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Tax Shelter

November 28th, 2009 Joe No comments

Step Seven

Tax Shelters are usually associated with negative and or illegal operations.  This is not the case if you are going to start your own business in your free time like I suggest in step six.  Fact is that you are probably already spending money doing your hobby now.  For some that may be baking, photography, gardening, painting, building, or racing cars.  The fact is that you can start your business doing this thing you love and convert your personal expenditures into allowable deductions you will be well on your way to Average Joe Millionaire Status.

Step one: Turn yourself into a business owner.  This is easy and cheap to do.  You can even go to websites that walk you through the entire process.  For some you may want to consult an business attorney to do this for you.

I have heard people having luck using LegalZoom.com for their business needs.

To be in business is easy.  Simply declaring it with the proper entity is all you need to do.  Once you are in business you can magically turn personal expenses into tax deductions.

The best part is that your business does not necessarily have to make a profit.  In this scenario we are working towards a profit but if for the first couple years you don’t make one that is no big deal.

Quoting straight from the IRS

“Generally, an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.”

“The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year — at least two of the last seven years for activities that consist primarily of breeding, showing, training or racing horses.”

There are certain ways to structure your business to then take these losses and deduct them from your personal federal income taxes.  So say you owe Uncle Sam $7000 for the year in personal taxes and you structured your business as an S Corporation.  In that situation you may be able deduct any business losses on your personal taxes possibly allowing you to put that $7000 into your business instead of sending it to the IRS.

I dont know about you but putting my taxes into my business sounds pretty good to me.

Working towards a profit can be easy too.  So you like baking and you want to start a cake business.  You could sell just a few great wedding cakes to make a nice lump of money and offset many baking expenses.

If you are into racing of some kind you sell advertisements on your vehicle, body and trailer.  This can add up quickly and pretty soon you are making a small profit.

Making a profit is very specific to your situation.  I cannot tell you how to make a profit because I dont know your business plans.  Feel free to post a comment with business ideas and I will give feedback on profit structures.

This article is in no way meant to influence you do anything illegal.  Including avoiding taxes. Avoiding taxes can come with harsh penalties and would damage your chances of getting rich.

On the other hand I want you to get the most out of our capitalistic system and keep as much of your hard earned money as legally possible.  I want you to pay millions of dollars in taxes but not a dime more than you owe.


$2 Dollars

August 30th, 2009 Joe No comments

Step three of Average Joe Millionaires getting rich 101 is best explained with a story.

When I was a kid I went to my uncles Paul’s house.  We were in his kitchen having a bit of orange juice and when he opened his cabinet I saw a small stack of cash sitting on the top shelf.  As a 13 year old kid a stack of $20 dollar bills an inch high was a lifetime worth of allowance.  I thought that was SOOO much money.  Uncle Paul took the money down and we counted it.  He had about $400 dollars.  He said that every time money came into his hands he took 10% and put it there until he had around $500 dollars and then he put it into a savings account.  He said he started when he was 21 years old.

When he was 21 he met a girl he wanted to marry.  He had talked to her and she told him that he had to buy a ring.  So the next paycheck he got he took $2 dollars and put it in the cabinet.  My Uncle was 21, he was broke, and he was only making $200 dollars every two weeks.   Most people would not even bother saving $2 dollars.  Uncle Paul may have not bothered either but he needed to buy a ring.  Paul ended up saving up around $500 by picking up extra shifts and putting all his extra money in that cabinet.  He bought his ring and married my aunt.  Uncle Paul stuck with the savings routine and from that day forward he started saving between 10% and 20% from every check.  Uncle Paul saved all that money and  put it into a special savings account last year Uncle Paul and I were talking about money and I asked him how it $2 dollar savings account is doing.  Paul said “that account now has about $2.5 million dollars in it.”  $2.5 million dollars and it all started with $2 dollars.

Be Happy

July 7th, 2009 Joe No comments

The first step in the series getting rich 101 is to be happy and feel good.  Most of the millionaires I know and have had the pleasure to meet did not get rich doing something they did not like.  So whatever you are doing you must feel good and be happy doing it.  Sometimes this is just a mind set. Everyone has a bad day or two.  Getting rich is a process for most of us.  This sometimes takes convincing yourself that you are on the right track.  I have jumped into an investment before and then later thought I may have made a mistake.  I had to sit down and clam my own nerves.

Lesson One: If you want to get rich you must be doing something you are happy doing.

I once mentored a guy named Tom.  Tom was a coal miner.  Tom was making around $70,000 a year driving a truck at a coal mine.  Tom came to me one day and asked if I would help him invest his money.  He told me he was not happy working for the mine and wanted to get out.  I asked him what “get out” meant for him.  Did it mean he wanted to quit asap?  Did it mean he wanted to retire early?  I needed to know Toms goals before I could take him anywhere.  Toms answer was that he wanted out of the mine as soon as possible.  He did not want to spend another day there.  So I told him I would look at his financial statement and we could devise a plan.

Toms financial statement was better than many I have seen. Since he had been working at the mine he was making more money that the average person. He had been saving his money in two places one a savings account and two an IRA. He had around $100,000 in the IRA and about $400,000 in his savings. Tom was doing very well for a guy in his mid thirties. Tom had no real assets other than cash and no real liabilities other than a vehicle loan for $19 @ 0% interest.

Looking at this information I thought to myself that Tom had enough money to do something but he did not have enough to fail. My general rule is that if you do not have at least 2 million dollars you do not have enough money to fail. This means that Tom and I had to choose his exit plan wisely. It took me a few weeks and a few more interviews with Tom but I eventually put together an exit plan for Tom. The plan looked like this.

The Plan
Tom was thirty six, his retirement goal was he wanted to retire at age fifty five with an income of ten thousand dollars a month. Tom also wanted to have large bills like a mortgage. Toms last retirement goal was that he wanted to have a large nest egg of cash to fall back on if anything happened. I suggested he have between $500,000 and a million dollars as a goal for his nest egg. Some of you may be thinking this sounds like a pipe dream or a long shot. When I sat down with Tom I thought this was completely in line with where he could go.

With the goals must come an actual plan for making money. I had located a few options for Tom he decided on buying a business and a 4-plex. For all you numbers people the deal looked like this.
Tom and I found a local Laundry business that was for sale for an asking price of $300,000 and generated $85,000 a year. Tom purchased that business for $275,000 this included the property. Tom also purchased a recently build 4-plex. The building had an asking price of $300,000 and generated $57,000 a year. Tom and I negotiated the building down to $269,000. I suggested to Tom that he purchase the business with his savings and put $100,000 down on the 4-plex and get a mortgage for 10 years. This would make his payment around $22,800 a year bringing his net income from the property to around $28,500 a year plus his net income of $85,000 a year from the laundry for a total of $113,500 a year. This income was just under 10,000 a month and that is Toms goal. However Tom also had the goal of the savings. He currently has $25,000 left in savings and $100,000 in his IRA. I suggested he save $40,000 a year for the next 15 years. I know that he could get an average interest rate of at least 5% over 15 years. This would give Tom a nest egg of around 1.1 million in 15 years. By that time his 4-plex would be paid off and that would increase his income to $136,000 a year or $11,358 a month.
Goal 1 to make $10,000 a month during retirement ACHIEVED
Goal 2 to have a nest egg of $500,000-$1,000,000 by age 55 ACHIEVED
Goal 3 Retire by age 55, Tom quit from the coal mine within three months of meeting with me. He increased his monthly income by about $3,500. His retirement goal will be met 4 years early and he will be able to retire by age 51.

Tom may even retire earlier if he decides to sell the properties and that around $2,000,000 cash is enough for him to retire on. Tom did work about 20 hours a week keeping the business and property clean when he first quit the mine. It has been about 8 years and Tom is hiring a management company to care for the 4-plex and just send him his check every month. He says he can sacrifice that 10% for the freedom. This cut his work hours to about 10 a week he thinks that is the perfect amount for a retirement job. Oh yeah his is doing everything as if he is retired by age 44, he will not change one thing from age 44 to retirement. Seems to me he retired at age 44.

Tom took the first step of realizing he could not be happy continuing on at the coal mine. He was lucky enough to have a great savings so he was able to quit. However the first step was knowing he was not happy and finding a plan to get to a place where he could be happy.