Spring is such a wonderful time of year. We celebrate occasions like Easter, The Masters, and tax refunds (if we are lucky). We experience the spring equinox, lengthening days, and wildflowers in the foothills. It’s also a terrific time to go on vacation before the summer crowds, heat, and humidity descend on those places. I’m thinking of Tokyo and cherry blossoms, Portugal and almond blossoms, Jordan and Petra or Wadi Rum, The Netherlands and the Keukenhof Gardens, or Italy with its food, art, and history.
All the California rain has filled up our reservoirs and created a dense snowpack in the Sierras, both a form of storing water for the thirsty Californians and the thirsty farmers who feed this nation and many parts of this world. Let me work off this storing theme.
As we are early in the year, I want to store up some good things this year. Here are some ideas.
I want to see my visit my children more often. The days of school drop-offs and soccer or baseball games is long-gone. The “kids” are grown and active in their careers. We are all busy, so I want to be purposeful in engaging them in Sacramento and Charlotte to store more memories in my heart and mind.
I want to plan a milestone birthday next year. I think I need to store up some money to fund the family’s experience, and I want that celebration to be rich in content and conversation.
I want to plan for lifelong health, which entails some discipline (ouch) and its related rewards (lose a few pounds, toning up, better sleep). Evelyn and I did a one-month alcohol fast which prompted other mindful, healthy activities, like joining a yoga studio. Sadly, marathon running is in the rear-view mirror for me but my current exercise and sleep are storing a healthier future.
Planning for retirement is still top-of-mind and maximizing our 401(k) contributions and other savings can create bit of a cash flow pinch. But that storing, as you know, it has significant rewards in the future.
I can’t avoid a plug for Tax Planning. Spring is the perfect time for tax planning because your returns are still fresh and if there are changes to be made, you can do them early. Some ideas are: [a] change your withholdings so you don’t have a tax bill next April 15; [b] determine the most tax-efficient way to give to charity, [c] increase your 401(k) contributions if you have not maxed out (the limits went up for 2019!), and [d] do the “back door Roth,” if you can. Actions like these put additional funds in your store and not your Uncle Sam’s store (which has a back door like a sieve).
I encourage you to “Spring” into action and do some personal storing, planning and engaging; and, do the same on the financial side of your life. Let them meld together, and may your storehouse be plentiful!
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