Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Helping my neighbor do her taxes
Old 02-13-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
Helping my neighbor do her taxes

For me, a benefit of living in a 55+ community is having oldsters around. One of my new friends is an 88-year old woman named Mary. Initially, she was our next door neighbor but she moved one building over to a first-floor apartment because climbing the steps to the second floor was getting to be too much for her. Last week I took her to her cataract surgery and her follow-up appointment. Helping her is like getting to spend time with my deceased grandmother. After I left to go to college, I never lived close to my grandmother again and would see her only on vacation. Now it's like she is living one building over!

While having lunch together after one of her appointments, she mentioned she needed to get her taxes done. I told her I'd be happy to help if she didn't have anything too complicated. She didn't (a few 1099-R's and 1099-INT's) so I fired up my TaxAct software. She normally has a local financial planning group do it and they charge her about $175. Not too bad as far as tax prep fees go but why should she pay that if she doesn't need to? She said they annoyed her because they were always trying to get her to go to meetings and buy things but she's wasn't having any of it. She said one of her friends fell for their pitch and has regretted it.

While doing her taxes, I put together a spreadsheet showing her assets because I had the feeling she didn't really know how much money she had, about $200k in savings (CD's, T-bills, and cash). She also receives about $1600 per month in SS and pension payments. She had a big smile on her face when she saw the numbers because although she knew she had savings she had never added it all up and realized it was such a sizeable sum. Now I understood why the financial planning firm was so interested in her!

As it turned out, she owed $9 to the federal government. She mailed the check that day and was happy to have it all done! A wonderful day for both of us.
__________________

__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-13-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 409
OP:

You're a "Good Person", Thank you.
__________________

__________________
wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,884
Quote:
She said they annoyed her because they were always trying to get her to go to meetings and buy things but she's wasn't having any of it. She said one of her friends fell for their pitch and has regretted it.
She is lucky to have you as a friend Buckeye.

The above story disgusts me to no end. I know that elder physical abuse is rampant, but little is known about "financial abuse" as this appears to be.
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,555
You are a good person.

I had a neighbor who fullfilled the role of grandmother to me for many years. Unfortunately, she died quite a few years ago. I miss her still to this day.
__________________
Dreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Nice, Buckeye! I am sure she is so happy knowing she has a nice nest egg -- and yes, the outfit that did her taxes probably had its eye on that $200K.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 03:30 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
If I manage to live to be that old, I hope I have a 'Buckeye' close by. Kudos to you....
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
What a nice story. I'm sure you made her day helping with the taxes and providing a clear spreadsheet so she knows what she has. Good karma for you Buckeye.
__________________
powerplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 03:55 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Very nice. I try hard to help out the financially clueless and those simply unable to do this stuff, although not everyone will let me given the 'Merkin taboos around money.

I think that if I ever want to pursue a side business in ER, something like this would probably suit the bill: American Association of Daily Money Managers Someone financially literate who would operate on an ethical basis and charge reasonable fees would be a huge boon to older folks (and many others) who can't deal with financial stuff on their own.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 04:09 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I think that if I ever want to pursue a side business in ER, something like this would probably suit the bill: American Association of Daily Money Managers Someone financially literate who would operate on an ethical basis and charge reasonable fees would be a huge boon to older folks (and many others) who can't deal with financial stuff on their own.
Another thing TheFed can consider... after all the experience he has gained in the last couple weeks.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Another thing TheFed can consider... after all the experience he has gained in the last couple weeks.
I wonder if his past legal difficulties would make this problematic.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 05:03 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,899
I do the taxes for DW's folks. Because their income is relatively low, software and filing has been free in the past - haven't checked for 2009, yet.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 06:20 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Mary is very lucky to have you as a friend. I believe it's an honorable and good thing to take care of our elders. Our country doesn't treasure those in their golden years as much as some others.

BTW, in my area, AARP offers free tax services through many of the local libraries. I went with an older friend once and was surprised how helpful and good this free service was. It was staffed by retired folks with lots of tax and accounting knowledge. I'm not a big fan of AARP in general, but this service is really good.

You got lots of good karma for your help with Mary's taxes. This is a good thing and please know how much I respect you for your kindness. I truly believe those who show kindness to those who are helpless -- be it the elderly, children, or homeless people or animals -- are the best in the world.
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 07:04 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
By helping others, we help ourselves.

My Mom raised me to look around and do something good for others, big or small. She said that it always comes back to you, somewhere down the road.

Nice going, Buckeye.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 07:59 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
By helping others, we help ourselves.
I have no children of my own (not that they can be counted on) and my husband is 10 years older than I so I need to build up a little karma to tide me over in my golden years. I get great joy out of helping Mary but I do admit to keeping an eye out for my future.

Monday morning I take Mary to her pre-surgery appointment for the cataract surgery on her second eye. DH will have to take her to the surgery because it is on 3/24 and I will be w*rking by then. We will go TV shopping after her appointment Monday because she has decided to replace her 19" tube TV. I mentioned today she might want to upgrade and she agreed stating, "I deserve it!"

She also felt the new TV would be appreciated by her adult son (65?) when he comes to visit. He is a longtime smoker who just had a spot found on his lung during x-rays for a bout of pneumonia. So far, no bad news from the spot on the lung incident. I'm sure he had a biopsy but she didn't know the results. Her son came down in November to help her move to the neighboring building (with Two Men and a Truck) but he was so winded from one trip to the neighboring building, he basically had to sit it out. I am concerned he will never be able to travel to FL again (he drives so he can smoke on the way) and may die before she does.

We both hate cigarettes and what they do to the ones we love (my mom still smokes at 76). Mary has never smoked but her late husband (he died in her 30's) was a very heavy smoker.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 08:29 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Helping Mary is such a nice thing to do ! You are a very good person !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2010, 04:28 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,709
Buckeye,
AARP Tax Aide program might be for you. You get to attend a yearly course, and then work 10 hours a week at a local library.
$175 fee is about $150 profit for the company. And you are correct that they are preying on the elderly. Trying to sell other investments is a no-no.
Best wishes to you and husband.
__________________

__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
do you hate your neighbor? solutions? steve88 Other topics 39 05-30-2009 08:19 PM
My neighbor is being foreclosed laurence FIRE and Money 47 07-24-2008 09:46 AM
Want to know how much your neighbor makes? You can in Italy... FIREd Other topics 1 05-01-2008 02:34 PM
Neighbor about to turn on the lights dory36 Other topics 8 12-03-2006 09:25 PM
Issue with neighbor laurence Other topics 49 12-27-2005 11:01 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:48 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.