Stalking the Accountant 20 Jan 2018

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As tax season approaches I start to fall into a familiar pattern I’ve developed over the years to help focus my attention.

Some people like listening to music while they read; I don’t. I prefer absolute quite, huddled in a dimly lit corner while I devour pages of knowledge or embark on an adventure through space and time.

Preparing taxes is different. Plugging numbers as an elegant return is formed requires background noise. I find certain long pieces (frequently an entire album) and repeat the material again and again all day long. It drives the office crazy because sometimes my choices are really out there.

Life requires balance so I try to distract my mind with something intellectually stimulating for at least a few hours per week as well.

With these thoughts in mind, here are some of the things I was doing over the last week:

 




What I’ve Been Reading

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions by Peter Brannen

Climate change and the extinction of species is a hot topic sure to fire up the political agenda. Strip away the politics and your IQ jumps better than 40 points. The Ends of the World is a longer-term look at life and extinction events on Earth. If you think man is causing the sixth great extinction you might want to think again. You should see what trees did to early life on the planet. If man wants to get serious about creating a mass extinction we will need to up our game.

Before the politically minded become smug, know climate change is real and man is a large part of the current changes. There will be consequences! As George Carlin said, “The planet will be fine. The planet isn’t going anywhere. We are!”

The Ends of the World is must-read material for people interested in how climate change in the past affected Earth along with the evidence from prior mass extinctions. Stripped of political dialog, you might find this a powerful education helpful in your daily life as you choose how to live.

 




What I’m Watching

This week I want to share two YouTube videos I found mentally stimulating.

The Unbelievable Powers of Electricity shocked me. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) My understanding of electricity isn’t vast, but still notable. This documentary added to my knowledge base.

 

How can a documentary about the oldest living thing on the planet be interesting? Well, I’m glad I took a chance. Oldest Tree on Earth: The Curse of the Methuselah Tree proved far more interesting than I ever imagined.  Highly recommended.

 




What I’m Listening To

I tend toward long play music to fill in the background when I’m working numbers. The sounds can get really strange as tax season rambles on. So far I’m on this side of the line of normal with Pink Floyd echoing from my office.

The Wall is the best concept album (double album, actually) ever produced, IMHO. It also qualifies for long play at nearly an hour and a half before the sound ends.

 

Updates and Reminders

Tax season is here and I want to grow the DIY tax preparation part of this blog. Please consider using the same tax software my office uses online when doing your own return. I published on preparing your own tax return recently. It might be worth another read before filing.

 

As a reminder, the forum is a great place to interact with other like-minded people. The more people who use the forum the more vibrant the platform becomes.

 

I’ve added two affiliate programs recently. SoFi is a great program to reduce your student loan interest so you can build your net worth faster. They also offer personal loans and mortgages.

This said, I encourage you to use SoFi (or any lending) in a responsible way. Debt is caustic to wealth! SoFi could reduce your interest rate allowing you faster retirement of the debt. If I find out you added to your debt burden I will find you and give you a very stern look.

 

Personal Capital is a growing platform for managing your net worth. It’s hard to manage what you don’t know and Personal Capital is a good way to visualize and manage your financial empire

 

Finally, don’t forget we have a number of cash giveaways coming up. The first is only a week and a half away from the date of this post’s publication. The drawing dates are reported on the Where Am I page. Click the notice for the rules.

Have a great weekend, kind readers. See y’all Monday.



Keith Taxguy

2 Comments

  1. MissSaraBee on January 20, 2018 at 9:35 am

    If I listen to music while working on something complicated, it has to be instrumental or in a language I do not know. Otherwise I can handle albums I have heard over and over. The words fall into the background because I have heard them so many times. Guitar and piano albums work best for me.

    Thanks for the documentary recommendations. I’m intrigued by the Methusala Tree one.

  2. Yaacov on January 20, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Maybe you know. Why is there a marriage penalty when it comes to Free File? In the instructions it says free file is for filer with under 60K, but no doubling of the amount if you file MFJ.

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