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USA Today Top 6 Ways to Lose Clients:

In a recent issue of USA Today, the problem of losing clients is discussed. They lay out the top 6 ways to lose customers.

  • The first is, taking them for granted. It is important to remember that you need your customers more than they need you. Each customer should be treated with the utmost importance, your success likely depends on it.
  • The second point is selling shoddy work or products. No matter what product or service it is, people assume they will get value for their dollar. Treat every transaction as if you were on the receiving end.
  • Ignoring customer feedback is another surefire way to lose business. The mentality that “the customer is always right” may be a bit of a stretch, however, each customer should be listened to especially in the days of yelp, etc. where bad reviews can reach anyone with internet access instantly.
  • Guaranteeing your work is important. Although it is difficult for some companies to have a return policy or fix something that was not done well enough the first time, it is crucial for customer satisfaction. There are enough services out there that do guarantee their work, to compete, you need to as well.
  • Next, when a customer feels ignored, they will either seek another service or, at a minimum, not be a repeat customer. Responding to voicemails, emails, etc. is time-consuming and can feel unproductive, but quick responses lead to happy customers and more business.
  • Similar to ignoring customer feedback, insisting on being right can lose a customer very quickly. Remember, serving someone will always go farther than selling something to someone. Customers value your product or service, give them the respect of valuing their opinion.

Expenses That Increase After Retirement

Retirement is an exciting time for most individuals, planning for it, however, can prove to be a challenging process. Determining how much money one needs to put away to retire comfortably is difficult, especially when certain costs are often not taken into account. In a recent Kiplinger article, they point out a few expenses that are likely to increase after retirement. There are a few obvious ones, such as travel, relocating, financial planning, and healthcare. Some expenses that typically increase may come as a surprise to retirees. Being home more leads to an increase in utility costs. Many individuals join fitness clubs or purchase equipment to stay fit and active. Individuals who retire typically start or increase the amount of charitable giving they do. Reading is something that many folks partake in during retirement, the average household spends almost 200 dollars on books a year in retirement according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though these costs may be small, they do add up and affect the amount of money you need to be considering when planning for retirement.

Is Buying Bonds the Right Decision For You?

Diversifying one’s financial portfolio is always a good option. Participating wisely in stock investments is often a good way to generate high yield interest, because of this, it eclipses the thought of other options. Bonds, for several folks, are also a good option to diversify their portfolio. Kiplinger recommends the following tips for those who choose to utilize bonds. Build a core bond position with bond index funds or EFTs, add active management where it makes sense, consider buying from the private market, and use an annuity for a portion of the bonds. Depending on your situation and goals, different types of bonds will make the most sense for you and help you to achieve your financial goals sooner.

Five Tax Breaks You Should Be Taking Advantage Of

Each tax year, it is typically the goal of most individuals to pay as little taxes as possible. There are a few strategic ways to pay yourself before income is taxed. According to Kiplinger, there are a few things you can do that will achieve this goal. The first is to make retirement plan contributions, you will be saving on your taxes in the short term while simultaneously building wealth for the future. Second, putting money into a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible saving account (FSA) depending on what is offered employer/insurance can give you money to spend that was put away before being taxed. Similar to this, would be to put money into a dependent care FSA which could be utilized for daycare, summer camp, etc. Finally, another good opportunity to save on taxes would be to purchase life insurance through your employer if they offer it. Many organizations allow an individual to pay for life insurance via pre-tax contributions.

What can you do right now to cut down on gas expenses?

It is no secret that gas prices are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Many folks in these times consolidate trips to conserve gas, however, there are a few more steps one can take to decrease gas consumption. According to Kiplinger, removing unnecessary cargo from the trunk can save on gas by reducing the weight of your vehicle. On this note, removal of bike/kayak racks when not in use will eliminate drag and increase your miles per gallon. As we move away from the cold months, there is less of a reason to allow your car to idle, especially for an extended period. Allowing your vehicle to run while not in use burns a surprising amount of gas. Ensure your tires are filled to the optimal pressure, although many cars come with a pressure monitoring system, it is a good idea to check on your own as the monitoring system only lets you know when it is too low, not necessarily when it isn’t optimal. Finally, there are a few available apps that will help you find the cheapest gas around, these apps may also be used to find the “best” quality gas to improve the longevity of your vehicle.

Many changes are being made for the tax year 2022, how should you prepare?

While gathering your documents and collecting your thoughts to process your 2021 taxes, you could also be considering the changes in the tax code that will affect the year 2022 and how you should plan. According to Kiplinger, things such as child tax credits, earned income tax credits, tax brackets, standard deductions and more are changing. Planning for these changes as early as possible will help to lessen the impact they may have on your bottom line.

When is the last day to file your 2021 tax return?

According to Kiplinger.com, the due date for filing your 2021 Federal income tax return is April 18th (except for Maine and Massachusetts which is April 19th). However, some individuals will have extra time depending on the circumstance. Additionally, if you are not able to file in time, an individual can file a Form 4868 and get a six-month extension, putting the due date to October 18th. This does not extend the period to pay your taxes, so, if you end up owing and file an extension, you will likely be penalized.

Your Business Should Not Be Your Retirement Plan

Many individuals have most of their net worth tied up in their business with the intent of growing and maximizing profits. Ultimately, the hope is to sell to an eager buyer looking to take over the business when it comes time to retire. Unfortunately, even for the most profitable of businesses, roughly 80% do not sell. This leaves the individuals faced with the dilemma of liquidating what they can of the business or continuing to work throughout their retirement years. Investing into assets outside of your business is crucial for a well-diversified portfolio. The growth of a business is important, but managing personal finances aside from a business will lead to a much smoother transition into retirement.

CD’s versus Fixed-Rate Annuities

The top five CDs are currently earning approximately 1.30% annually whereas you can earn up to 3.15% annually on a five-year fixed annuity. Additionally, annuities offer tax advantages that CDs do not.

High Yield Savings Suggestion

Currently, US Savings Bonds Series I is paying 3.54% annually. You can purchase savings bonds at home.treasury.gov

Child Tax Credit FAQs (For Tax Year 2021)

The maximum credit amounts and income limits for the Child Tax Credit differed in 2021 from other years. In addition, many taxpayers received advance CTC payments, and had to reconcile these payments with their actual …

If You Receive an IRS Letter

If the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the agency will generally send a letter in the mail rather than emailing or calling. Taxpayers may receive IRS letters for many reasons, including:

The taxpayer owes …

Upcoming Tax Deadlines

June

Day

10
Employees Who Work for Tips – If you received $20 or more in tips during May, you must report them to your employer (employees are required to keep a daily record of tips). All tips …