TGIF RedStaters!  Welcome to today’s Water Cooler, always an Open Thread…

Closing Out 2017 – Tax-Wise

First, today is the last business day of 2017.  This makes the day important for tax planning among other things.  I am not a Tax Accountant, a Tax Lawyer, etc.  Nor do I even play one on TV.  So now is the time to check with those you need to check with, consider whether you want charges in 2017 or 2018, etc.  Dig up the letter from the one who prepares your taxes, talk to the experts, and exit today knowing that you didn’t forget any moves you intended to make.

Planning for 2018

My wife usually use the Christmas/New Year’s break to review and assess what worked in the previous year, what did not, and what we want to do differently in the following year.  We have been working through this again this season, and as always, there is something to be found in all categories.  I figure you have all been around long enough to have been through this a few times or more, and you’ve found things that work for you.  Maybe you could share some of yours here?

In any case, I’ll share one funny story from this years’ process.  One teaching tool my wife and I like is one that we first found from Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), though it may well have been passed down through generations coming eventually to his book.  The idea is that your life is like a jar.  The important things in life are like big rocks.  Less important items are like pebbles, and then minutia could be represented as sand.  When planning, you want to put the rocks in first.  When you do this, you can add pebbles without losing any of the rocks.  And you can then pour in sand without removing any of the rocks or pebbles.  This would be a full life, and one that had allowed the maximum number of important items.

On the other hand, if one fills the jar with sand first, then he is unable to add rocks, or even pebbles.

The funny part: my wife was performing this exercise live for a group this month when she broke the jar by cramming too many items into it.  We are not sure, but – okay, we are pretty sure this is a teaching moment for us…

In any case we think the principle still applies.  What will you regret not having done or experienced in 2018?  Now is your time to set the plans in motion…

Happy New Year

I hope that 2017 has been a Blessed and wonderful year for you and yours.  One might even wish that it has been yuge.  Whether you think that it has been great or a dud, may you know that God loves you, wants to know you better and get closer.  Each day is a new beginning, a chance to continue on, reverse direction, or double-down.  May your 2018 be Blessed and your best year ever.