Each morning, I wake up with a smile on my face and a renewed sense of vigor, because this day is unlike any other, and it is full of potential. There's a phrase in Latin that summarizes my philosophy of life: Carpe diem. Seize the day. While that may seem a little extreme to some, mark my words, it is a recipe for success. Provided you take into consideration the accelerated depreciation your assets will accrue over time, as marked by said day being seized.
Now I know that there are some naysayers out there who think that you can't be too careful, but I say throw caution to the wind! Life's too short not to make the most of every day. If making the most of every day means that you have to work Saturday to make sure you meet your fiduciary duties that have been established in advance, I say, live it up!
No second guesses, no regrets, and no investments in mortgage-backed securities or collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) in order to minimize indirect exposure to subprime securities.
This brings to mind one of my Primary Life Guidelines: Always make sure you take the time to smell the roses, provided that you pay the fair market value for those roses and keep the receipt so you can add it to your year-end deductions. Or better yet, wait until you chance upon a vendor who allows you to smell those roses without having to invest any capital in perishable overhead. If you can, always let the other guy take the risk. That way you can savor the benefit without having possible losses looming over your head.
And nothing smells sweeter than a rose that substantially lowers your adjusted gross income.
When you're drawing up your monthly budget, make sure to set aside a little something for yourself. You work hard. Why not enjoy it? Buy that tax-deductible work expense you've had your eye on. Take the afternoon off to go to a trade show, or spend some of your hard-earned money buying a new accordion file. Go ahead. And while you're out there living life to the fullest, why not take a client out to a ball game and keep all your receipts?
Once a certified internal auditor has gone over your books to make sure you will have the cash flow necessary to do so, shoot for the stars!
Life can go by quickly, and if you're not careful, it will be gone before you have a chance to enjoy diversifying your assets into stocks, stock mutual funds, corporate and municipal bonds, bond mutual funds, international funds, cash equities, exchange-traded funds, life-cycle funds, and U.S. Treasury securities. And the last thing you need is to be unprepared when one of life's little audits comes out of nowhere and derails your hopes and dreams. So take my advice: Cross your t's, dot your i's, and fill out each daily expenditure form as if it's your last.
That's why, in my opinion, you should never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. That is bold advice, and you should take it to heart. Look at your children. They're getting bigger every day and, before you know it, you won't be able to claim them as dependents anymore. See your son's school picture over there, sitting on top of those tax forms? Well, they certainly aren't going to fill themselves out, are they?
I say double-, even triple-check them, because any job worth doing is worth doing right. And when you're finished, take a moment to tuck your son into bed and ask him how his soccer game was. You'll feel ten thousand feet tall when he tells you he scored the winning goal and finally asked his coach about carpooling to practice to reduce your yearly expenditures on fuel for nondeductible recreational purposes by nearly one-sixth.
Seeing the joy in his eyes will make the accrued yearly costs of his overhead, upkeep, education, medical insurance, and miscellaneous expenses seem almost worthwhile.
Remember that, in the end, you only have one life. That life is like a spreadsheet. Fill it out as accurately and thoroughly as possible. Set aside one column for your itemized deductions. Take time to accurately declare your income in another. Make every row count. And always, always subtract any and all applicable fees related to tax-planning advice as a miscellaneous expense, as long as the fees exceed 2 percent of your yearly AGI.
Now get out there and start considering early estate planning!