April 18 is right around the corner, which means that for last minute tax return filers, this is crunch time! Whether you prepare you own tax return, use a service or have an accountant, you most likely need to invest some time pulling together your paperwork – W2s, 1098s, 1099s. At the same time, you’re looking back at 2021 and reflecting on how much money you earned, and where it has gone.
You may be a saver, squirreling your money away for a rainy day, or an investor, planning for the future, or an altruist, supporting charities that make the world a better place. Perhaps you are a parent, saving for your child’s education, or a professional planning for your own retirement. Most likely, your financial strategy is a combination of several of these.
Whether your finances put you in the top one percent or somewhere closer to the middle, tax time is a good opportunity to consider how truly fortunate you are. Even if you found 2021 to be a difficult year financially, you can still count your blessings; if you are healthy, have a place to call home, family to cherish, friends to enjoy, and the freedom to make your own choices, you are better off than many other people around the world.
The news these days is grim. The Covid-19 pandemic is surging in Europe and Asia. There is a brutal war raging in Ukraine. Thanks to modern technology, we are watching in real time as bombs fall on residential neighborhoods and innocents are slaughtered.
The antidote to the bad news is twofold: gratitude and kindness. Think about the things in life for which you are grateful, and if you are so moved, take a moment to pay it forward. Share your good fortune with others through a kind word or a compassionate deed extended to a stranger, friend or loved one. If you have the means and desire, think of the Ukrainian people and find a way to support them. We never know the impact that one act of kindness, no matter how small, can make in the life of someone who is suffering. Best of all, kindness is one asset that cannot be taxed, but spent wisely, will pay dividends for years to come.