I remember the first time I did Ryan’s taxes.
We were newly engaged, and I had just moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming. That cold, snowy, windy January was a big transition from the mild Chico winters. The adjustment, while rough, was so worth it—and memorable as one of the first steps in starting our new life together.
Taxes get a bad rap for being time-consuming and a dreary must-do, but what if there were another way to look at them?
What if, instead, they were a way to help narrate our life story?
Not everybody has the time, or frankly, the desire to write in a diary or journal. So why not look at taxes as a way to record those important milestones: marriage, graduation, school, buying a house, kids, vacations, new businesses, whatever your life entails.
That first year doing Ryan’s taxes remains a key moment in learning about what our military life would be like from a financial standpoint.
We also went through all our finances to understand what we each had in savings, insurance policies, bank accounts, and retirement accounts. It was the first chapter in our financial story, allowing us to begin with a foundation of understanding and a place to start to dream.
Taxes can also serve as a way to help build your story along the way.
Years later, I remember sitting down to do our taxes late in the evening after the kids went to bed. We lived in Louisiana, and Ryan was deployed somewhere. My daughter Sally, who was about five at the time, couldn’t sleep. She came up to me and started asking questions about the numbers. As her usual sweet self, she wanted to know if she could help. We had a brief conversation about taxes, and she then entered the numbers from our W-2s into TurboTax.
From then on, she’s helped me with our taxes, and I continue to find ways to include my kids in our finances. I smile a bit every time I do our taxes, remembering that first precious time sitting with Sally entering the numbers, and chatting.
This year is another chapter in our story: the last year of easy taxes. Our move to California, Ryan’s last full year in the Air Force, and the launch of Mosaic mean next year’s taxes will be much more complicated.
But I love all the things these events represent in our family’s journey.
This year, you have until April 18th to do your taxes (if tax day falls on a Friday, the IRS pushes the submission date to the following Monday).
If you’re still working on them and have questions, I’d love to help. Consider how you can change the way you view your taxes and what they mean for you and your families.
P.S. Are you right on the edge of a new tax bracket? There may still be a way to lower your tax rate this year. Send me a message to see if you qualify!
The opinions expressed herein are those of Anna Nelson and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed. This document may contain certain information that constitutes “forward-looking statements” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “expect,” “will,” “hope,” “forecast,” “intend,” “target,” “believe,” and/or comparable terminology. No assurance, representation, or warranty is made by any person that any of Anna Nelson assumptions, expectations, objectives, and/or goals will be achieved. Nothing contained in this document may be relied upon as a guarantee, promise, assurance, or representation as to the future. Anna Nelson is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.