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ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: Business tax pitfalls

CarleeMcCullough-160Too many times pride stands in the way of folks asking for help. But if you are a small business, asking for help is the only way to stay above the fray. One area that business owners tend to run from is tax preparation.

Whether the business is fledgling or experienced, tax preparation is always dreaded. It is a necessary evil that cannot be avoided under any circumstance.

Here's a snapshot of the tax issues that can arise and detrimentally affect a business:

Did you know that you can lose money that is invested in bonds?

CharlesSimsJr-160This is a question you could soon begin asking as a recent rise in interest rates contributed to price declines in many bond funds. News the Federal Reserve feels comfortable enough with the strength and state of our economy to consider a change in current monetary policy is, without doubt, a positive development. Unfortunately, for some bond investors, good news may be bad news!

Bond prices and yields have an inverse relationship, meaning they move in opposite directions. This means as yields (interest rates) rise, bond prices (values) can fall. Many investors – driven by fear, the need for income, increasing underweight allocations, or other factors – have invested heavily in bonds. Over the past five years, this demand has helped drive bond prices higher, lowering yields and subjecting many investors to the often ignored or forgotten risks associated with these investments, one of which is "interest rate risk".

"Interest rate risk" is a term used to describe how an investment's value will change due to an increase or decrease in interest rates. As a simple example: a bond yielding 4 percent is more valuable to investors if interest rates fall to 2 percent and is less valuable to investors if interest rates rise to 6 percent. This is because their fixed interest income would either be greater than or less than what a new investor would receive purchasing a bond at current rates. Interest rate risk affects all bondholders, but typically bonds with longer maturities and/or lower yields are most impacted.

The business of childcare

wealthy 600Quality childcare is not just about babysitting and entertaining the child. As competition amongst centers increases, so does the need to offer a creative and learning environment where a child's appetite for learning is stimulated.

Tiffany Glover, owner of The Academy of Creative Learning, makes it her mission to challenge and develop young minds at her three-star academy. Equipped with an advanced degree and credentials, Glover prides herself on heading up a staff of like-minded professionals that use every opportunity to educate and motivate the children in their care.

Carlee McCullough: Tell me about yourself?
Tiffany Glover: I am the owner of The Academy of Creative Learning. I hold an MBA and I have over 18 years of professional experience as a human resources professional, entrepreneur, leader, early childhood educator and consultant. Additionally, I have a credential as a Tennessee Early Childhood Administrator (master level).

On Our Way To Wealthy: day-cares

CarleeMcCullough-160Entrepreneurs with a passion for childcare and child development may become attracted to the idea of day-care business and what they consider a lucrative calling. The demand for services is increasing steadily and as the industry has evolved, so have the reimbursement formulas.

Parents in search of quality childcare typically will find their options fall into three categories: family care provided by a relative, in-home care provided by a nanny or babysitter, or day-care center.

Competition among day-care businesses is fierce. As more people move into the childcare business that equates to more options for parents and potentially diluted attendance at many centers. On the face of it, a move into childcare would appear a profitable business venture. However, state regulations have increased, funding formulas have caused decreased payments, and many centers are barely operating at break even.

 

Walmart VP pitches principles to biz-seeking entrepreneurs

MBDABusinessoftheYear 600Service, price and commitment to the community are bankable principles the way Kevin S. Jones sees them and he shared that viewpoint while in Memphis last week.

Vice President of Inbound Transportation for Walmart Corporation, Jones was the keynote speaker last Friday (Nov. 16) at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis as the Mid-South Minority Business Council (MMBC) Continuum and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center wrapped up MEDWeek 2013.

Walmart, said Jones, was founded on the principles of service, price and commitment and still operates on them today. Small business owners who become part of the corporation's system of suppliers mirror Walmart's embrace of those principles, he said.

Hospice care: the business of providing a dignified death

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Be strong. Fight until the end. Never give up. Continue to pray.

If anyone close to you has ever experienced a life-threatening illness or accident, such phrases may have been used as encouragement.

Still, death is inevitable, with the business of providing a dignified death known as hospice care. Although often thought of as a physical place, hospice is a specific type of healthcare with the primary focus of providing the patient with comfort and palliative care. Palliative care refers to the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. Once the doctor and patient are in agreement that the illness can not be reversed, hospice care becomes a consideration.

Hospice care may be provided in the home or in a hospital, assisted living, veterans, prison or a long-term facility. Hospice is not designed to hasten or prevent death. It is an option that provides the patient with management of pain and symptoms, an increased quality of life, and also emotional and spiritual support. Ultimately, terminally ill patients in hospice are given the opportunity to choose the end-of-life care received.

From a business perspective, hospice care is a multimillion-dollar. Businesses are compensated based on enrollment. With little to no expenses earmarked for a cure, the profit margins tend to be great. A very profitable hospice business can be established with the appropriate resources, a solid business plan and knowledge of the industry or affiliation with professionals that possess the requisite knowledge.

 

Preparing for medical expenses with an HSA

CharlesSimsJr-160According to a 2013 survey, almost 90 percent of middle-income Americans do not feel prepared to handle the financial cost of a critical illness. Most respondents said they would have to use their savings, but 75 percent had less than $20,000 in savings and 25 percent had no savings at all.

A critical illness can be especially challenging, but even healthy people with medical insurance can face substantial out-of-pocket expenses. The total health-care cost for a typical family of four covered by an employer-sponsored PPO insurance plan is $22,030 in 2013. More than 40 percent of this total – $9,144 – is paid by employees through payroll deductions and out-of-pocket expenditures.

One strategy that may help reduce health-care costs while saving for future expenses is to combine a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA).

What is an IRA rollover?

CharlesSimsJr-160If you leave a job or retire, you might want to transfer the money you've invested in one or more employer-sponsored retirement plans to an individual retirement account (IRA). An IRA rollover is an effective way to keep your money accumulating tax deferred.

Using an IRA rollover, you transfer your retirement savings to an account at a private institution of your choice, and you choose how you will invest the funds. To preserve the tax-deferred status of retirement savings, the funds must be deposited in the IRA within 60 days of withdrawal from an employer's plan. To avoid potential penalties and a 20 percent federal income tax withholding from your former employer, you should arrange for a direct, institution-to-institution transfer.