Well, there is no doubt about it: summer’s over. The mornings are cool and foggy, daylight hours are becoming more precious, and the harvest season is upon us – upon us, and upon the bears in the woods as well.
The other day I pushed my trash bin down the driveway and caught eye of what at first looked to be a large black dog but turned out to be the black bear that has been frequenting our wooded suburban neighborhood. Hearing the rumble of the bin rolling down the driveway, the bear quickly hurried several hundred feet across the street to my neighbor’s backyard. I was curious as to what it might do if I remained still, so I turned myself into a motionless statue.
The bear eyed me for a bit, took a few steps in my direction, stopped to sniff the air, moved from side to side, and over a period of ten or fifteen minutes worked its way all the way back to within twenty-five or thirty feet from me, where it stopped and began munching acorns scattered around a mature oak tree that hung out over the street and above my head.
Pretty soon that tree began raining acorns. Looking up, I spotted three cubs hiding among the dense leafy branches, now comfortable enough with my motionless presence to go back to work harvesting their bounty.
As hard as it may be to imagine, tax-planning season is upon us as well! Yes, now is the time to explore all those exciting tax-reducing strategies that have to be accomplished before year’s end or be forfeited. There’s accelerating losses to be considered, deferring income and capital gains, establishing and using a donor-advised fund to combine future charitable gifts into a single tax year for maximum advantage, accelerating or deferring deductible expenses, exercising Roth conversions to reduce the later pain of required minimum distributions, and all the other tax reducing opportunities that tend to get over-looked and lost with tax reporting season still so many months away.
Here at the Conservatory we get very busy this time of year conducting tax reviews for our Lifestyle Guardian Members. Along with periodic estate planning and risk management reviews, the annual fall tax-planning review is among the biggest benefits afforded Conservatory Lifestyle Guardian Members.
Waiting until tax reporting time in the spring will be too late to do anything about this year’s taxes, and may even result in higher tax liabilities in the future. So, celebrate harvesting what you’ve cultivated in your own life, and don’t forget to reap all the opportunities that are available to you for eliminating those pesky avoidable tax expenses.