OBI Newsletter April 2019

Travel plans, passports, and IRS


What does travel has to do with IRS?

Well, as it turns out, plenty!

If your travel plans for this summer include traveling outside the country — you may want to make sure that (besides having a current passport) your taxes are paid.



Earlier this year IRS has “kindly” reminded us that being delinquent in paying our taxes may be detrimental to our travel plans.

As in we may not be able to obtain a new passport.

Or renew a current one.


However, if you are like most of us, you have no reason to worry.

Only if you fall into the category of people with a “seriously delinquent tax debt.”

Then, and only then, your passport application (or renewal) may be denied.

(Significant tax debt is generally over $50,000.)

For more information on this topic see  Guidance issued on revocation or denial of passports to delinquent taxpayers.



1.4 billion

That’s how much money is sitting unclaimed. $1.4 billion is owed to taxpayers who have not filed their 2015 taxes. Share this information with people you know: students, part-time workers and others, who haven’t filed. There is still time to do it.

(Because they are due a refund there is no penalty for filing late.)



Your Money


Having good money management skills help us live the life we want.

Is there a magic formula to develop such skills?

No, no magic. Just need to learn a few fundamental principles.

Knowing these principles will lead you to make better, more informed choices.


Let’s start with budgeting and saving.

They are the building blocks for a safe and secure financial future


The basics of budgeting

Do you have a budgeting method?

A good starting point is to allocate your income for: (read more)

  1. Living expenses (rent or mortgage, utilities, car expenses, etc.)
  2. Lifestyle expenses (movies, dining out, etc.)
  3. Savings (save to have an emergency fund, save for retirement, etc.)


How often should you go over your budget?

It’s best to do it monthly.


Because it’s important to know where your money is going each month.

This way you can catch overspending BEFORE it becomes a source of stress.


An essential part of budgeting is saving.


Saving for retirement

How much money will you need to save for retirement?

Common wisdom is that you will need about 80% of your current earnings.

However, since you know your lifestyle better than anyone else, you are the best judge as to how much you will need.

One thing is for sure: you need to start saving on a regular basis.

If you have problems doing it maybe you need to treat savings like an “expense” that MUST be paid.


Because Social Security benefits won’t be enough to live comfortably on.




To build a safe and secure financial future means you need to have a plan.

A retirement plan that is.

Here are some of the choices you have:

  • Traditional 401(k)
  • Roth 401(k)
  • 403(b)
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Solo 401(k)

Depending on your individual situation, any one of these plans is a good start to build your nest egg.

With these plans you achieve 2 things:

  1. You build your retirement savings
  2. You save on taxes

This is a win/win.

That’s making good, sound financial decisions.

And making the most of your income.




3 F words for working moms

This Program is all about creating balance in your life


It’s all about creating a healthy balance between work, family, and our own personal aspirations


Your actions, what you do every day, will determine your future.


Good information is power. Decide to learn and make the change.


Do it for you. And do it for your family.

We’ll talk about budgeting, debt management, and more


Pets R Family

Being self-employed one of the things you need to be good at is time management.

Often, because I’ve been doing it for so long, people ask me for advice: how is the best way to manage your time.

It’s simple: create blocks of time for the projects you need to work on.

Having a timer helps keeping you on track.

I got two of them:

Sunny and Flipper are my “timers.”

I start working on a project.

It won’t take long till one of them squawks.

I interrupt what I’m doing and go ask:

“What’s going on?”


Usually, something is going on the street and they are “alerting” me: neighborhood dogs and cats.

Or someone just arrived at the front door (didn’t get a chance to knock yet).


And then there are those times when they just lie.

To be fair — mostly Flipper is doing it.

And it usually happens when I’m playing with Sunny.

I hear Flipper making loud noises.

Much like she does when someone is at the front door.

I put Sunny on the stand. Then go look.

No one is there.

I look at the pretty little liar.

Flipper gives me this innocent look.

She just wanted me to drop Sunny and play with her.

Well, mission accomplished: I pick her up and we play for a few minutes.

Then I send them both to their quarters.




How do you measure success


Sharing this site with your friends is much appreciated.
Thanks for visiting.
Mark Ward
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