Death and Taxes

In 1723, Christopher Bullock published a book called, “The Cobbler of Preston” wrote, “Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes.” These two have stood the test of time.

Tick Tock

Death will befall every man and woman to ever live on this earth. As our life clock ticks, we are only dying. Why the pessimism you ask? Well because it’s part our present reality. I also believe life is precious and that every human being has intrinsic value, essential value. Your life and mine have meaning, yet our days are numbered. I often question, “am I living out my life to the fullest?” I urge you to do the same. While we aren’t dead, we ought to make the most of today! Which is a good reason to pursue FI sooner than later (Read more on this here). Moving on…

Hello Uncle Sam

Moving on from death and onto taxes!

For those of us who live in the United States, it’s tax season, meaning we have to rummage through our tax documents and receipts to prepare for filing; deadline is April 17th for those who have yet to do so.

I paid right under $1,400 upon filing my taxes as I was partly working at a non-profit agency this past year, gaining about $10,000 income without taxation. I did lower my deductions and had 2 additional income streams that were taxed. Currently, I am filing my taxes through Turbotax (this link provides a discount), which has been convenient. Eventually, I will be utilizing a CPA as my income grows.

If you haven’t already, you can file for free through the IRS website, Turbotax. Another option are colleges; they have free tax preparation help as there are finance/ accounting students that need experience who are willing to provide tax services pro-bono. If you own a business or real estate, your ability to deduct from your taxes will be significantly more than if you were not an entrepreneur.

If you haven’t already maxed out your Roth IRA for 2017, you can still contribute until April 17th. Whether it be your Traditional IRA (pre-taxed income investment or Roth IRA (post-tax investment), it is worth considering these investment options.

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

Thoughts on Death and Taxes?

What are your thoughts on having a strong core belief in life? How have you been stewarding your finances in order that you aren’t paying so much in taxes?

 

Sources:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/2018-tax-filing-season-begins-jan-29-tax-returns-due-april-17-help-available-for-taxpayers

https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/04/08/how-much-can-i-contribute-annually-to-a-roth-ira.aspx

https://share.turbotax.intuit.com/s/samiam213s

 

Death, Entrepreneur, Finances, goals, making money, money, passive income, Retirement, Savings, Taxes, Uncategorized, wealth

Death & Taxes

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LIVE and LEARN
Experiences, Finances, goals, making money, MLM, money, passive income, Retirement, rich, Savings, Uncategorized, wealth

LIVE and LEARN

Mistakes anyone?

Have you ever made a mistake and blamed yourself for it? Well, so have I. But I’ve thought what is the worst that can happen from me  We all make mistakes. However, the way in which we react will be revealing of who we are. Best option: Live and Learn.

Lessons Learned

Jumping into the work field after college was an arduous ordeal that consisted of misleading business propositions and some money mistakes; thankfully none that I deeply regret. I almost joined 2 different MLM (multi-level marketing) businesses, almost became a life insurance agent, and spent lots of my money eating out. For now, we’ll settle in on the first.

What is an MLM?

In order to understand what an MLM is, imagine a pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid, you have one individual, and that individual recruits someone else; they in turn recruit others, creating a pyramid-like structure. Those who are able to create a sustained group of people who will recruit others who will then recruit others and so on, will be successful in such a business.

My very first experience with an MLM was with a business that provides telecommunication services. A buddy of mine called me up and got me to sit down with him to hear a business proposition, which sounded incredible to say the least. The selling point is to legally  accomplish the things you’ve only dreamed of and the limitless ability to make money. I thought why not?

Invitation

My friend kindly offered to pick me up and take me to the place, which I gladly accepted. We parked in the parking structure of a Holiday Inn. We climbed up the stairs towards the meeting location and were greeted with booming EDM (electronic dance music) music, a flood of people and great chatter. It was a pumped up environment with lots of chatter and well-dressed people. There was a bit of adrenaline rushing through my system as I was taking in all that was happening.

The seminar soon began and there was some sort of chant that started as the mc for the evening came up and introduced himself. There was a lot of positivity and energy in the place. After 2 speakers who shared their story and how they reached their level of success: thousands of dollars in passive income every month.

The Allure

After the seminar was finished, a pretty Asian woman approached me; pitching me the business proposition with great persuasion. The constant flattery and words of motivation, if I’m to admit, felt good. My mind cycled through the words of the presenters as I took time to assess what they were selling.

Ultimately, I would be paying $500 for a website with a monthly payment to keep it running, mentorship, and invitation to events (which were several hundred dollars more). The way that I would really make money would be to recruit other people to join and take commission from what they were selling. This would be the way to financial freedom (more on financial freedom here)! The woman pressed me to make a decision saying how winners act fast. I decided not to be so quick to act and slept on it.

The next morning, I realized the business proposition was exciting and adventurous but not one I would pursue. I turned down the offer.

 

LIVE and LEARN

I can see how such an organization can be successful, but the chance of reaching the pinnacle of success within is extremely slim. I was willing to work hard, but the addition of pitching my friends and family at the costs of relationships wasn’t very appealing. In this business, you hustle, making sure that your downline (those who you have recruited) are motivated and engaged, maintain relationship with your upline (those who recruited you), and always look to add people to your team.

If you want to be successful in such a business, you have to overcome your fears of rejection (huge positive) and be willing to be extremely uncomfortable. More than selling products, growing your team will bring greater profits; which was one aspect of MLM that was questionable.

In the long run, there won’t be many MLM businesses that will continue for long. A good business should have well-thought principles and values at its core, with a strong vision to add value; along with planning, developing strategies for growth, and systematizing its processes. If an MLM provides this, it wouldn’t hurt to give the proposition a shot.

Take Aways

All in all, here are some positives: development of social skills, networking, great seminars, excellent book recommendations, and collaborations. These are very practical experiences that you can benefit from simply being involved to one capacity or another. I also know individuals who have found incredible success from such endeavors.

However, the cons are as follows: you will be pushed out of your comfort zone, challenged in the way you think and urged to conform to another standard of thinking, you may lose some friends and experience lots of rejection.

 

Have you been approached?

This is a small bit of my financial journey and how I almost made a big money mistake. Have you ever been asked to join an MLM? What sort of financial mistakes have you made?

 

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Real Wealth through Real Estate
Finances, goals, making money, passive income, Retirement, Savings, Uncategorized, wealth

Real WEALTH through Estate!

FIRE!!!

Can you build wealth through real estate? Absolutely! I aim to reach Financial and Time Independence by 40 years of age (sooner if God allows) and plan on involving Real Estate in my investing. In particular, I aim to use sales, stocks, this blog and real estate to build wealth. Just last year, after discovering the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early; read more on FI here) community, I was off to the races for figuring out ways to optimize my income and wealth building. I met a financially independent blogger, Tim Kim, who shared publicly how he got to where he was and tips along the way. Through Tim, I discovered Bigger Pockets, where I found credible information on Real Estate investing.

Why Real Estate?

Diversification! It’s been said by Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewaters (world’s best hedge fund in the world up to date) that portfolio of investments are at its optimal state at 15 streams of income. The wealthiest people in the world own Real Estate. Real Estate is a good option because it provides 1 of 6 of basic human needs for survival: shelter. We all need a place to live. When was the last time you paid for rent? Who does that money go to? For those who own homes, you understand this idea. Paying off your home is building your wealth (equity), which you could then use to invest in more properties.

3 basic ways to build Wealth through Real Estate

1. Own it. Even if you have a loan on your property, a portion of your mortgage payments each month is going straight to your equity. In other words, your home can be thought of as a piggy bank. If there is an appreciation or depreciation in your home value, you benefit even more. The concept of appreciation is clear; your home increases in value over time. On the other hand, depreciation can be written off on your taxes.

2. Rent it. If you own property, PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance), and other necessary expenses may amount to a sizable cut off your pay. Consider renting out a room either through Craigslist or Airbnb (this is an affiliate code that will give you a discount for your next reservation).

3. Keep it. Owning property should be a selective process. Therefore, choosing the right location is key to Real Estate investing. Consider buying a home in areas with low Capitalization Rates and hold on to your property, tend to it either on your own or through a property manager. If you chose a location near a college, an area with potential economic growth, and/ or you choose a place experiencing gentrification, you can benefit from property value increase.

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