Many people assume that I work exclusively with elderly clients, and I get it: I am a former board member at Silver Source of Stamford, I have many clients who are seniors, and I love working with them.
The truth is that only 30% of our client base can be considered seniors or elderly. The rest of our clients vary in age, financial situation and financial literacy.
- 30% are seniors
- 30% are between 40 and 50
- 20% are under 40
- 20% are sole proprietors
Most people in each of these demographics are in the same situation: they’re sitting on piles of data that can help make their dreams come true, or even avert disaster, but they don’t know it. The data can be anything from bank statements, invoices from vendors, or utility bills. Categorizing this hidden gold is the first step to financial literacy – and carries with it the added bonus of a less stressful interaction with your accountant in February (March? April?!).
When it comes to categorizing, some of my clients have said to me: “Well, American Express already categorizes my purchases for me.” This is technically true – if you want your visit to Au Bon Pain to be categorized as a medical expense or your taxi ride to be categorized as tax preparation.
Besides categorizing, categorizing and categorizing some more, we also help our clients avoid another trap: the I-Pay-My-Bills-Online-So-I-Don’t-Have-To-Worry-About-Them fallacy. The fact is that certain things are different every month and require review, not to mention sneaky “convenience” fees and bank errors. That is why we view every bill and verify that the items or services being billed are all legitimate. If it is necessary to negotiate with a vendor, we’re happy to take care of that. It’s time-consuming work, but we do it all the time. And saving you time is included in all of our services.
The last, big mistake we help people avoid is commingling expenses between multiple properties, especially if any of them are rentals. It is extremely important to keep the expenses of each property separate for the IRS. We track everything by property, including:
- Property tax payments
- Mortgage payments
- Insurance premiums
- Landscaping costs
- Electricity and heating expenses
Our services can be adapted to fit any blueprint. To learn more about taking your bills and making them work for you, contact us to set up an appointment!