Change is in the Air


Tax change, that is. My last post went through the basics of your tax return. I want to stick with the tax topic for one more week to give you a quick guide to understanding how the new tax laws will impact your 2018 tax return. Remember, knowledge is power! (Note: this is a very high-level overview. As with all things tax, there are “if, and’s, and but’s” to everything. This is simply to help you identify questions you should be discussing with your tax advisor.)
Rates – for married filing joint taxpayers, the rates are lower for 2018 than for 2017 at all but the lowest (10%) bracket. The amount of the rate decrease varies by income level so take a look at the rate tables to see what has happened to your rate.
Income – yep it’s still taxable – no change to the “normal” items like wages, dividends, capital gains, etc. The only “common” change is in relation to alimony received so make sure you talk to your tax advisor if you are divorcing. This provision relates to divorce agreements after 2018.
Adjustments – there were not a lot of changes in this area but a couple worth noting:
• Alimony paid will no longer be an adjustment for agreements after 2018.
• Domestic production activities deduction is no longer available. See line 35 of your 1040 to

Area 2017 & Prior 2018 to 2025
Medical Expenses > 10% of AGI is deductible > 7.5% of AGI is deductible (for 2018-2019)
SALT – State & Local Taxes Unlimited Limited to $10k total (that’s state taxes + property taxes)
Mortgage Interest Acquisition debt limited to $1.1 million in order for interest to be deductible Acquisition debt limited to $750k – HELOC interest not deductible
Gifts to Charity Limited to 50% of AGI Increased to 60% of AGI
Casualty & Theft Losses > 10% of income deductible No deduction
Job & Misc Deductions > 2% of AGI is deductible No deduction (this is your tax prep fee & investment management fee and well as unreimbursed job expenses)
Limitation on itemized deductions Itemized deductions limited for higher income levels Repealed – no limitation

Standard Deduction – doubled. Look at line 40 of your 2017 tax return. If it is less than $24,000 for married filing jointly, you won’t need to itemize for 2018 (assuming no changes in these areas). That makes some of the Itemized deduction changes/limitations mentioned above meaningless. This is the big area to consider as you are looking at your tax situation for 2018.
20% Deduction for “qualified business income” from certain “flow-through” entities and sole proprietorships – this relates to certain K-1 income from S-Corps and partnerships but also potentially from Schedule C businesses. This is an area that is quite complex and has a lot of exclusions so if you have K-1 income, definitely discuss this with your tax advisor to see if you will qualify, and if so, what the impact will be.
Personal Exemptions – gone. Ouch, the $4,050 per dependent reduction in AGI to get to taxable income has been repealed. Look at line 42 of your 2017 tax return to see the impact. At high income levels, these phased out anyway, so it may not impact you.
There are many, many more components to this tax legislation, but I wanted to hit the high points so that you have some idea of the new rules for the tax game. It’s your money so make sure you understand the rules you are forced to play by!

To your financial (and tax) success!
Tana

Information is taken from sources believed to be accurate, but you should not rely on this information except as the basis for discussion with a knowledgeable tax professional.
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the personal views of Tana Gildea and are not to be construed as individual advice or as the advice or opinions of Homrich Berg; They should not be considered recommendations as each person’s financial situation is unique to her; they may or may not apply to your situation. If you believe that something communicated may be relevant to your situation, Tana strongly encourages you to consult with your individual tax or financial advisor prior to taking action so that the totality of your unique situation is considered.

Working on Your Now – Junior League of DeKalb

Working On Your Now Chief Now Officer, Lori Beard-Daily will be the keynote speaker!

What: JLD Sustainer’s Luncheon

Where: Druid Hills Golf Club
740 Clifton Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30307

When: April 11, 2018

Time: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m

Spring has Sprung

As we skip into springtime, we turn our attention to cleaning up our yards and our houses, getting rid of the dead plants and leaves outside, airing out the house, and tidying up our financial lives. Say what? Tidying up our financial lives? Since when did “spring cleaning” include financial housekeeping? Well, since right now.
You filed your taxes (or are really close to doing so) so it is the perfect time to sort, file, and box up those financial records. Here is my financial spring cleaning list:
• Gather all of the tax return records and receipts, scan them, load an extra copy to a thumb drive, and put that, along with the paper, into a large envelope or small box along with a copy of the return. Label it and store with prior years’ records.
• Sort all of your remaining stacks of paper into two stacks:
o Scan
o Shred
• Scan the scan pile and then add it to the shred pile
• Shred all of the old documents
• Reconcile your bank accounts (just in case you have gotten behind during the year)
• Update your net worth spreadsheet (this is done for you if you are using Quicken or mint.com)
o If you use software, take a look and make sure you have included everything – add new assets or liabilities; clear out
old ones.
• Is your net worth moving in the right direction? If you have kept track year after year, are you satisfied with your progress? If not, what is your plan to turn that around this year?
• Take a look at your liabilities – do you have a strategy for reducing them? If not, now is a great time to make a plan for reducing your debt.

How was your savings last year? Did you save at least 10% to your “long-term freedom fund” (meaning resources to provide for your future self) and 10% to your “short-term freedom fund” (meaning resources to keep you safe and secure from current problems and issues)? If not, how can move toward that savings goal this year?

Getting your financial house in order may not be the first thing you think of in spring but maybe it is time to add that to your “spring cleaning” mindset. We all need some kind of prompt to get our bearings, assess our progress, and renew our commitment to our goals. Tax time may not be a fun time, but it is a great reminder to review the year and chart our course for the coming year. I hope your spring cleaning refreshes you, revives your focus on your financial goals, and brings you satisfaction over a job well done.
To your financial (and spring cleaning) success!

Tana

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the personal views of Tana Gildea and are not to be construed as individual advice or the advice or opinions of Homrich Berg; They should not be considered recommendations as each person’s financial situation is unique to her; they may or may not apply to your situation. If you believe that something communicated may be relevant to your situation, Tana strongly encourages you to consult with your individual tax or financial advisor prior to taking action so that the totality of your unique situation is considered.

Lunch N’ Learn

March is Women’s History Month!

WOYN wants to know how you define SUCCESS?

Join in on the discussion about our achievements, leadership roles, and strengths as women.

Receive actionable steps on how to :
• Move your priorities to the forefront without feeling guilty
• Stop the limits on your beliefs that can suppress true potential
• Minimize your excuses that tend to keep the goals hostage
AND
Meet special Guest, Dawn Randolph, Public Service Commission Candidate, who will be joining in our discussion.

When: Wed. March. 28 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Where: Commerce Club
191 Peachtree Street NE
49th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303

Price $15 (plus tax & tip) Commerce Club Members | $25 (plus tax & tips) Guests
Includes lunch and parking validation | Reservations requested | Business attire
RSVP to info@workingonyournow.com (please put reservations in the subject line) or text 404.939-7611 and leave your name and the word reservations.

Are You a Financial Olympian?

Did you watch the Olympics? Sadly, I did not see nearly as much as I would have liked, but I popped in here and there. The level of discipline, dedication, single-mindedness, and commitment that these athletes have is so incredible! I saw the ski jumpers who train and train for years, and they get just a minute or two to perform. Years of commitment and sacrifice for 2 minutes on the hill. A split-second on the landing might mean a medal or a face full of snow.
That is a crazy level of dedication for a brief shining moment. I know there are other events during the year, but the input seems much greater than the results on the other side. Yet they do it. Hundreds of athletes, thousands really when you consider all of those who came up a bit short in their quests to make Olympic teams around the world, give their all, pour everything they have into one single goal.
What if we were able to do just a hundredth of what they do? What if we could sacrifice just a bit more for the goals that are really important to us? What if we could stay focused on one really important financial goal and not allow ourselves to be distracted by lots of other competing goals? We might just be financial champions in our own little game of life.
I saw Lindsay Vonn in an interview about her come-back – “it’s all I think about” was her comment. What if paying off that nagging debt was “all we thought about.” It’s not quite as fun as imagining ourselves on the podium getting a gold medal, but it will give the same sense of accomplishment! Sadly, there are no cheering fans, no endorsements or interviews for us non-athletes who are striving for our personal goals, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
So, let’s use that Olympic spirit to create and focus on our own financial goals. Let’s apply that Olympic discipline, perseverance, and single-minded stubbornness to defeating debt or going after that promotion or building that 401k balance. It’s never fun in the trenches, not for athletes during the workouts and drills, and not for us making sacrifices and saying no to things we’d like to do, but the payoff can bring gold to both.

To your financial success!

Tana

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the personal views of Tana Gildea and are not to be construed as individual advice or the advice or opinions of Homrich Berg. They should not be considered recommendations as each person’s financial situation is unique to her; they may or may not apply to your situation. If you believe that something communicated may be relevant to your situation, Tana strongly encourages you to consult with your individual tax or financial advisor prior to taking action so that the totality of your unique situation is considered.

Be Where You Are

2018 is two months behind us and many of our new year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. The luster of the new year and the anticipation of the possibilities in front of us may have been washed away with the rain, snow and gloom of the winter months. The gray days drain away our drive.

Ah, this is where we are as March is underway. The sun is starting to shine, but that cold wind pushes us back inside. And how about your relationship with your money? How is it holding up after the flurry of holiday spending and the arrival of the bills? How are you feeling about the way that 2017 wrapped up? Let’s take a moment and think back through the year and note a couple of things that you wish had gone a bit differently financially. Where do you want a do-over?

List two things that weigh on you from last year. Own them – “ya, wish I hadn’t done that.” Now, list what you wish you would have done differently. That is the lesson learned! The feeling of regret is not there to weigh you down; it is there to guide you to something better. Sure, you had to pay a little tuition to get one of life’s lessons, but that’s ok – this is where you are. Now you know better. Now you can set yourself up for success in 2018! Use that regret to fuel your journey to success.

Now, list two or three or four or more things that you are really proud of. “Ya, I totally rocked that!” Let’s take a minute to bask in the awesomeness of financial control and acuity. Wow, that feels so much better. We definitely want to feel more of this.
So what steps can you take to stand firmly where you are, full of the knowledge of past successes and opportunities for do-overs this year, and plan for your 2018 success?

Ready, set, shake off the gray, embrace your goals and make 2018 your year of financial prowess.
To your financial success!

Tana

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the personal views of Tana Gildea and are not to be construed as individual advice or the advice or opinions of Homrich Berg. They should not be considered recommendations as each person’s financial situation is unique to her; they may or may not apply to your situation. If you believe that something communicated may be relevant to your situation, Tana strongly encourages you to consult with your individual tax or financial advisor prior to taking action so that the totality of your unique situation is considered.

Your Breakthrough Invitation

Join WORKING ON YOUR NOW and Women in Business on February 28.

Here’s what we will be covering this month: 

  • Looking successful on the outside does not attribute to how you really feel on the inside.
  • Saying yes when the rest of your body is telling you to say no
  • Getting stuck when you know you need to move forward.

Join us on:  Wed. Feb.  28 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m..

Where: Commerce Club
191 Peachtree Street NE
49th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
Cost: $32.00

Includes lunch and parking validation | Reservations requested | Business attire

RSVP to  info@workingonyournow.com  (please put reservations in the subject line) or text 404.939-7611 and leave your name and the word reservations.

Time’s Up!

If you haven’t seen the hashtags that flooded social media and the news headlines surrounding Oprah’s rousing speech she gave at the Golden Globe Awards in January, then you may really need to take more time to Work on Your Now! Not only is  NOW  the time for women in 2018 but also in 2020!  The country is still buzzing about the possibility of history being made again for another viable woman candidate to run for President of the United States (according to the media anyway).

This blog article is not based on politics, However, the topic is one you should keep at top of mind because in 2018 Oprah is reminding women of all races, ages, creeds, and cultures that we have to speak our truth.  If you think about, Oprah’s truth is why so many women love her.  She has always been transparent about her upbringing, her rising and falling during her career and in her personal life.

She speaks from the heart when she instills in us that as women it’s time to celebrate our stories so that we can share them. We should place ourselves in a position to grow and benefit from each other’s experiences.

It doesn’t matter if you are an academic, an assembly line worker, a doctor, a lawyer, a physicist, a salesperson, a consultant, an entrepreneur, a soldier or a farmworker.    If you are a woman then your time is NOW. You must believe in your abilities to do things that you have always wanted to do but were afraid.  Know that you are not the only one who has experienced failure, fear or hard times.  The important thing is that women must believe that they are resilient.  We are survivors and we have to stand as one to support one another.

If you have ever had any doubts because someone has told you that you couldn’t do something, or you feared that you would have backlash or severe repercussions if you spoke out, this message is for you. Call yourself out if you fall into any of these categories. Because guess what?

  • Excuse makers, Time’s Up!
  • Procrastinators, Time’s Up!
  • Naysayers, Time’s Up!
  • Underachievers, Time’s Up!
  • ____________  (YOU fill in the blank), Time’s Up!

 

 

 

 

Guest Appearance on The Dana Barrett Show

I recently got a chance to sit down with Dana Barrett of the Dana Barrett Show on 1190 AM. We spent some time talking about the Five Focus Areas and how to prioritize those areas where we think we need to improve on and at the same time staying focused on one area at a time. We had a Great Time and I look forward to returning again!

Uncover Your Now!

Are you someone who likes to be in control? What happens when your plans don’t go the way you want them to? Remember, you cannot control the outcome of everything. But, you can remain flexible.

Believe it or not, sometimes things are not as difficult as they may appear. If you take a step back and evaluate where you are and where you are trying to go, you may find that the answers that you have searching for are right in front of you!

Answer the questions below and see if you have possibilities that you may not have uncovered yet.

  1. Am I making the most out of my opportunities, or taking them for granted that they will always be there?
  2. Do I think I have had or I am having an experience that can lead to an opportunity?
  3. Do I recognize an opportunity when I see one, and can the opportunity lead me to my purpose?

More Ways to Uncover…

Enlist Help  – Get some assistance to help you stay accountable to make sure you stay on task. Yes, you can do whatever you set your mind to do. But, the task can be a whole lot smoother and easier when you have someone else to help and encourage you.

Be Flexible – Change is inevitable.  We may not always like it, but we must learn to embrace it. Understand that flexibility is the key to having a  successful plan.

Walk the Talk – Saying one thing and doing something else is counterproductive.  You may think it sounds impressive when you constantly talk about what you want. But, when others realize that you’ve been saying the same thing for years and have not progressed toward action, you lose creditability.

In 2018 practice what you preach.  Don’t just walk to walk. Get direction and map out where you’re going.  Don’t just talk the talk.  Listen. Learn. Speak up and speak out with intention. Lastly, put your action in front of it!

Now is definitely your time to start Working On Your Now!