. It can help manage stress, depression, and anxiety, it can improve your mood, and it can even help you sleep better. Not sure where to start? Here are some highlights of this practice to help you feel more comfortable in your first class. 

  • Hatha yoga is slower than other types, so it's a good choice for beginners. Vinyasa is the most common type of yoga and can be easy or more difficult, depending on the class. Power yoga usually includes weights and is a high-intensity workout, in addition to yoga. 
  • A lot of yoga classes focus on breathing exercises, which is one of the reasons why it's so relaxing. Even simple poses can be extremely beneficial when you coordinate them with your breath. 
  • Some common poses include child's posedownward-facing dogwarrior poses, and sun salutations
  • You don't need fancy yoga gear to get started! All you need are some comfy clothes, a mat, and some water.

Tip adapted from Very Well Fit
Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Tired of the same old side dish? Try this soon-to-be family favorite!

Makes 14 servings

Ingredients: 

Potatoes:
  • 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Directions: 

  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 2 cups cheese, bacon and onions.
  3. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
The Brian Tracy Show
Jack Canfield's Hollywood Live
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