Please feel free to read our client newsletter. It is provided to keep you up to date on the latest tax and accounting news.
Por favor, siéntase libre de leer nuestro boletín de noticias. Se proporciona para mantenerlo actualizado sobre las últimas noticias.
Preventing unwanted tax surprises starts with proper planning. And there’s no better time than now to begin looking at how you can cut next year’s tax bill. In this month’s newsletter, we’ve included several situations when it makes sense to schedule a tax review so you can try and avoid a future tax surprise.
Also read about several ideas for mastering your credit card, tips to lower the cost of your auto insurance, and how you can become a better problem solver.
As always, please feel free to pass this newsletter to anyone who may find it valuable and call if you have any questions or concerns.
Read the Client Update Newsletter: August 2023
Taxes can affect many areas of your life. Here are some common situations when you'll want to schedule a tax review.
Nobody likes a tax surprise and now is a great time to schedule a tax planning review.
The average credit card balance in America ballooned to $5,910 in 2022. This figure is up 13.2% from the year before according to Experian, and it spells out a worrisome (and costly) trend for consumers. After all, credit card interest rates were on rise throughout all last year and well into 2023, mostly due to changes to the federal funds rate by the Federal Reserve. The fact is, consumers with credit card debt pay an average interest rate of 20.92% as of February 2023, compared to just 16.65% in the second quarter of 2022.
Fortunately, you have the power to use credit cards to your advantage — and to avoid paying exorbitant interest rates altogether. Consider these tips to master credit cards instead of letting them rule over you this year.
Credit cards offer convenience and a range of features you can benefit from, but they can either be a blessing or a curse for your finances. Ultimately, your best bet is taking control of your credit card use before it controls you.
Solving a difficult problem isn't reserved for only the world's greatest thinkers. Great creations are simply well-crafted solutions using organized, creative thinking. Here is a four step process so you, too, can become a great creative problem solver!
Step 1 – Define the problem
This step is the most critical. Albert Einstein once said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” Think about it – if you get this step wrong, it immediately puts you on the wrong track and all the work that comes after moves you further from the solution. In short, you want to understand as much about the issue as you can. Write down everything you know about the problem and related answers to define what you need to investigate. Summarize your thoughts into a single problem statement.
Step 2 – Ideate
Don’t overthink this step. The time and energy you put into defining the problem will create quite a few ideas, many of them unorganized, bouncing around in your brain. The goal is to take all these thoughts out of your brain and put them into writing. Don’t do any internal filtering – it all needs to come out. Brainstorming is all about quantity with no regard for quality. (Quality control will come later!) Think about it like starting a puzzle by first dumping all the pieces out of the box. If you left any in the box, you have no chance of completing the puzzle. The more out-of-the-box and abstract the idea, the better!
Step 3 – Develop your ideas
Once you have all your idea fragments written down, you’ll notice a few that rise to the top as possible solutions. Identify these top 3 to 5 solutions, then see if the rest of your brainstorming ideas can fit as a supporting detail with any of these main solutions. Now think through why each of these ideas might yield a solution and form a hypothesis as to how this idea will play out. From there, break apart the hypothesis and identify any potential flaws. Revealing possible weak spots is a great starting point to defining the pathway for a solution.
Step 4 – Implement your solution
This final step may seem daunting, but the key is to break the final project into as many bite-size steps as possible. The smaller and easier it is to manage, the better. Identify each step of the implementation process, write down the dependencies for each of these steps and connect them together to work towards the final solution. As you work through them, it’s important to stay flexible as unforeseen obstacles will arise and you need to be able to pivot.
Continue to work through your problem solving process, retesting and refining as you go. Odds are you’ll initially take some steps backwards, but don’t give up! The ability to stay resilient is as important as the process itself to reach your final goal.
If you've been feeling the pinch of higher auto insurance rates along with other rising costs, you should know some factors that impact these rates are well within your control. Consider these tips to pay less this year and beyond.
Auto insurance rates may not be going down any time soon, but the steps you take now can help you pay lower rates from this point forward. By improving your credit, checking for discounts and tweaking your policy details, you can get the coverage you need for a price you can afford.