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The Good Life Report - Tax Tips & The Benefits of "Stopping to Smell the Roses"

"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."

- Isaac Asimov

Kale Slaw

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
     
  • ½ orange, juiced
     
  • ½ lemon, juiced
     
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
     
  • Salt and pepper
     
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
     
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Place kale into a salad bowl.
     
  2. With your hands, toss with orange juice, lemon juice, seeds, and salt.
     
  3. Let the kale sit a few minutes.
     
  4. Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar, then mix well.
     
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from FoodNetwork.com[1]

A Compromise Can Be a Beautiful Thing

Sometimes taxpayers owe more money in taxes than they can afford to pay to the IRS. When this happens, you have the option to file an Offer in Compromise, which allows you to pay less than you owe. If you opt to pursue this route, here are some specific details you should know.

Affording the full debt amount. If you can afford to pay your full debt, you will, most likely, not qualify for an Offer in Compromise. Instead, you should pursue other options, such as setting up a payment plan with the IRS. 

Filing all required tax materials. In order to apply for an Offer in Compromise, you must have filed all necessary tax paperwork with the IRS.

Making an initial payment toward your debt. The IRS may require you to pay an amount toward your owed taxes when you apply for Offer in Compromise. Any payments will apply to your debt. 

You can find out if you qualify by using the IRS Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Tool

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov[2]

Avoiding a Back-Nine Blowup


The front nine goes really well for you: you have a couple of birdies, an eagle, or you par half the holes, and it looks like you're on pace to break 90, 80, or whatever your goal may be. On the back nine, that's all you can think about. You end up putting pressure on yourself, and your game quickly suffers.  

The lesson here is that you can only play one shot at a time. Thinking about your scorecard instead of the shot you need to play right now interferes with your focus and process. If you break 90 or 80, it won't be because of adrenaline or daydreaming. It will be because you maintain your focus. So, stick to your pre-shot routine, and focus on each shot at hand. Think of the hole in front of you, not the "whole" of your round, and your back nine may be as good as your front nine.

Tip adapted from LiveAbout.com[3]

Why It's Important to Stop and Smell the Roses

It's a cliché expression, which most of us have heard and likely used, but research has shown that there may be actual health benefits when you "stop and smell the roses." One might think that the benefits are solely based on the simple act of pausing and grounding oneself in the present, but there is a little more to the story. Just be mindful that any information here isn't a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. 

Researchers conducted a study of the information retention abilities of 50 6th graders. Each student was given identical lessons to study before bedtime. The other participants were instructed to have rose-scented incense on their desk while studying at home; the other participants, no fragrance. Seven days later, they took a test on the lesson. The students who studied with the rose fragrance took the test with rose incense. The fragrance-free group did not have incense. The rose group scored, on average, 30% higher on the exam than the other group. 

So, what does this mean? Certain fragrances, like rose, may help improve a person's memory recall when used in the right context. Just another reason to pause and enjoy one of nature's most beautiful flowers.  

Tip adapted from MSN.com[4]


Going Green for Baby

Are you or someone you know expecting or a new mom? It's now easier than ever to start baby off right with green and eco-friendly items. 

One of the most effective and easiest ways to go green with a new baby is to use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. Cloth diapers do cost more initially, but they will save you a ton of money in the long run, while also being kinder to the environment. Many parents also find that their babies have a far lower incidence of skin irritation and diaper rash when using cloth diapers.

When it comes to toys and teethers for your baby, look for items that are made from organic cotton and free from chemicals.

Tip adapted from GreenAmerica.org[5]

[1] FoodNetwork.com, June 12, 2020

[2] IRS.gov, June 12, 2020

[3] LiveAbout.com, June 12, 2020

[4] MSN.com, February 4, 2020

[5] GreenAmerica.org, June 12, 2020