January 2020 Living Debt Free and Wealthy Newsletter

Time for a Review
Welcome to 2020! We have officially made it into a new Decade. But before we move on, let’s look at 5 things that have happened in the past decade.

 April 2010. The First iPad comes out
 December 2012. Nothing happened when the Mayan Calendar ended
 February 2016. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar.  2018. Major Tax Law changes
 April 2019. NASA captured the first ever photo of a black hole.

I hope your 2019 was everything you hoped it would be. A new decade brings new reminders though. When was the last time you reviewed your situation? We all understand the importance of regular screenings and check-ups for our health. Do you agree that your financial health is extremely important to keep track of as well? Just like many physical illnesses, financial illnesses do not go away without treatment, and the earlier you catch them the better off you will be!

I encourage everyone to visit with an expert and double check your financial plan at least once a year. Even if there weren’t any changes, it is still wise to meet so you can make sure you are still on track to meet your goals. However, you should also keep an eye out for events like these, where you should definitely revisit your plan.

 Change of jobs
 Birth of a child
 Significant raise
 Death in the family
 Disability
 Loss of a job
 Changing goals
 Preparing for RMD’s
 Tax law changes
 Buying/selling your home

As we get older things change. With the changing of the decade don’t forget to keep your financial plans up to date. Remember if you ever want help or advice, I am always here. There is never any cost, obligation or judgement for my recommendations.  
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals"  

-Zig Ziglar

Interesting Facts:

-Green Eggs & Ham was written because of a bet that Dr. Seuss would not be able to write an entertaining children’s book using only 50 different words.

-Lobster’s blood is not red, it is a blue tint, because lobster’s use copper to carry the oxygen instead of iron.

-There are four NFL teams who have never made it to the Superbowl, those teams are the Browns, Lions, Texans, and Jaguars.

-Similar to how sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it is from France and made from particular grapes, whiskey can only be called Bourbon if it is made in the US.
Tax Time is here! Here are 3 tips to help you prepare for 2020!

1. If you get a big refund each year, you're having too much withheld from your paycheck.

In effect, you're giving the government an interest-free loan.

2. If you have too little withheld, you may be charged an underpayment penalty.

You must pay 90 percent of what you owe for the tax year by the end of that year or an amount equal to 100 percent of your tax liability for the previous tax year, whichever is smaller.

3. Not every dollar of your taxable income is taxed at the same rate.

That's because portions of your earned income fall into different brackets, which are assigned different tax rates. Generally speaking, the first dollar you make will be taxed at a lower rate than your last dollar. Your marginal tax rate is the tax bracket at which the highest (or last) portion of your income is taxed.  
New Year's Resolutions That Work
It's the new year again, and with that comes the struggles of New Year Resolutions. Resolutions are often stressful, unreachable things. But they don’t have to be. They should be encouraging and lead you down the path you want to follow. Making realistic, simple resolutions can lead to a greater chance of success in the upcoming year. Here are 6 steps to help you set ones that work.

1. Be realistic in your goals.

Choose one goal, then break it down into smaller, more manageable bits. For example, if you want to save $1,000, think about it in terms of saving $20 per paycheck. That makes your goal less intimidating. Every time you save some money, praise yourself. Rewarding yourself for every positive step will help you have the confidence you need to hang in there.

2. Start with a plan and stick to it

Studies show that people who make impulsive resolutions are less likely to stick to them. Think about what is most important to you and create strategies to deal with the problems and setbacks that will come up as you move towards your goal. Tracking your progress will help as well; the more you monitor and praise yourself, the more likely you are to succeed.  

3. Team up with a friend or loved one

Make a list of your goals and share them with a friend or loved one. You are now accountable to two people: yourself and the other person. You will also get a sense of satisfaction from helping your friend accomplish his or her goals, too. Such an informal pact can help hold your feet to the fire when you feel discouraged or want to give up — they can offer you some encouragement and support (and you can do likewise).

4. Look at the bright side and allow yourself mistakes

Focusing on the positive side of things will give you more energy and enthusiasm to pursue your goals. People who believe that they can succeed are more likely to do so. For example, praise yourself for losing five pounds, but don’t punish yourself for gaining one back. Remind yourself that every day is a new day and an opportunity to try again.

5. Think of resolutions as opportunities to try new things

Resolutions are a time of the year not only to try and “fix” the problems in your life, but also to try out a new way of being, a new activity or hobby, or a new attitude. Resolutions should not seem like punishments; if you try to make them fun, you will be more likely to stick with them.