Posts by Don McIntosh, CPA, CGFM, CFE:
- Dave Cain discussed the importance of a 13-week cash flow in “Why $1 Million Doesn’t Matter”
- Tim McDaniel warned against the dangers of not knowing your business’s true value in “How To Ruin Thanksgiving Dinner.”
- Listeners learned what they should be looking for to protect their businesses from occupational fraud in “Trust Is Not An Internal Control” with Annie Yoder.
- I provided some strategic planning insight and offered a glimpse into what lies ahead for Rea in “How To Run With The Big Dogs.”
- It may take a little time, but document when you bought those investments and what you paid for them. Once your record is complete, give the information to your broker to record in your investment account statement.
- If you own your investments directly, gather them up and put them into an investment account to simplify your tracking, cost barriers, tax preparation and estate administration.
I know what you’re thinking – listening to a podcast from an accounting firm is probably about as entertaining and insightful as watching paint dry. But Unsuitable on Rea Radio isn’t your typical accounting podcast, and here’s why.
Real, Simple Solutions
Who doesn’t like a good story? What about one that leaves you with greater insight into the financial wellness of your own company? And if you had a better idea of how other successful entrepreneurs manage their wealth, wouldn’t you try to follow their lead?
The professionals at Rea have seen a lot over the last several decades and they are willing to open the curtain just enough to provide you with the information to forge your own success. And on Unsuitable, they do just that.
An Effective Kick In The Pants
Unsuitable offers a little something for everybody and I am confident that this is a show that will not only help provide you with more clarity, but will motivate you to take the next step as a professional and as a business leader.
Look at what has already been discussed in the first four episodes:
And this is just the beginning. Look for episodes highlighting investment strategies, Affordable Care Act compliance and retirement preparedness – just to name a few.
Accountants Like To Laugh Too
This may come as a surprise to many since those in the accounting profession tend to be thought of as dry, stuffy, number-crunching fanatics, but that’s just not true – well, most of the time. The Rea team consists of some pretty humorous, outgoing folks and I think that the diverse sense of humor of our team shines through. Mark Van Benschoten, the host of the show, helps a lot, of course. He does an excellent job addressing each guest and makes them feel comfortable … then the show gets really good.
Just The Right Length
Our firm has 11 offices throughout Ohio, which means I do a lot of driving. When I’m on the road I like to listen to podcasts – and there are a lot of them out there! What I really like about Unsuitable, is that it’s long enough to be really informative and wraps up nicely before it reaches the point where I am wishing it would end. In fact, when it does end I find myself wanting to start the next one. Mark and his guests get right to the point of the show, provide examples and offer hard-hitting advice in a concise, enjoyable format – all while having a great time and avoiding stuffy accounting jargon.
Go to www.reacpa.com/podcast now and start listening or subscribe to Unsuitable on Rea Radio on iTunes or SoundCloud. I also want to encourage you to use #ReaRadio to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
By Don McIntosh, CPA (New Philadelphia office)
Go ahead. Take pride in all that you’ve accomplished. Relive the moment you decided to go into business and reflect on your trials and triumphs. And as you reminisce, identify everyone who helped you achieve your vision – because chances are you didn’t get where you are by yourself.
Make no mistake. In business, the strength of your team directly impacts your company’s success and overall value. Therefore, it’s never been more important to ensure that your exit from the company doesn’t lead to a “going out of business” sale.
Your Company’s Longevity
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to continually evaluate your business. Part of the evaluation process is ensuring that the right people are in the right place to help guide and grow your company – even when you’re not around.
Whether they move on or retire, eventually every person on your leadership team will leave, including you. You must decide what kind of impact this will have on your company when it happens.
One of the best strategies you can embrace is to become obsolete. That’s not to say that your work is not important, it just means that your team, your business, does not depend on you for its survival.
Every time you recruit an employee, you have an opportunity to reinforce your company’s mission. Do your due diligence to make sure the people you hire are on board with the company’s vision. They will continue to set the tone after you leave, which is why the qualities you consider when hiring a candidate should go beyond their education and experience. Anyone you hire must have the passion to succeed, the capacity to learn and a personality that helps them easily overcome complicated situations. From entry-level to leadership positions, your ability to maintain a strong team ensures the longevity of your business.
Is Your Team Valuable?
Ensuring that you have the right team in place – from the ground floor to upper management – is a solid, common sense strategy for business owners who are looking to add short- and long-term value to their business. Not only are customers and clients more likely to equate your team’s passion with quality, which helps secure new business and develop long-term relationships, but the strength and self-sufficiency of your team is a major incentive to investors.
Email Rea & Associates to learn more.
Tax preparation and tax payments often become MORE complicated in retirement. Why? Because retirement taxation is new for a retiree so there’s a learning curve. Here are a few cliff notes to help new retirees navigate these uncharted waters:
The money you receive from Social Security will likely be taxable. Fifteen percent of your Social Security benefit is a return on your lifetime payroll deductions and your employer’s match. Eighty-five percent of your Social Security is the excess benefit payment, or “growth,” in your benefit account and, thus, your untaxed benefit. That 85 percent may be taxable depending on the amount of your other income. This calculation is complex and the tax is difficult to avoid, but it is possible.
You must take your IRA distributions when you have reached the age of 70-½. The Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) can be managed and will impact your taxable Social Security. Planning is essential.
As your lifetime investments are sold to help pay for retirement, capital gains is another obstacle to overcome. Here are a few tips to make them more manageable:
The good news is that you have likely paid off your mortgage. The bad news is that you may no longer exceed the standard deduction to itemize. So then why do you keep tracking medical bills if you can’t itemize? “Bunching” deductions may be a planning option. For example, every OTHER year, I have my Mom pay her real estate taxes, Ohio tax estimates and charitable contributions she made during the year. Then I have her prepay next year’s real estate taxes, charitable contributions and Ohio estimated taxes in December. That doubles her itemized expenses and raises her total above the standard deduction. Then, I have her take an additional IRA distribution equal to the excess itemized deductions. That excess distribution equates to a tax-free payment because it is offset by the excess itemized expenses! This option is available to you too!
You are required to calculate and pay your income tax by managing your social security and IRA retirement tax withholding, along with quarterly tax estimate payments. You must project and declare your taxable income by April 15 in the new-year. And remember, there are NO excuses for not paying them on time.
Complexities You Can Avoid
- Watch those managed stock accounts. The amount of programmed buying and selling creates more work for your CPA and will raise your tax preparation fee. Ask yourself if that activity really did make you more money after the incurred income tax and preparation fee. If it didn’t, revisit your managed stock accounts.
- Understand the publicly-traded LLCs recommended by your broker and know that you may need to extend your tax return because of the K-1 you will receive to report the income. Your preparation fee will be raised as well. Again, if you didn’t make any money after the incurred taxes and preparation fee, is it really worth it to continue?
The transition into retirement is not easy. Unfortunately, your money management and tax filing won’t be easier either. Our tax experts are always happy to answer any question you may have. Email Rea & Associates to learn more about your options for managing your retirement.
Author: Don McIntosh, CPA (New Philadelphia office)
Throughout the past several months, I have written a couple of articles that explained the importance about why you should review your life insurance policy. It’s one of those things that we get for the “just in case” moment, and then sometimes forget about it. You’d be surprised how often unexpected slip-ups occur with life insurance policies. That’s why it’s so important to review your policy … to ensure that you’re not paying too much or too little for coverage, and to ensure that your policy is working properly for you.
All that said, here are six important questions you should ask when reviewing your life insurance policy:
Has my life situation or needs changed since I purchased my policy
Back in January, I wrote an article that outlined six common life changes that should cause you to stop and review your life insurance policy. These life changes ranged from the purchase of a new home to the changing of your job to the death of your spouse. If your life situation has changed since you originally purchased your policy, you’ll want to evaluate whether you need to increase or decrease coverage.
Have assumptions, such as interest rates, related to my policy change?
When you first purchased your life insurance policy, your insurer made some assumptions based on the market conditions at the time of your policy purchase. But as market conditions change, so can the assumptions your insurer originally made. By reviewing your policy, you’ll be able to determine if you need to make some policy adjustments that will help you receive the best benefits possible for your policy.
Do I have too much or too little life insurance coverage?
When you first took out a life insurance policy, you may have been making a lot less than you’re making now. If you’re making more now, you may find the need to increase your coverage. If you just said “Adios” to your youngest child who left your nest, you may find that you need less life insurance coverage now. It’s important to align your life insurance coverage with your needs and consider whether you’re paying for too much or too little of coverage.
Are my beneficiaries properly identified?
If you were to pass away while your life insurance policy is in effect, do you know who would receive the money? Many individuals name their spouses, children or parents as the beneficiaries. But if it’s been awhile since you purchased your policy, you might want to review it to ensure that your beneficiaries are properly identified. Make sure that your life insurance money will go to the individuals you really want it to go to.
How reliable is my insurer?
When you first purchased your life insurance policy, how well did you research the life insurance company you did business with? If you can’t recall spending a lot of time figuring out whether the company solid and reliable, you may want to evaluate the reliability of your insurer. The industry is rapidly changing, and with industry changes come concerns over whether certain insurers can continue to provide reliable service. If you question or are concerned about this, you’ll want to consider whether you need to change insurers.
Is my life insurance policy aligned with my estate/business plan?
Believe it or not, the lack of alignment between a person’s life insurance policy and their estate/business plan is seen more often than not. There are tax consequences for your beneficiaries if these two items don’t align, so in order to provide your beneficiaries with the maximum amount of money, ensure that your policy aligns with your estate/business plan.
Life Insurance Review Help
Not sure where you and your life insurance policy stand? Don’t wait any longer. Get a review of your life insurance policy. Contact Rea & Associates, and we can help connect you to individuals who can help you with a life insurance review. You and your family will be glad you did.
Author: Don McInstosh (New Philadelphia office)
Back in January, I shared some insight about six common stages of life where you should review your life insurance policy. Today I want to provide some insight about how you can know what the right life insurance plan is for you. Read the rest of this entry “
Yes, yes. You have a million things going on, and retirement planning may be the furthest thing from your mind. But it really shouldn’t be. In order to be well-prepared for retirement, you need to start now regardless of where you’re at in your career. Here are five financial requirements you should focus on as you prepare for retirement: Read the rest of this entry “
Cartoon characters and celebrities all tell you to get it – life insurance that is. Now that you have it (or are at least considering purchasing it), is that it? Do you just sit back and pay your monthly life insurance fee until your policy expires? No way! Read the rest of this entry “
The holidays are upon us, and right now you’re probably looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. Your finances may be one of the furthest things from your mind, but once Jan. 1 hits, the holidays are over and we all go back to our “regular” lives. If you’re an individual who sets goals or resolutions for the New Year, you may find yourself hoping to get into better physical shape or get better organized. But in the craze of the holidays and in the midst of your New Year’s resolutions, have you considered your finances? Read the rest of this entry “
Let’s admit it… we all want to be able to trust other people. And we generally do…until we’re proven wrong. Owners of small, family-owned businesses are no different, and must put their trust in someone to handle their revenue, disbursements, payroll and inventory, among other financial functions. Read the rest of this entry “
Governor Kasich’s proposed budget, Ohio H.B. 59, shifts around Ohio’s tax burden. Limiting commercial activity tax and eliminating the estate tax, the bill initially seems like a boon to business owners. But, the truth is a little more complicated. Read the rest of this entry “
You’re used to discussing your financial assets with your CPA. You talk to your accountant about your income, your business and your estate plan. But there’s one financial asset that doesn’t always come up in discussions of your financial situation: your life insurance policy. Insurance might seem more like a safeguard than an asset, but it’s an important part of your financial portfolio. And, it’s important to review it regularly with the same diligence that you devote to your income, your business and your estate.
Why review your life insurance? Three reasons: to save money, reduce risk and ensure policy suitability. Read the rest of this entry “
When you’re looking to hire an accountant, what qualities should you consider? Sure there’s technical acumen, but that’s a given. What other qualities are important in developing a long-term business relationship? Read the rest of this entry “
What are the lessons investors and advisors have learned from the Great Recession? Investment Partners’ Doug Bambeck shares these four tips. Read the rest of this entry “
Over the years, I’ve worked with many clients who served as fiduciaries for their company’s retirement plan. It’s a serious position. When you serve as a fiduciary, the position comes with responsibility outlined by ERISA, including keeping track of reasonable fees, completing and following an investment policy and providing guidance to participants. Unfortunately, plan fiduciaries who do not fulfill their duties can be found liable by the Department of Labor, and participants have also successfully sued fiduciaries in civil actions. Read the rest of this entry “
Can you make better use of the cash you have on hand for your business? Develop a strategy to get the highest rate of return: 1) calculate a 12 month rolling cash projection to forecast cash deficits and surpluses, and 2) update your daily or weekly cash position to determine the extra cash your business has available. Read the rest of this entry “
Rea & Associates was recently named to the Top 100 Accounting Firms in the Nation by INSIDE Public Accounting, an accounting industry publication. We are pleased to be recognized once again by our peers. Rea doesn’t strive to be one of the largest firms in the county, but we do strive to provide small-town attention with a high level of expertise to our clients. We’re grateful to our clients for allowing us to continue to share in their success, and humbled by the word-of-mouth advertising they share with our prospects. Read the rest of this entry “
Little purchases – a coffee here, a movie ticket there, a new magazine subscription because, hey, you deserve it – add up and can wreak havoc on your checkbook – and possibly your credit. Read the rest of this entry “