• Face The Fear

    Welcome!

    Welcome to Face the Fear!

    We are Nicole Ellsworth and Kaitlyn Duchien, two motivated millennials on a journey to face the fear of our financial future.

    We created this safe space where we will dive into topics like retirement, budgeting, student loans, investing, insurance, financial terms, etc. We are passionate about educating ourselves and others in the process. Join us as we change the conversation around finances and approach our future with confidence.

    If you like us, follow us here, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe to our podcast: Face the Fear. (Social media links are on the top right of this page.)

    *Disclaimer: We are not here to give legal financial advice. We highly encourage you to bring the topics we discuss to a financial professional, who is qualified to address your specific financial goals.*

    It’s time for some real talk, and we are so excited that you are here to join us!

    Until next time – Face the Fear!

    Nicole and Kaitlyn

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Entrepreneurship with Tim Ash, CEO of Ash Brokerage!

    Photo Cred: @ashbrokerage on Instagram

    Face The Fear Podcast is BACK & better than ever! In this episode, we’re joined by fearless leader & entrepreneur Tim Ash, CEO of Ash Brokerage. Grab some coffee and listen in as we discuss what leads to success, how to stay inspired, and when it’s time to step outside your comfort zone. Prepare to be encouraged, motivated, and empowered to overcome whatever is holding you back!

    Questions? Email us at facethefearfw@gmail.com!

    Face The Fear: 

  • The Market: 101

    Bull & Bear Markets: A Timeline

    Infographic By: David HesselFiduciary Financial Advisor in Brookfield Wisconsin

    On March 11, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) officially entered a bear market. This drop brought the all-time high of 30,000 to 19,000 in a matter of weeks amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic. As we face an uncertain road ahead, let’s take a look back at history’s most recent bull and bear markets, as outlined by the S&P 500.

    Bear Market: Marked by a 20% (or more) drop in securities prices from the most recent high, resulting in investor distrust & a downward trend in value.

    Bull Market: An extended period in time in which stocks & other traded commodities continuously rise in value.

    Looking for guidance on how to be financially stress-free? Schedule a 30-Minute Phone Call with David HesselFiduciary Financial Advisor in Brookfield Wisconsinhere or send him an email at dhessel@gvcaponline.com.

    You can find the original post here.

    GVCM is an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm, headquartered at N14W23833 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 350, Waukesha, WI 53188. PH: 262.650.1030. David Hessel is an Investment Adviser Representative (“Adviser”) with GVCM. Additional information can be found at: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/Global View Capital Insurance, LTD. (GVCI) insurance services offered through ASH Brokerage and PKS Financial. David Hessel is an Insurance Agent of GVCI. Global View Capital Advisors, LTD is an affiliate of Global View Capital Management, LTD (GVCM). This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

  • Podcast,  Student Loans

    Let’s talk STUDENT LOANS with David Hessel, CSLP (Certified Student Loan Professional)!

    You’ve asked & we (finally) answered – let’s tackle student loans!

    According to the U.S. Department of Education, outstanding Student Loan Debt has now reached a staggering 1.56 TRILLION in 2020. Over 44 million Americans have outstanding student loans and the average debt per individual is $32,731 – WOAH!

    It’s time for us to Face The Fear of Student Loans – understand what they are, how they work, and find the best way to pay them off!

    Here’s a bigger view of David’s White Board

    To learn more about David Hessel, click here: www.davidhessel.com

    To get the details on student loan planning, click here: www.studentloanprofessional.com

    To get in touch with Face The Fear, email: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    Here is a summarized list of Q&As:

    1. “Do you need to be of a certain profession or in a certain field to utilize the extended or graduated programs while in the overall 10-year repayment plan?” Nope! Everyone with federal student loans has access to these, but there are many things to consider before jumping into one.

    2. “When does it make sense to put my student loans in deferment?” If you need to stop your payments, you do need to apply and be accepted for this. This is because interest will not accrue during this time period. You might do this if you become unemployed, if you have economic or medical hardship, etc. Interest will not accrue while in deferment

    3. “When does it make sense to put my student loans in forbearance?” You have a total of 3 years to be in forbearance. Remember, interest continues to accrue while you are not making payments. So really, this tends to make sense when you need a very short-term payment relief.

    4. “Can I use forbearance or deferment if I have private loans?” The unfortunate answer is no. You can speak with your lender and try to change the terms of your loan but the options available for federal loans are not available for private loans.

    5. “Can I spread the ‘tax hit’ when student loans are forgiven over time or is it all taxed as income in one year?” The short answer is that it is taxed in one year. However, when working with a CPA, depending on your situation, there are ways to strategize the taxation. When working with my clients, we calculate the anticipated tax amount and immediately set up a savings/investment bucket for those dollars over the course of their student loan repayment plan.

    6. “Can I be 3, 4, even 5 years into paying my student loans and still switch to a repayment plan?” Yes, you can do this at any time! It is a voluntary program, so you must reapply / show income every single year. If you do not reapply you will be automatically switched back to the 10-year plan. For my clients, we just set reminders every year, so we never forget. Thankfully, the Government has worked on their online submission process and applying is getting easier and easier.

    7. “For PSLF, do I need a specific type of qualified loan?” In short, to apply for PSLF you need 3 things: 1. You need to work for a qualified employer full time (talk with your HR rep or visit https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service#qualifying-employment) 2. You need to make 120 qualified payments (10 total years of payments) 3. Your loans need to be DIRECT loans. (These started after the year 2010, so anyone with loans prior to 2010 will usually need to do a direct consolidation)

    8. “If I have worked for a qualified employer while working towards PSLF and then switch to another employer that is not qualified, is there any sort of partial forgiveness of loans?” Unfortunately, the answer is no.

    9. “What has changed for my student loans with the CARES Act?” Start listening at 48:18

    Lastly, here’s a disclaimer: GVCM is an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm, headquartered at N14W23833 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 350, Waukesha, WI 53188. PH: 262.650.1030. David Hessel is an Investment Adviser Representative (“Adviser”) with GVCM. Additional information can be found at: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/Global View Capital Insurance, LTD. (GVCI) insurance services offered through ASH Brokerage and PKS Financial. David Hessel is an Insurance Agent of GVCI. Global View Capital Advisors, LTD is an affiliate of Global View Capital Management, LTD (GVCM).

  • Real Estate

    One Thing That Will Put You Ahead When it Comes to Buying A Home

    Written By: Aubree DeVisser

    I’m sure you have heard from one person or another who is on the hunt for a home that it hasn’t exactly been easy. So, why not do everything you can to set yourself up for a smooth and successful home-buying process?

    Here is one thing you can do to gain a competitive advantage, accelerate the process, and know how much you can afford.

    GET PRE -APPROVED

    Going to an agent and choosing a lender is your first step. Receiving that pre-approval letter really should be the key you want to have in your pocket for when that dream home becomes available.

    What exactly is a preapproval? It’s when you gather information such as your job status, income, credit score, etc. and the lender uses that information to give you a number that represents the amount you can afford to borrow for a home. (You can do this all from your phone if you prefer it that way, email me to get the link to the app!)

    So, why does this help you? As I stated before, there are three main reasons.

    1.) You gain a competitive advantage.

    Who doesn’t want that? Especially now when bidding wars and multiple offers are something most buyers will have to deal with, you want to have every advantage you can get. A preapproval letter from your lender says your serious. It says I’m all in. I want this and I’m ready to prove that. Not to mention it shows the sellers that you actually have the funds ready to go if the offer was accepted and that’s obviously important and reassuring to them.

    2.) Move forward, faster

    Think about it this way. You write an offer in a multiple offer situation and the sellers need to close ASAP. If they see that you’re preapproved and have done all that work ahead of time, that’s time saved and you’re ahead of anyone else who hasn’t done that yet. Then, as soon as that offer is accepted you’re ready to move on to all the other details.

    3.) Dream home without the dream loan

    This one is really important for you and whomever you’re buying a home with. You need to get preapproved so you know what you can afford. Let me tell you a quick story. A couple goes to look at a home. Falls in LOVE with it. Wants to put in an offer. (Most people won’t even accept offers without a preapproval letter) Let’s just say they accept it. They go to a lender. Their loan amount is $20,000 less than the home price. UH OH. NOW, WHAT.

    Their dreams are shattered. They can’t buy the home. Everyone is frustrated. The home-buying process is probably ruined for them. They realize their dream home is way out of budget right now and that’s DEVASTATING.

    So, if you take anything away from this reason, take this:

    Know what you can afford. Don’t break your own heart. Make it easier on yourself, and everyone else, and get preapproved before actively going out to look at homes.Then you can work on a budget and accurately see and know what you can borrow and what you can afford. (Need help planning and saving and want some guidance? We can help!)

    I hope this was helpful and if you’re ready to start looking, or are already looking, that you consider these three reasons to put you ahead in that home-buying process!

    Are you a first time home buyer and want to be part of a community of other first-timers with some helpful tips and tricks? Check this group out!

    Have questions about buying your first home? Contact Aubree DeVisser here!


  • Budgeting,  Insurance

    5 Ways To Face Your Finances At Home (and Reward Yourself, Too!)

    Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien

                It’s day #423 (or something like that) in self-quarantine. Chances are, you’ve already watched an ungodly amount of Netflix, forgotten to shower more than once, finished a book you started 5 years ago, picked up knitting, and even tackled spring cleaning! Congrats! But, with the President’s recent decision to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April, you’re probably wondering what on earth you’re going to do to pass the time now. While watching The Office for the 15th time is definitely a valid option, let’s consider using this as an opportunity to check your financial pulse and discover ways to cut costs, save a little extra, and even increase your generosity!

    Perusing through your bank statements might not sound like the most exciting way to spend your Friday night. We get it. But, we believe it will pay off – big time! That’s why we’ve also included a few ideas to reward yourself after you’ve checked each of these 5 money management tasks off your to-do list. (You’re welcome).

    • Budget: Make It. Modify It. Live it.

    If you’ve never created a budget before, there’s no better time than the present! But, where do you start? For some do-it-yourself-ers, you may want to pull up your credit card and bank statements and create your own Excel spreadsheet detailing your income, spending habits, outstanding debts, and savings goals. For others (like myself), creating an Excel spreadsheet sounds about as fun as watching paint dry. If you can relate, check out these budgeting apps and templates to help you get started:

    Ultimately, how you create your budget is much less important than simply having one in the first place. The goal is to understand where your money is going every month, allowing YOU to have control over your finances. If you’re not sure what happened to your paycheck, then your money has control over you (and that ain’t cool). No matter how you decide to budget, make sure it is a repeatable process that you can frequently revisit and revise as needed.

    As you grow and evolve as a person, your budget should, too. That’s why – if you already have a budget – now is the time to review it and see how well you’re staying on track. Are there any specific categories where your spending is a little too high? Any small expenses that are adding up over time? Are you saving as much as you’d like? If not, can you automate your savings from your paycheck to your savings or your investment account to make it easier?

    REWARD: Once you’ve created or reviewed your budget, reward yourself by breaking out your favorite board game or card game (or ordering a new one online) and having a game night! You can even plan a virtual game night by video conferencing with friends or family who share a common game.

    • Subscriptions: Automatic Payments Are Great, Except For When They Aren’t

                While reviewing your budget, you may have discovered that you’ve been paying for subscriptions or memberships that you haven’t been using (or getting your money’s worth out of). Spend 30 minutes identifying which subscriptions you don’t use and cancelling your membership. Or, instead of canceling the subscription all together, you may have the option of freezing the subscription or skipping a month if you just won’t use it right now, but might in the future. Here are a few ideas of automatic payments to look out for:

    • Streaming Services (Maybe you started that 7-day free trial on Hulu to watch one specific movie and forgot to cancel it afterwards.)
    • Transportation Services (Think: bus, train, or toll-road pass that you aren’t using right now due to working from home.)
    • Gym Memberships (While many gyms automatically froze their member’s accounts, you might want to double check that you aren’t being charged while the gym is closed.)
    • App Subscriptions (Trying to figure out why the $3.99 charge from Apple or Google Play is showing up on your bank statement? Click here to find out what app subscriptions you are paying for and how to cancel them.)

                While email subscriptions aren’t necessarily costing you money, now might also be a great time to go through your 10,528 emails and unsubscribe from unwanted messages. It’ll unclutter your inbox, clear your mind, and even reduce your spending by eliminating marketing campaigns for items you don’t need (but apparently MUST have). Unroll.me is a great tool that will identify email subscriptions you are currently receiving and unsubscribe you in a couple easy clicks.

                REWARD: Once you’ve canceled those memberships and deleted at least 9,627 emails, reward yourself by watching a movie or documentary about someone who inspires you.

    • Bump Up Your Saving and Investing

                For many people, the Stay At Home orders have resulted in reduced spending as many daily activities such as travel, eating at restaurants, going to the movies, working out at the gym, or even getting a haircut have been temporarily eliminated. Instead of wallowing in self-pity about how much you miss your favorite Starbucks drink or how badly you need to get your hair done, take advantage of the money you aren’t spending by intentionally putting it in a savings or investment account.

                Also, due to the recent stimulus plan announced by the Treasury Department and IRS, many Americans will be receiving a payment of $1,200 (for single persons) or $2,400 (for married couples) if certain qualifications are met. If you are fortunate enough to not depend on the check to meet basic living expenses, consider using the funds to pay down high interest debt, transferring the money to your savings or investment account, or even donating to a charity you support. Leaving the funds in your checking account could lead to making unnecessary online purchases, just because you know the money is there to spend.

                Lastly, if you are financially able, now may be a good time to increase your percentage of automated payments into your savings or retirement accounts. Even bumping up your contributions by 1-2% could make a big difference to your long-term savings goals without feeling much of a difference to your take-home pay. If you’re not sure how to automate or increase payments from your paycheck, reach out to your company’s HR department or directly to your bank.

                REWARD: Boom – you’re slaying your savings goals! Reward yourself by building an epic fort out of bed sheets and blankets. You can even “camp” by making s’mores in the oven and having an indoor bonfire.

    • Insurance – Are You Covered?

                The topic of insurance might make you want to pour yourself a big glass of your favorite beverage. (Go ahead – we’re not judging). The reality is that most of us have some form of insurance (auto, health, life, etc.), but we don’t know much about how it actually works. Since you’ve got a little free time on your hands, do some research on the insurance that you own. Make sure you understand the basics – like how much the insurance costs vs. what benefits it provides. Along those lines, evaluate whether you are overinsured or underinsured in any area and make adjustments accordingly. Here are a few places to start:

    • Health Insurance: If you have health insurance through an employer, ask your HR department for a copy of your health insurance plan documents. Make sure you’re aware of your deductible, or how much you owe out of pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the rest. If you have access to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and a High Yield Savings Account (HSA), it might be a good idea to keep at least your annual deductible amount in your HSA. Your contributions to your HSA will be tax deductible, the interest earned in the account is tax-deferred, and if you end up needing to use the funds to pay for a qualified health care expense, the money will come out tax-free.
    • Auto Insurance: Chances are, you’ve got it (or at least you should). But how do you know if you’ve got enough insurance and what exactly it covers in the case of an accident? NerdWallet provides an excellent resource of key car insurance terms. Use this as a reference while reviewing your benefits summary, which you can usually find on your car insurance website or by calling your local agent. Also, Insurance.com provides a great calculator for determining how much coverage you realistically need.
    • Life Insurance: Or should we say, Love Insurance. Really – this is the only insurance you’ll buy that won’t benefit you in any way. But, it could mean the world to your loved ones if you pass away unexpectedly. Some employers provide basic life insurance coverage for employees (something like 2x annual salary). Check with your HR department to see if this is the case (and to make sure your beneficiaries are up-to-date). However, the reality is that coverage through your employer may not be sufficient to take care of your loved ones if they suddenly lose your income. Remember: if you own a house, a car, student loan debt, credit card bills, etc., your loved ones will be responsible to continue paying these obligations even without you around. Use these tools to figure out if you are properly insured:
    • Disability Insurance: Same concept as life insurance applies here. Some employers provide basic disability insurance coverage for employees, but you’ll want to check with your HR department to see if this is the case. However, often the coverage provided may be extremely minimal and won’t come close to meeting all of your basic needs if you are unable to work. Here are a few resources to determine if you need additional coverage:

                REWARD: By the time you’ve brushed up on your insurance coverage, you may have already finished your first drink of choice. Why don’t you pour yourself another and host a Virtual Cocktail Party with friends and family? You deserve it.

    • Charity – When The Best Way You Can Help Is Staying At Home

                As we are bombarded with media headlines about the pandemic and, at the same time, urged by our political leaders to stay at home, it can leave us feeling helpless. We know the world is hurting, but the best way to help prevent the spread and flatten the curve is to keep to ourselves. But, this doesn’t mean we can’t still make a huge positive impact right from our own living room.

    If you are fortunate enough to have money leftover after taking care of your basic needs, consider donating to a charity that is actively meeting the needs of those most affected by COVID-19. Even $5 could provide several meals to a child who normally receives their nourishment through school breakfast and lunches. Find an organization that you believe in and make a donation, big or small. Not only will it provide resources to those who need them most, but it will also allow you to be actively involved in fighting the COVID-19 battle. CharityNavigator.org lists multiple organizations responding to COVID-19, along with a description of the nonprofit and detailed information about the needs it is meeting. Leave a comment below sharing the charity that you are supporting and why it means something to you!

    REWARD: Giving to charity provides the best reward of all: joy in knowing that you have made a positive impact on the world.

  • Face The Fear

    How to Support Local Businesses During a Pandemic

    Written By: David HesselFiduciary Financial Advisor in Brookfield Wisconsin

    Social distancing is the main strategy being used across America to help prevent the virus from spreading. Events have been canceled, gatherings of large groups of people are prohibited, schools have temporarily closed or moved online and nonessential businesses are required to close, reduce their hours or minimize their offerings.

    Small and local businesses are likely to suffer greatly, but if communities are vigilant, there are several ways you can still support your favorite spots. 

    Tip #1: Purchase Gift Cards

    Considering buying a gift card for your favorite coffee shop, restaurant or bar to visit at a later time, or get them as gifts for a friend or family member. Some cafes and eateries may even accept payment online, eliminating the need to visit in person.

    Tip #2: Buy Local Produce 

    If your community has a local farmer’s market, visit and stock up on vegetables, fruits or local proteins. If you are a weekly customer, consider purchasing a bit more than usual, as the market may have to close in weeks to come. Freezing, canning or finding creative ways to utilize these local veggies and fruits is another way to spend the extra time allotted from social distancing.

    Tip #3: Shop for Products Online

    If a restaurant or coffee shop that you love sells products online, consider checking out their offerings and ordering a few. Whether it’s a branded t-shirt, hat or coffee maker, purchasing products from local businesses can help sustain them during the pandemic. You can also consider purchasing artwork or albums online from smaller artists or musicians who will miss out on extra sales from canceled events, art shows and concerts.

    Tip #4: Purchase Books from a Local Bookstore

    While forms of entertainment are canceled or prohibited, reading is an excellent way to stay busy and productive. Picking up some books from the bookstore for yourself and your family can help small businesses stay afloat. Since more and more stores are closing, it’s a good idea to go as soon as you can or call to see if they’re going online.

    Tip #5: Order Food for Delivery or Take-Out 

    While some restaurants are closing completely, others are still able to offer delivery and take-out options. Consider ordering food from a local restaurant for pick-up, and tip a bit more to help out the workers who will be missing out on a large portion of their pay. You can also opt for delivery, if possible. Some delivery platforms, like Grubhub, are doing things such as eliminating commission fees for independent restaurants.

    Tip #6: Donate Your Refund

    If you were scheduled to attend an event, concert or show that was canceled, donating your refund back is an immense help to organizations, artists and performers who will no longer be able to exercise a central portion of their livelihood. You can also choose to donate the refunded amount to other individuals, organizations or restaurants. 

    Tip #7: Help Local Businesses to Market Themselves

    Spread the word about your favorite coffee shops, restaurants and stores. You can do this by leaving online reviews, interacting with their social media posts and sharing their accounts with your own following. These small marketing efforts can go a long way when it comes to attracting new patrons.

    Preventing the spread of this pandemic requires effort from each individual, state and country. Just as health risks are on the rise, however, the financial implications are also increasingly wearisome. By supporting local businesses in creative ways, you can help sustain your favorite shops, restaurants and bars through the upcoming hardships.  

    1. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200315-sitrep-55-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=33daa5cb_8

    Looking for more guidance on how to be financially stress-free? Schedule a 30-Minute Phone Call with David HesselFiduciary Financial Advisor in Brookfield Wisconsinhere or send him an email at dhessel@gvcaponline.com.

    You can find the original article here.

    GVCM is an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm, headquartered at N14W23833 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 350, Waukesha, WI 53188. PH: 262.650.1030. David Hessel is an Investment Adviser Representative (“Adviser”) with GVCM. Additional information can be found at: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/Global View Capital Insurance, LTD. (GVCI) insurance services offered through ASH Brokerage and PKS Financial. David Hessel is an Insurance Agent of GVCI. Global View Capital Advisors, LTD is an affiliate of Global View Capital Management, LTD (GVCM). This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

  • Videos

    Face The Fear Coffee Chat #1

    Welcome to our first Face The Fear Coffee Chat! Nicole and I are now both working from home, so we decided to try a new “podcast” format. Join us as we chat about how life has changed over the last couple weeks and how we can stay mentally, physically, and financially healthy during our #selfquarantine. #StayHealthy #StayHappy #StayAtHome

    P.S. We apologize for the sound issues – we’ll get those fixed for the next Coffee Chat! Stay tuned for our next Coffee Chat! We’ll host a Zoom meeting for anyone to join. 🙂

    Small Businesses we LOVE:

    -Moxie Mavens Accessories – moxiemavensco.etsy.com

    -Kaula Marie Photography (Central Illinois) – www.kaulamarie.biz Kaula is a photographer who will be shooting Kaitlyn’s wedding in August! She has e-gift cards at 40% off available for purchase on her Facebook page! (www.facebook.com/pg/kaulamariephoto/posts/?ref=page_internal) Buy an e-gift card now and use it for family photos, engagement photos, wedding photos at any time (they never expire)!

    -Pollen and Pastry (Central Illinois) – https://www.pollenandpastry.com

    – Sassie Cakes (Fort Wayne, IN) – http://www.sassiecakes.com

    – HT2 Cocktails (Fort Wayne, IN) – www.ht2fw.com

    – Mi Pueblo (Fort Wayne, IN) – https://mipueblofortwayne.com

    – Col’s Place (Madison Heights, MI) – https://www.colsplace.com

    – The Office Coffee Shop (Royal Oak, MI) – https://www.theofficecoffeeshop.com

    Please share your favorite small businesses in the comments below so we can support them, too!

    Also, please comment below with your ideas of how to stay busy, have fun, and be happy while we #StayAtHome!

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Podcast,  Taxes

    Face The Fear Podcast – Taxes with Tony Brita, CPA!

    Due to the impact of COVID-19, the IRS has instated some tax relief measures, such as extending the tax payment (not filing) deadline until July 15, 2020 for certain individuals. Find the most recent information here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

    Tax season is here! Feeling overwhelmed?? We’ve got your back. In this episode of Face The Fear, we are joined by Tony Brita, CPA, to discuss ideas for tackling your taxes. Here are a few questions we cover:

    • What is the biggest tax mistake you see people (or millennials specifically) make? How can they avoid these mistakes in the future?
    • What are a few misconceptions people have about taxes and the IRS?
    • How should a married couple decide if they should file single or jointly? What are the pros and cons of each option?
    • What are some common ways for Millennials to reduce taxes that are often overlooked?
    • Is there an online program that you would recommend for those who may have relatively low incomes and an uncomplicated tax situation?

    ***We are not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsing TurboTax.

    Questions? Email us at facethefearfw@gmail.com!

    Tony Brita’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tony-brita-cpa-8352622b/

    Face The Fear: 

  • Taxes

    How to Get the Most Money Back on Your Tax Return

    Written By: David HesselFiduciary Financial Advisor in Brookfield Wisconsin

    Between gathering the necessary paperwork and working through complicated scenarios, tax season can be a stressful time. You’ve worked hard throughout the year, and you want to be sure you’re taking the right measures to get the maximum amount back on your return. Achieving this, however, takes diligence and research.

    5 Considerations to Make During Tax Season

    By taking a look at your whole financial picture, you’ll have a better idea of the actions you can take to minimize your tax obligation and maximize your return. While this can take some time, it’s worth thinking through all of your expenses in order to increase your potential to receive a sizeable tax return. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of five key considerations to make when aiming to maximize your return.

    Consideration #1: Claim Your Retirement Tax Deduction

    You can make a contribution to your IRA (up to $6,000 if under 50 and $7,000 if 50 and older) up until the filing deadline to receive a tax deduction.1 If you are covered by a plan at work, you’ll be eligible for either a partial or full deduction depending on whether you’re filing separately, jointly or if you’re single or the head of the household. If not covered by work, you can claim a full deduction.2

    Consideration #2: Claim All Other Possible Deductions

    Many expenses can qualify as a deduction, meaning they can be claimed to help minimize the amount of taxable income. Common qualified expenses include charitable contributions and state and local income, sales and property taxes. However, there are a number of other deductions that all taxpayers should remember. This includes anything related to work education, including tuition, books, supplies, transportation and travel costs.3 If you needed to complete work to maintain a professional certification, for example, anything related to doing so may qualify. Other deductions relating to work include unordinary travel expenses or anything you spent on job-hunting to land the job you are currently in.

    Consideration #3: Make Sure to Claim All Dependents

    A dependent is not limited to children, as it could be a relative who lives in your home as a member of your household. For example, a relative who is not physically or mentally able to care for themselves. If the individual has an income of less than $4,200 and is not a dependent on another individual’s return, they may qualify as your dependent.4 Additionally, the person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. alien or U.S. national.

    As of the Tax Cuts and Job Act changes in 2017, personal exemption deductions were suspended from 2018 until 2025. However, until then, you can still receive tax credits for children and dependents.5 You may receive up to $500 in tax credits for a qualifying dependent who is not a child of yours. However, this credit may be eliminated or reduced if your adjusted gross income exceeds $200,000 when filing alone or $400,000 when filing jointly.5

    Consideration #4: Consider Itemizing Deduction if You’re Able

    If the sum of your allowable deductions is higher than the standard amount, it’s recommended to itemize your deductions.6 In some cases, you’ll be able to get a bigger refund than taking the standard deduction. If you’re at the cusp of the standard amount, double-checking your receipts and expenses over the year may be an important step in determining whether or not to itemize your deductions. You can itemize deductions on expenses such as medical and dental care, mortgage interest, charitable giving and theft losses.6 However, in certain cases, you’ll be required to opt for one or the other. If you file a joint return with your spouse and you wish to itemize, for example, you and your spouse both must then itemize your deductions.

    Consideration #5: Claim Refundable Tax Credits

    Unlike a deduction that minimizes what you owe or a nonrefundable tax credit that only refunds up to what you owe, a refundable tax credit is money returned to you – such that even if you owe $0, you’ll be sent the remaining balance from the IRS. Refundable tax credits come in many forms. For example, credits may be given to those with expenses in a foreign country in order to avoid double taxation.7 You can also receive a credit when contributing to retirement savings, paying adoption fees or paying higher education expenses.

    If you’re dealing with a complex tax scenario, you can always lean on the assistance of a CPA. Reach out if you’re looking for trusted CPA recommendations. Filing for your taxes can feel like a daunting task, but taking the extra time and effort to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your tax return can pay off.

    Looking for more guidance on how to be financially stress-free? Schedule a 30-Minute Phone Call with David HesselFiduciary Financial Advisor in Brookfield Wisconsinhere or send him an email at dhessel@gvcaponline.com.

    You can find the original article here.

    1. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-ira-contribution-limits
    2. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/2020-ira-contribution-and-deduction-limits-effect-of-modified-agi-on-deductible-contributions-if-you-are-covered-by-a-retirement-plan-at-work
    3. https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc513
    4. https://www.irs.gov/publications/p503#en_US_2019_publink1000203270
    5. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5307.pdf
    6. https://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content/globalmedia/4491_itemized_deductions.pdf
    7. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-tax-credit

    GVCM is an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm, headquartered at N14W23833 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 350, Waukesha, WI 53188. PH: 262.650.1030. David Hessel is an Investment Adviser Representative (“Adviser”) with GVCM. Additional information can be found at: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/Global View Capital Insurance, LTD. (GVCI) insurance services offered through ASH Brokerage and PKS Financial. David Hessel is an Insurance Agent of GVCI. Global View Capital Advisors, LTD is an affiliate of Global View Capital Management, LTD (GVCM). This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.