When is it time to retire? Is it some set age such as when social security or medicare benefits are available? It’s different for everyone. And people are continuing to work later in life. Why? Maybe because they need to (haven’t saved enough – the recession hit them hard) or maybe because they want to (enjoy what they are doing).
The toughest decision to make for many is “when do I have enough?” “When can I stop accumulating and be okay with spending?” It’s a difficult mindset to get around. During our careers we are constantly accumulating. It’s tough for some to flip that switch and say “ok, I’ll be okay. I’ll be able to continue living in the lifestyle I want.”
Lisa Du, in her article “Golden Years Redefined as Older Americans Buck Trend and Work“, provides some real life examples of why people are continuing to work:
There are other reasons for continuing to work other than just financial. Some want to keep their mental skills sharp and working is an opportunity to do this. They want to feel they are contributing and have a purpose. This is especially true for owners when they sell their business. They have worked long and hard and kicking back in the rocking chair doesn’t appeal to them.
I recommend that you think through what you want to do during your “retirement” years. Determine what you need to accomplish that. Evaluate what you have. Develop a timeline that fits. Be flexible. You may move it. This is your life plan. Make it happen.
There are many financial planning tools and advisors that can assist you. Utilize them. We have assisted clients with determining if it is “ok” to flip that switch. Feel free to give us a call.
According to the Network for Good, 30% of all online charitable contributions in 2015 were made during the month of December. This is not surprising as the gift-giving spirit around the holidays inspires many people to donate to causes near to their hearts at that time. Fortunately for us taxpayers, a donation to an IRS qualified charity can provide a tax deduction regardless of when it was made throughout the year. Summers, in particular, are a great time of year to think about donating. First, you can give cash without the stress of holiday spending. Second, you can donate non-cash items and declutter your home at the same time. Here are some tax tips on deducting charitable donations posted by the IRS on its website:
1. Make sure to donate a qualified charity. You cannot deduct donations to individuals or political organizations or candidates. Use the IRS Select Check tool to check the status of the charity to which you would like to give.
2. Be aware that your deduction may be limited. If you receive something in return for your donation, you can only deduct the amount in excess of the value of what you received in return. For example, if you donate $50 to a qualified charity and receive a ticket to a fundraising dinner valued at $30, you may only deduct $20. In addition to this rule, there are AGI limits on charitable donation deductions. Generally, donations may only be deducted up to 50% of AGI. See Publication 526, Charitable Contributions for more information.
3. If you donate non-cash items, there are several things to keep in mind. For donated property to be deductible, it must generally be in good condition. Also, the amount of the deduction for donated property is generally its fair market value. There are special rules for cars, boats, and other types of property. See Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for more information on these rules. See also Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.
4. Be diligent with recordkeeping. There are very specific substantiation rules regarding charitable donations. The amount and type of your donation will determine what kind of record you must keep. In general, you must have a written record of any cash you give to claim a deduction. For donations of $250 (cash or property) or more, you must have a written statement from the charity stating the amount and/or a description of the property you gave and whether or not you received anything in return.
The IRS has a section on its website dedicated to information relating to charitable contribution deductions. More guidance can also be found in Publications 526 and 561.