5 Tips on How to Become Wealthy in San Antonio

5 Tips on How to Become Wealthy in San Antonio

As we continue to keep our eyes on what’s happening with the GOP tax reform bill in Washington, we are focusing on an entirely different kind of “tax reform” around here:

Tax planning with our smartest San Antonio clients.

Because something that is a commonality among our wisest clients is that they get AHEAD of the game with their taxes, and don’t let life’s inertia weigh them down from taking pro-active steps to avoid paying unnecessarily high tax rates.

There are all kinds of legal and ethical deductions that can keep your taxes down — but only if you take positive action before the end of the year.

So if that interests you, shoot me an email using the link at the top of the page or call us at (210) 824-9691 and let’s get ahead of the game for your 2017 taxes.

Now, speaking of my smartest San Antonio clients…

Many of my wealthiest clients have had to work their way up the scale, and to do so, they’ve had to adopt a different set of habits from most other people in San Antonio.

We can learn a lot from them, these among our ranks who had to create the wealth they now enjoy. More precisely, it’s the habits that got them to where they are that we need to focus on and learn from.

I thought I’d take some time to share with you some observations I’ve made as I’ve worked with clients who have done extremely well, financially.

I’m presuming, here, that you’d like to join those ranks … so here are five things which I’ve observed, that I believe will help you get there.

5 Tips on How to Become Wealthy in San Antonio
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” -William Arthur Ward

As I’ve watched clients in San Antonio go from one end of the income scale to another, over the years, here are five habits I’ve seen carried by all of them who moved *up* that scale (and those who started there — without these, well, they went the other direction) …

1. Putting off today what you can have tomorrow
The wealthy usually carry a willingness to live beneath their means for as long as it takes to reach their financial goals. While their peers are showing a tendency toward embracing the good life at the first sign of prosperity, the would-be wealthy take a pass on all of that.

While others are saving 6-10% of their annual incomes — usually for retirement — people who want to be wealthy often save 20, 30, 40 or even 50% or more of their incomes.

Imagine how much money you’d have saved in 10 years if you saved half of your income during that time? The fact that no one ever sees this happen is one of the reasons that people believe that the wealthy somehow “come into money.”

2. Spending well
The self-made wealthy learn early in life that you never pay full price. The combination of this habit with delayed gratification is a powerful force when it comes to growing wealth. Not only do you spend as little money as possible, but you buy at a discount when you do.

While most people are buying the most expensive house they can afford, the rich-in-progress buy beneath their means, and buy the cheapest house in the neighborhood to boot. They first ask themselves, “How much house can we truly afford right now?” The same is true of buying cars: If one wants to be rich someday, he buys a conservative car — and buys it used.

3. Fleeing from consumer debt
Debt represents a reduction of future cash flow and the wealthy will avoid it. By paying cash on the barrel, there are no strings attached to what you buy that might compromise your ability to continue saving money at a high rate.

Notice how the drive to save large amounts of money causes frugal spending habits, which then enable the ability to make purchases without using debt; the three habits combine to form a pattern that brings the aspiring rich to the point of great wealth earlier than an outsider might expect.

4. Seeking low risk/high yield investments
If you want to be rich, the first rule of investing is to not lose money! If you have a small amount of money to invest you might be tempted to put it all into high-risk growth stocks in the hope that a big run-up in value will make you rich. But if you have — or hope to have — a large portfolio to invest, you might not take that kind of risk. Your investments will be in assets that are unlikely to collapse in price, reasonably likely to grow in value over time, and able to provide a steady cash flow while you wait for them to grow.

For someone who is starting out, a perfect investment asset might be an undervalued (and therefore very likely to grow) blue chip stock (not likely to collapse) with a history of above-average dividend yields (steady cash flow). Or a good index fund. He doesn’t need for his investments to make him rich — he’s already on his way there, and just wants to further grow his wealth, steadily and predictably. (Of course, the specific strategy will vary from person to person, and at different stages of life, so this isn’t necessarily intended to be personalized investment advice for you.)

5. Only doing what matters most
My wealthiest San Antonio clients have the ability to center on the most profitable ventures and to let go of nearly everything else. They often do this by delegating non-profitable activities to others, if not making those activities somehow go away altogether.

This is easier to do when you have money to pay others to handle them for you, or when your finances are relatively uncomplicated. If, for example, the rich person has a business, he might pay someone to handle specific aspects of the operation that are necessary but produce little or no revenue. That frees him to concentrate all of his efforts on generating more income for his business. As a result, his business and his income grow much more quickly, making him wealthier still.

One thing I’ve seen in my clients with means: How to become wealthy is really a lifestyle as much as anything else. Once you adopt it — by living beneath your means, staying out of debt, and saving large amounts of money constantly, you have capital to invest (conservatively) and to pay others with, in order to free you up to make even more money. It’s not so hard to see why the wealth of the self-made rich seems to spring out one day as if there’s a winning lottery ticket in the mix.

But that’s simply not the case, and my self-made wealthy clients know this.

We’re just a phone call (or email) away: (210) 824-9691 (jimjr@boehmandboehm.com)

Warmly,

Jimmy Boehm
(210) 824-9691

Boehm & Boehm, CPA

Four Simple Steps To Increase Productivity In San Antonio

Four Simple Steps To Increase Productivity In San Antonio

First of all, our hearts are with Sutherland Springs, TX. What a senseless, terrible tragedy for that community, and our nation. Words fail.

+++

But as difficult as it is to “move on” from the remembrance of such things, our nation continues along with the arguments and concerns of the day. Specifically, the recently-released House GOP tax reform legislation is already causing a great deal of stir.

Mind you, this legislation has NOT been passed. And with the way things are going, things are already changing so quickly that it’s difficult to make an authoritative judgement on what exactly WILL get passed, and what it will mean for regular San Antonio taxpayers, like you and me.

For now, if you want to get the simplest, most “propaganda free” look on what *is* in the bill, you can dive into the summary (with commentary) from the House Ways and Means Committee (which is the committee tasked with writing it in the first place).

But even that is 82 pages.

That same committee is “marking up” the bill, even now as I write, this week, and much of the analysis that we’ve all been reading this week might end up being moot by the time it’s actually through the committee.

And as usual, there is a steadily-accumulating number of opponents to this bill, and not just the natural ones on the Democratic side of the political aisle. Just a small sampling:

– prospective adoptive parents (elimination of the adoption tax credit)
– non-profits who rely upon giving (because of the significant decrease in itemization, which would disincentivize givers who use the charitable deduction)
– Divorcees who pay support (elimination of deductibility of alimony payments)
– those with student loans (elimination of deduction for student loan interest)
– certain home buyers and sellers
– and more

Importantly, these changes are intended to be offset by increases in other deductions, specifically the significant increase in standard deductions.

And if it’s alright with you, let’s not have specific conversations about any action steps these changes might require from you until the dust settles and something is actually passed. Then, we’ll help you make a good plan.

Because MOST importantly, we have no “dog in this hunt”, and will be here for you regardless of what happens. For unfortunately, when politicians talk about “simplification” … the result is almost always anything but.

So, we’ll be watching with you to see what actually gets done from this. Right now, it’s all just talk.

Lastly, and speaking of getting things done, I’ve noticed an increasing crisis of productivity for many people in these days of “always on” entertainment. So I thought I’d switch gears from all the tax talk and give you some quick thoughts on how to increase productivity throughout your day…

Four Simple Steps To Increase Productivity In San Antonio
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett

I’ve discovered a few tricks when it comes to getting things done through the day — and managing others who do so. Here are some productivity tricks I’ve found to be helpful:

1. Turn off cell phone alerts. 
Resist the temptation to stop what you’re doing every time your phone beeps with a new message. You’ll be better able to focus on tasks when you’re not constantly distracted and interrupted.

2. Fine-tune your to-do list.
When planning your day, add estimated times to each item on your to-do list. This will help you decide what to do first and what can be saved for later.

3. Run two-minute drills.
Every few hours, look at your list for tasks that can be done quickly — answering emails and phone calls, confirming appointments, and the like. Spend a few minutes clearing those away, and you’ll have more blocks of uninterrupted time to take on bigger tasks.

4. Take regular breaks.
You’ll burn out if you go full throttle for eight or 10 hours. Determine how long you can effectively concentrate on a single task (usually between 30 minutes and an hour, for most people). Take a break after that time — walk around, get out of the building, talk to co-workers — and you’ll return feeling refreshed.

Let’s get more done this week, shall we?

We’re just a phone call (or email) away: (210) 824-9691 (jimjr@boehmandboehm.com)

Warmly,

Jimmy Boehm
(210) 824-9691

Boehm & Boehm, CPA

Boehm’s 5 Retirement Money Mistakes You Can Avoid Ahead of Time

Boehm’s 5 Retirement Money Mistakes You Can Avoid Ahead of Time

We’re turning the corner into November this week, which means that 2017 is close to being over. And based on what I’ve heard from more than a few of my San Antonio clients, turning the corner into 2018 is going to be a welcome event. It’s been a rough year for the nation, and for some people who are close “friends of the firm”.

But we do have a couple more months before that comes, and plenty still to see and do. This also means you still have two months in which you can make positive progress in keeping your tax bill down — no matter what comes from potential tax reform. (Because even if serious tax reform is passed by Congress, it won’t affect this current tax year.)

It’s a good idea to project your 2017 tax bill, and make sure there won’t be any big surprises this year, and do whatever we can to keep things manageable. If you need help with that, send me a note by clicking the email button at the top of the page or give us a call at (210) 824-9691.

And speaking of surprises, one of the worst surprises that can strike is believing that you are “all set” as you head into retirement, and then having the harsh reality of negative cashflow sink in.

We’ve walked with some people who have gone through this, and invariably they made some basic mistakes before they entered into retirement, and I’ve gathered them here for you to consider.

Note: It perhaps goes without saying, but none of this should be construed as specific investment advice. These are general principles, and every person’s situation is obviously going to be a bit different.

But that said, it’s good to be aware of these tendencies…

Boehm’s 5 Retirement Money Mistakes You Can Avoid Ahead of Time
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

One or two mistakes in handling your retirement money could mean paying a stiff penalty as you grow older — whether financially, or in the emotional drain that “guessing wrong” can take on you. Watch out for these mistakes we’ve seen people make over the years…

1. Obsessing about market losses (or gains).
Focus on your long-term needs, not the daily ups and downs of the DJIA. Catastrophic events and long-term health care needs can cause as much damage to your nest egg as a shaky market.

2. Forgetting about inflation and taxes.
Your retirement savings may be a lot smaller than you think when you start factoring in the rate of inflation and the taxes you’ll have to pay when you start drawing out of it.

3. Not saving in the last years before retirement.
Just because you’ve got only a handful of years left before you retire doesn’t mean you should go ahead and buy that new Lexus. Some people are able to build up substantial savings in their last five years of work because they get serious about saving and investing.

4. Believing you can withdraw more than you really can.
If you rely on average annual returns on your investments to determine just how much you can withdraw, you could be drawing down your retirement fund faster than you should. Average returns are seldom steady. A safe rule of thumb: Count on a 3 percent rate of withdrawal.

5. Not planning for a long life.
Despite the dramatic rise in life expectancy in recent decades, many people still underestimate how long they’ll live. If you’re not thinking about longevity, you could tap out your savings much faster than you should. Look at the figures and add in at least a few extra years as you make your plans.

We’re just a phone call (or email) away: (210) 824-9691 (jimjr@boehmandboehm.com)

Warmly,

Jimmy Boehm
(210) 824-9691

Boehm & Boehm, CPA

Will a Trump Tax Cut (or Raise) Affect You in San Antonio?

Will a Trump Tax Cut (or Raise) Affect You in San Antonio?

There’s a lot of chatter around Washington and the media (at least the media which cares about such things) about a tax cut, and whether or not the Trump administration is actually going to do anything of substance in this area.

And, of course, there’s talk about tax RAISES, alongside these cuts. Because, well, math. And politics.

But the fact of the matter is that we here at Boehm & Boehm, CPA take a skeptical eye at chatter, and we try to live in the real world of what really is. And I suggest you do the same. Because you and I both know that a tax cut (or a tax raise, for that matter) will affect us — our families right here in San Antonio.

Which, of course, is why I’d love to get your answers to the following questions, so that YOU at least can have a little tax cut of your own.

Because there may be a few moves we can make that can help your tax hit NOW, before we’re forced into “reaction mode” — which is the only mode out of which after-the-fact tax work can be done.

So, if you haven’t already done so, would you send me your answers to these questions (just click the email button at the top of this page)…? 

1) Have you had a significant change in your wage income this year?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

2) Have you taken capital gains or losses this year? Are you planning to?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

3) Did you start or sell a business this year?
BONUS QUESTION: Do you know anyone who did, that would like input on their tax situation?

<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

4) Did you purchase real estate?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

5) Did you make your full contributions to retirement accounts? 
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

6) Have you considered a Roth IRA?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

7) Did you withdraw from retirement accounts, and for what purpose?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

**8) Have you sent your family and friends our way — and, if not, is there something which we can help you with, to make this easier?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

9) Are there any other tax or financial (or other) issues you think we should know about?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

Your answers to these questions will help us to know which direction to take as we work with you over the next two months to prepare for year-end. With your permission, we’ll contact you back, as appropriate, and set up a time to discuss them further with you, whether by phone or other method.

I hope to see your answers in my inbox soon.

We’re just a phone call (or email) away: (210) 824-9691 (jimjr@boehmandboehm.com)

Warmly,

Jimmy Boehm
(210) 824-9691

Boehm & Boehm, CPA

9 Key Questions for Your 2017 Taxes by Jimmy Boehm

9 Key Questions for Your 2017 Taxes by Jimmy Boehm

Now that extended returns have been filed, we set our gaze towards year-end around here, and on making sure that YOU are doing everything possible to ensure that your 2017 tax burden is as low as legally and ethically possible.

I did receive some feedback and questions about the Equifax information I shared, and I should clarify that while I’m not a specific expert in these matters, I’m glad that I could cut through that noise on your behalf.

Again, I encourage you to consider a credit freeze with all three bureaus for at least a year, unless you are applying for a new credit card, applying for a loan or mortgage, or switching cell phone carriers (where monthly credit is extended). In which case, the “unfreezing” process (or “thaw”, as it’s known) is still worth the hassle for the protection it provides.

But back to your 2017 taxes…

Let’s you and I make a plan for your 2017 taxes that will set you up for long-term success. In fact, there may be a few moves we can make that can help your tax hit NOW before we’re forced into “reaction mode” — which is the only mode out of which after-the-fact tax work can be done.

So, if at all possible, I’d like to change that paradigm for you by having you answer a few short questions for me. Send me your answers by clicking the email button at the top of this page. Here are the questions

1) Have you had a significant change in your wage income this year?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

2) Have you taken capital gains or losses this year? Are you planning to?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

3) Did you start or sell a business this year?
BONUS QUESTION: Do you know anyone who did, that would like input on their tax situation?

<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

4) Did you purchase real estate?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

5) Did you make your full contributions to retirement accounts? 
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

6) Have you considered a Roth IRA?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

7) Did you withdraw from retirement accounts, and for what purpose?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

**8) Have you sent your family and friends our way — and, if not, is there something which we can help you with, to make this easier?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

9) Are there any other tax or financial (or other) issues you think we should know about?
<Put YOUR answer here in your email reply>

Now — your answers to these questions form the “tip of the iceberg”, and they will help us to know which direction to take as we work with you over the next two months to prepare for year-end. With your permission, we’ll contact you back, as appropriate, and set up a time to discuss them further with you, whether by phone or other method.

I hope to see you in here soon.

We’re just a phone call (or email) away: (210) 824-9691 (jimjr@boehmandboehm.com)

Warmly,

Jimmy Boehm
(210) 824-9691

Boehm & Boehm, CPA

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