It's that time of year and just after the holidays that you will need to get your tax paperwork together to file in April 2020. In all tax matters you should hire or consult with a qualified tax professional for advice or preparation. Pay attention to law restrictions and allowances.
Here are a few items you may want to consider:
You may want to access the following URL's for more detailed information:
State by State Tax Reference -
7 Free Programs for Filing Your Taxes -
This is such a good depiction of the Expectations vs. Realities of Winter and what really happens in life. Don’t we all have great expectations of how things should be? And, then reality sets in but, hopefully, we can laugh and move on!
Can you identify with any of these?
The Expectations vs. Realities of Winter
It’s time to get a head start on your Christmas baking. You will love these Christmas cookies you can make now and freeze. What a great feeling to have that task done well before the holiday season!
These Santa-special treats can be in the freezer for up to three months. Make sure you wrap the cookies in plastic, stack in an airtight container, seal and freeze. Thaw wrapped cookies at room temperature before serving.
These cookies are also perfect for a Christmas Cookie Exchange event. Here is the bonus…these cookies are easy to make! Everyone will think you spent hours and hours making these unique, delicious holiday cookies!
Courtesy of BHG
Hot Cocoa Cookies
Courtesy of Pip and Ebby
Candy Cane Sandwich Cookies
Courtesy of BHG
Christmas Cookies to make now and freeze! How easy is that?
1. Be careful in putting all your investments (nest egg) in one basket
A planned well-diversified portfolio facilitates positive performance of some investments and can balance out poor performance of others investments. The mix of investments in different asset classes (e.g., stocks, bonds, real estate) help keep your retirement goals on track even when one investment goes through and downsizing period. Diversification is vitally important as you get near retirement. You have fewer years of income to rebuild savings if some investments post losses.
Contact a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) to recommend diversification strategies based on your goals and risk tolerance. Regular meetings with Certified Financial Planner are encouraged to keep your goals on track for a well planned retirement.
2. Get your estate plan in order to keep your heirs aware
Make things much easier for your loved ones in the future by talking through estate planning today. Your CFP advisor and attorney can work with you on estate planning. You will obviously want to have your exact wishes of your estate carried out.
Estate planning points:
3. Don't wait too long to think about your current and long-term health care needs
Protecting your assets means planning carefully for health care needs (expected and the unexpected). Your first step is to make sure you have enough medical coverage, plus a long-term care strategy.
The process begins by finding out which Medicare benefits you’ll be eligible for down the road and researching options for supplemental insurance (assuming you are over 65). For example, hybrid life insurance policies combine life insurance with long-term care benefits that may help you pay for the costs of a nursing home, assisted living or in-home care — expenses Medicare does not cover. In general, these hybrid policies may be more affordable than traditional long-term care policies. Check them out throughly with your CFP or a licensed insurance agent.
4. Don't keep your 401(k) accounts in multiple places
If you have changed jobs several times during your career, you might have multiple 401(k)s at different employers. It makes sense to consolidate these accounts. Be careful, before you do, discuss a few critical factors with your CFP:
5. Be aware of paying too much in taxes
It make sense to pay taxes now to lessen your future tax liability. Could charitable gifts lower your taxable income? Are there tax deductions you’re not using to your advantage? Your CFP and tax accountant can work together to create a tax strategy for you.
Schedule a retirement check-in with your CFP!
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a little break from the busyness of Thanksgiving week. These Thanksgiving Poems are short and easy to read. The poems are appropriate for all ages.
They are also thought provoking. They were selected to encourage you to truly think about the meaning of Thanksgiving. Share them with friends and family.
Thanksgiving Poems – 2019
The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway~
Thanksgiving comes again!
All in a Word
By Aileen Fisher
T for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
A for autumn’s frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
K for kitchen, kettles’ croon, kith and kin expected soon.
S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that abounds.
That spells ~~~THANKS—for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.
At Grandma’s House
I like the taste of turkey
Any time throughout the year
But it never
seems to taste as good
As when Thanksgiving’s here.
Could be it’s all the trimmings
That are cooked with it to eat-
But I think it’s
eating at Grandma’s house
That makes it such a treat!
Song of the Pilgrims
By Nancy Sue Krenrich
Across the rolling, wind-swept sea
For months we’ve sailed along,
I see a land that’s new to me
Against the blue horizon.
Oh, beautiful land of freedom born,
I’ve come across the sea
To reap your fruits and build my home,
And make my people free.
So many of us look forward to Thanksgiving with anticipation of friends and family gathering around for a delicious meal as well as good, lively conversation.
However, some people may actually dread the holiday and see it as a lonely and disappointing time because they are going through a bad time in their life. Tough times don’t take a holiday! For them, Thanksgiving may be the beginning of a long string of “holiday blues” because Christmas is close behind.
Here are ideas to shed a different light on the holiday season and calm the Thanksgiving blues for others and will make you feel good as well.
Write a card or note of thanks. We all would love to hear words of thanks! Write a quick note, send an email, or make a phone call. Simply say “Thanks for being you!” or “Glad you’re in my life!” Thanksgiving is the perfect time to let them know!
Share your Thanksgiving meal. An invitation to Thanksgiving dinner is a great way to include others. Do check to see if they have food preferences or restrictions. Extend the invitation ASAP. Sometimes, just anticipating the fun is as enjoyable as the real event.
Deliver a Thanksgiving meal. If a person is too sick or too sad to join you for Thanksgiving dinner, deliver the meal to them. This can be for one person or rally others to contribute to a Thanksgiving dinner with a side dish or dessert and deliver meals to several people. Deliver the meal with a caring note, heating instructions, and a hug. If time doesn’t allow for this, just deliver a piece of your favorite pie.
Plan something fun to do over Thanksgiving weekend. Take some of the loneliness out of the weekend by going on a shopping spree, seeing a holiday blockbuster movie, skiing or ice skating, or watching a football game. Each town has its own fun activities so check online or in the newspaper for ideas.
Involve the kids. Help them create a Thanksgiving Day greeting card for a shut in. Provide craft supplies and let the kids create! Then, have them deliver their homemade cards.
Help with holiday decorations. Make someone’s home a bit cheerier by helping with Thanksgiving decorations. Don’t forget to help take them down at the end of the season.
Make a visit to the hospital or home. Illness doesn’t take a break just because it’s Thanksgiving. If appropriate, provide something fun to do, or if time allows, watch a game, movie, or parade. A short visit will be appreciated as well.
A little extra time and effort will bring a smile to someone going through a rough time. It might just help to ease their Thanksgiving blues. And, it will make you feel better, too!
Help calm the Thanksgiving Blues this year!
Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving?
As you are planning your menu, crafting and decorating to prepare for the big feast, we have Thanksgiving Food Art dishes for your consideration.
These three Thanksgiving Food Art projects are easy and fun for young and old to prepare (and eat).
Turkey Cheese Ball
This Turkey Cheese Ball is so easy to make. Start with your favorite cheese ball recipe and add pretzels for feathers, jerky stick for the neck, candy corn and candy eyes. Surround your turkey with an assortment of crackers.
Turkey Veggie Tray
This Turkey Veggie Tray will be the hit of your Thanksgiving feast. It is healthy as well as adding a pop of color to the table. You will need the following veggies: cucumbers; celery; carrots; asparagus; green, red and yellow peppers; cherry tomatoes; a small yellow summer squash, and lettuce. Arrange according to the photo and serve with your favorite dip.
Turkey Fruit Plate
What a fun turkey fruit plate made with a pear, grapes, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi and Clementines! Set a bowl of fruit dip (yogurt & whipped topping mixed together) nearby and you have a scrumptious appetizer or dinner side dish!
Thanksgiving Food Art is easy and fun to make!
You may think it may be too late to save for retirement... think again you can make it.
In order to get ready you must stay focused and be disciplined... stay the course. Make sure you first find a qualified Certified Financial Planner (CFP), check them out and then hire the right one for you. Next think about your budget and how you spend your income. It may seem an impossible task but do some homework and get going. With regard to finding a good CFP, find at least four to make comparisons. Look for track records of the company or investments they represent and make an objective decision. Take a look at the links below and get caught up on related terms you may want to discuss with your CFP. It sure helps to know investment options and basic financial terminology.
Helpful Links for Retirement Options (source- LINK):
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
An individual retirement account (IRA) is an investing tool individuals use to earn and earmark funds for retirement savings.
Catch-Up Contribution Definition
A catch-up contribution is a type of retirement savings contribution that allows people age 50 or older to make additional contributions to their 401(k) accounts and/or individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
An SBO-401(k) is a tax-deferred, government-registered retirement savings plan for small business owners.
An Independent 401(k) is a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan available to individual small business owners and their spouses.
Spousal IRA Definition
A spousal IRA is a strategy that allows a working spouse to contribute to an IRA in the name of a non-working spouse to circumvent income requirements.
Retirement planning is the process of determining retirement income goals, risk tolerance, and the actions and decisions necessary to achieve those goals.
If you want to know more about the history of Colorado, visit these Colorado museums. You can visit them both in person and online.
Established in 1879, History Colorado offers public access to cultural and heritage resources of Colorado.
Here are the various Colorado museums that tell much of the story of the Centennial State. There are plenty of hands-on displays and a wealth of information. Put them on your “bucket list.”
Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum – History Matters. The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum (CSPM) is the only institution researching, collecting and interpreting the robust history of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Located at 215 South Tejon, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
National Museum of World War II Aviation – The National Museum of World War II Aviation provides a unique educational experience. It promotes a deeper understanding of the historical importance of American aviation in World War II. Located at 755 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
History Colorado Center – “Inspiring generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in creating a better Colorado.” Located at 1200 Broadway, Denver, Colorado.
Byers-Evans House Museum – “The Byers-Evans House was home to two prominent Denver families. It is one of the city’s most historic landmarks.” Located at 1310 Bannock Street, Denver, Colorado.
El Pueblo History Museum – “El Pueblo History Museum showcases the city’s history and the region’s many cultural and ethnic groups.” Located at 301 North Union, Pueblo, Colorado.
Fort Garland Museum & Pike’s Stockade – “Fort Garland was once commanded by legendary frontiersman Kit Carson. It had a garrison of over 100 men. They served to protect the earliest settlers in the San Luis Valley.” Located at 29477 Highway 159, Fort Garland, Colorado.
Fort Vasquez Museum – “Visit the site of an 1835 fur-trading fort. You can follow the paths of founders Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette.” Located at 13412 U.S. Highway 85, Platteville, Colorado.
Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park – “An engineering marvel originally built in 1884. The railroad fulfilled the hopes of Georgetown citizens to become a prosperous settlement connected to Denver and points east.” Located 45 miles west of Denver on I-70, Exit #228.
Healy House Museum & Dextor Cabin – “Life in a mining town where miners made their fortunes overnight.” Located at 912 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, Colorado.
Trinidad History Museum – “Explore Trinidad’s past and its place in the American West at the Trinidad History Museum.” Located at 312 East Main, Trinidad, Colorado.
Ute Indian Museum – “Experience one of the most complete collections of Ute Indian artifacts in the nation.” Located at 12753 Chipeta Road, Montrose, Colorado.
Make plans today to visit these Colorado Museums!
Colorado Springs Over 50
We would love to hear from you on ideas you would like us to investigate and write about.