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How to Lead a More Rewarding Financial Life Using Delayed Gratification

Posted on November 14th, 2018

Learning how to delay gratification may be one of the biggest factors on your road to wealth. Without this important skill to control our desires, our needs will always exceed our resources. Many of us learn this skill early in life, and some of us do not. Fortunately, it can be learned later in life and made into a habit we incorporate into our daily routine.

Learning to Delay Gratification

The way to learn delayed gratification is to build in a series of rewards for accomplishments. When you accomplish something, you have set a goal for, then you can reward yourself. Creating the reward ensures you delay the gratification until after the task is complete and not before. Begin by examining your spending habits for problems in delaying gratification.

If you have trouble saving money or paying bills on time, you can break these habits by setting up a system of rewards and punishments for yourself. Setting up a reward for reaching a milestone in your savings account or bill paying will help you feel better about the changes you are making. Those who accumulate wealth tend to be more frugal and lead less opulent lifestyles even though they can afford it.

Planning

Regardless of whether you are trying to save for retirement or buy a home, you can develop a plan to get there. Some proven methods to help you achieve your goals include:

  • Identify what your most important aspirations are
  • Develop a plan to achieve your goals
  • Automate your savings
  • Avoid withdrawals for items before you reach your goals

Delayed gratification is the ability to wait to buy something until after you have saved for the item instead of impulsively purchasing something as soon as you know you want it. To help you learn the practice of delayed gratification, write a list of goals and look at it daily. Ask yourself before every purchase if this is something you need, or just something you want. Talk to someone who is older than you and find out what they would go back and do differently if they could. Every person is different so it is important to find out what works for you.

Life on Thrive Can Help You Create Good Financial Habits

Delaying gratification is something integral to financial success and a habit everyone should try to incorporate into their lives. Learning delayed gratification and actually saving and investing for your future will help you lead a more rewarding financial life. Call us at Life on Thrive and let us help you set up a plan that works for you and gives you confidence in your financial future.


Why Professional Tax Planning Support is Beneficial

Posted on October 30th, 2018

Two main priorities in any business are to remain profitable and save money. When tax season is near, entities that are lacking professional tax planning guidance may find themselves owing the IRS more money than they should, or even worse, being flagged for an audit. As the owner of your organization, it is up to you to ensure your company stays financially viable. Therefore, professional and effective tax planning is essential to help secure your future.

It can be both a risk and confusing to prepare your taxes without the guidance of a financial advisor. Below are a few notable benefits to consider when working with a professional tax planner.

You Will Always be Prepared for an IRS Audit

There is always the slightest chance that a company will be audited. A trusted tax professional will be able to provide sound and legal financial planning, employing low-risk strategies that allow you to thoroughly understand your compliance with the IRS and state taxing authorities.

This proactive plan for a possible audit can help ensure that you and your company are well prepared for the upcoming tax season.

You Can Significantly Increase Your Savings by Implementing Eligible Deductions

Many businesses leave money saving opportunities on the table each tax season by failing to take advantage of legitimate deductions. Professional tax planning can help pinpoint which deductions your business qualifies for, such as reduction of energy costs and equipment purchases.

Improve Your Business Structure

When seeking professional guidance for tax planning, an evaluation is performed to determine what changes should be made within your organization. This can be quite viable and essential for the future of your business since it can help your company on multiple financial levels.

Whether you are a decently sized business or a mom and pop shop, taxes are inevitable. Your best chance of finishing the year financially sound depends on how well prepared you are.

At Life of Thrive, Enrolled Agent, Gaurav Bajaj, and our team of financial experts has helped many companies in various industries with all their tax preparation needs. Contact our Long Beach firm today!


Do You Have Employees or Independent Contractors?

Posted on October 15th, 2018

If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a very good chance that you will have to hire help in order to efficiently run your business. It takes a village to raise a start-up, as they say. However, every business has unique needs and processes which must be adhered to.

For this reason, you are likely to face one of the questions that all entrepreneurs must eventually ask themselves: Do I need employees or independent contractors, and what’s the difference?

There are differences between the two distinctions, some subtle and some not-so-subtle, but the consequences of mislabeling your workforce can be severe.

What Are Employees?

An employee is a person hired in the service of your business. When you hire an employee, you are acquiring a worker who will have a regular schedule on a presumed long-term basis. You will also have reasonable control over the work they do, how and when it’s done, and can influence the final product.

Your employees receive a salary or hourly wage in compliance with state and federal laws, which may also require the provision of benefits such as medical or dental.

The advantage to having a team of regular employees is that with proper staffing, you’ll always have the manpower you need when the workload increases. However, this also means that when business slows down, you’ll still have to pay your employees.

Diligent financial planning is important as well, as you’ll have to properly process payroll, including withholding state and federal taxes, unemployment, etc.

What are Independent Contractors?

On the surface, contractors may not seem too different from employees, but there are several key distinctions between the two that set them apart.

Independent contractors, like employees, perform work for you or your business. However, they are not long-term workers, with contracts that usually define the parameters of the working relationship with expectations and deadlines.

In addition to this, you also have no control over how, when, or where the work is done. This means that you can freely set a deadline for the work and choose whether or not to accept the finished product, but you cannot manage the work itself.

This has certain advantages. For instance, if you don’t like a contractor’s work, you don’t have to hire them again and are free to explore all of your options.

Which Type of Worker is Right for Me?

This question can be a difficult one, as there is no one right answer. What’s best for you and your business will vary from venture to venture.

What you can do is seek the advice of an experienced financial professional who can guide you through these complicated questions. Life on Thrive helps small business owners in Long Beach and the surrounding communities take control of their financial operations and plan for the future.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and find out how we can help you thrive.


How to Take a Future Oriented Approach with Your Taxes

Posted on October 1st, 2018

Taxes are one of the biggest, single recurring expenses most of us have in our lifetimes. Tax planning can allow you to prepare and adjusting financial endeavors to reduce tax liability and maximize eligibility.

Many factors can affect your tax obligation. Those who keep organized records and recognize tax-relevant events will save both time and money in the future. Your plan should include actionable steps like how to allocate your money between savings and investment accounts, and when to withdraw from an IRA or 401k.

Tax-Efficient Retirement Options

Being smart about how you take income from your nest egg can result in dramatic savings over the years. One way to do this is to put your money into both traditional and Roth IRA accounts. Traditional IRAs and 401ks allow you to defer paying taxes on the income until distribution time. For those wanting to limit their taxable income after retirement, a ROTH IRA allows you to benefit from the same savings benefits of traditional retirement accounts. The distinct difference is that you pay taxes on your income before the contribution instead of at the time of distribution.

Be Aware of Frauds or Scams

Retirees are among the most targeted demographic when it comes to scams. Be sure to consult with a financial planner before making any significant financial decisions. Remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Make Your Financial Resources Last

A financial plan and discipline are keys to making sure you do not outlive your resources. When it comes time to plan for retirement it is important to figure out how much you can spend in each year and not fall into the temptation of spending large chunks of your nest egg.

It is important to be realistic about how different withdrawal rates can affect how long your savings will last. Conservative advice suggests that you may be able to withdraw 4 percent of your savings per year, and you may be able to increase that amount as you grow older.

Keeping Up with Changes

Planning for the future is not a one-time event. Markets are constantly changing and so are your financial circumstances and your goals. This means it is important to check in regularly with a financial professional to review your needs and priorities. At Life on Thrive, we can help you take a future-oriented approach to your taxes and help you formulate a plan that will succeed in meeting your future goals. Call us today for a comprehensive consultation and start planning for the future now.


Five tips for Avoiding an IRS Audit

Posted on September 15th, 2018

For many individuals and business owners, the mere thought of the IRS is enough to cause anxiety. However, the chances of them conducting an audit of your finances are quite low. Although you can’t control having to pay taxes, you can make the odds of having them audited even lower.

Below are a few ways to help avoid this process.

Do Not Fail to File A Return

You may think that if you had no income during the tax year, or if you owe no taxes, you don’t have to file a return. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.  If you don’t file a tax return for any reason, the IRS may contact and question you. If you have no income or taxes due, you should still file a return. This will provide the IRS documented proof that you have no income to report and no fees due.

Do Your Research: Choose A Non-Problematic Tax Professional

Don’t assume that all tax preparers will file your taxes timely and accurately. If your preparer makes mistakes, you could end up paying for them in an audit.

While most accounting firms have the accreditation and expertise to handle this function for you, it’s important to do your research. Find a recommended professional, such as Enrolled Agent, that is a tax expert licensed by the IRS and can represent you if audited.  Tax-prep software is also a good option for many people, especially if your financial life isn’t too complicated.

Just remember that even with the guidance of a tax advisor, you are the one responsible for your tax return.

Ensure Your Return is Accurate

Because the IRS needs to be able to make sense of your tax return, it is essential to be as organized and detailed as possible. Otherwise, it could draw attention, possibly resulting in an audit.

Not only should your return be organized, but it should be error-free. Preparing a tax return on your own can be confusing, making it easy to input data erroneously. Double-check your math, and be sure that any figures you’re entering in your return match your official forms such as a W2. Remember to sign your return as well. Unsigned returns will also draw the attention of the IRS.

Filing and preparing taxes can be a complex and stressful experience. At Life on Thrive, our knowledgeable certified public accountant, Gaurav Bajaj, along with our financial team provides professional tax guidance for businesses and individuals alike throughout Long Beach and Los Angeles County. Contact us today for your tax obligation consultation!


How Small Businesses Benefit from Outsourced Accounting

Posted on August 1st, 2018

Accounting is one of the oldest professions on earth, appearing in historical records dating as far back as 3300 B.C. There’s a very good reason for this too; accounting is the language of business.

What this means is that without proper accounting functions, a company will most certainly fail to thrive.

A company requires detailed financial records in order to succeed. Unfortunately, if crunching numbers isn’t their strongest skill, an entrepreneur may not be able to keep accurate records, and with the time it takes to operate a business, simply may not have the time.

This is why many businesses hire CPAs, accountants, and other financial professionals to handle their accounting functions for them. After all, thousands of years of collective business acumen can’t be wrong, right?

Achieve Accurate Financial Records

From bookkeeping to profit/loss statements, accuracy in your financial records is important to every aspect of the business. If you don’t have an accurate summation of your finances and spending power, you’re bound to make costly mistakes.

With an outsourced professional managing your accounting functions, you can rest assured that your books and records will be accurate and detailed with their wealth of knowledge and experience at your disposal.

Reduce Costs

Hiring a financial professional to handle the accounting side of your business is a choice to save yourself money. By outsourcing this work, you pay only for the accounting services you need, when you need them.

An outsourced accountant is not an employee, so there’s no need to worry about scheduling, payroll, benefits, or other employment-related expenses.

Ensure Compliance

With an expert on the job, producing accurate and detailed reports, you can be sure that your financial records will be spotless. Mistakes in your books can lead to audits and other costly repercussions.

By outsourcing this work to an experienced professional, you greatly reduce the chances of an IRS audit.

Focus on What’s Important

You didn’t start a business to pour over page after page of numbers and sales reports. You did it because you had a passion for something, and handling your own accounting functions takes precious time away from that.

As an entrepreneur, time is your greatest commodity. The best way for you to spend it is by focusing on your business, its growth, and taking time for your personal life. All work and no play, as the saying goes.

Find Out More About Outsourced Accounting Services

Life on Thrive of Long Beach is a full-service CPA firm with more than a decade working in the field. Our firm serves small businesses throughout Long Beach, and the surrounding communities of Seal Beach, Lakewood, and Torrance.

If you’d like to learn more, contact us for a free consultation today!


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