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NT Moving forward


mcb39

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I might be looking forward to only one more year.  It depends on the progression of my eye issues.  I have already thrown my hat in the ring for 2024, but I have been struggling for the past 6 months or so.  The use of frequent eye drops and ointment at night has helped tremendously (depending on the day).  This only helps with side effects as there is no cure for Macular Degeneration.  I intend to give it my best shot, but honestly, I am getting tired of the spammers and scammers; the computer updates; the computer breakdowns; the constantly having to watch your back for malware, viruses, etc., and the games that Microsoft is playing with our OS.  Honestly, it's been a great ride, but it really isn't fun anymore.  Hopefully, some R & R will change my attitude.  I am tired of waiting for clients to bring in their information, pick up their returns, return calls and take care of issues addressed by the IRS and the States.  If it weren't for all of you, I would already be gone.  I get my best information here and my best cheering up; as well as the realization that others have it much worse than I do.  Thank you again for all of your help and kindness.❤️

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Marilyn, best wishes for you.  Much of your weariness reflects a growing disenchantment with the electronic age and all the problems which have multiplied dramatically in recent years.  If you have to quit, you are living in a great state.  I mail order cheese from WI.

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Best wishes for sure. I find things like a balance scale. As I get older, one side is preloaded with my life, desires, experiences, etc., so it takes more effort for others to balance me. I get less tolerant (hopefully only) of lack of what used to be common sense. My willingness to put up with the baggage of others grows smaller by the second, and my lack of care for what others think grows proportionately.

On the other hand, I just found out our granddaughter's mother has changed her major to accounting (a back to school for a new career deal). I think she realized there are endless opportunities, and all work well with setting one's own hours and work location, which works well for having a school age child. I think I taught her there is some amount of money which makes anyone welcome as a client, but there are also clients which are best let go. Most importantly, to be able to set the incoming filter makes work life much easier, compared to getting in a situation where one has to take all comers.

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4 hours ago, mcbreck said:

If it's not enjoyable, why not just retire?

As a person who has been running a business, mostly alone, since 1992; that is not a question with an easy answer.  Many of my clients have been with me for all of those 32 years.  Because I am tenacious, thoughtful, loyal and hopefully kind; I hesitate to throw them "to the dogs".  I also know that working in some capacity is the best and healthiest thing for me.  I am more upset with the outside world and the workings of the electronic age than I am with my internal self.  Being born left-handed in an age that considered that to be a handicap; I have fought a battle for a great part of my life.  Besides, working helps to pay for the things that make life easier and more enjoyable for my husband and myself.  "Retire"  has never been in either of our vocabularies.

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1 minute ago, mcb39 said:

As a person who has been running a business, mostly alone, since 1992; that is not a question with an easy answer.  Many of my clients have been with me for all of those 32 years.  Because I am tenacious, thoughtful, loyal and hopefully kind; I hesitate to throw them "to the dogs".  I also know that working in some capacity is the best and healthiest thing for me.  I am more upset with the outside world and the workings of the electronic age than I am with my internal self.  Being born left-handed in an age that considered that to be a handicap; I have fought a battle for a great part of my life.  Besides, working helps to pay for the things that make life easier and more enjoyable for my husband and myself.  "Retire"  has never been in either of our vocabularies.

Agreed. For me, the toughest part is setting things up for my demise or loss of ability/desire. Having just seen (last year) my only remaining similar entity abruptly close, with no path for their customers, it was a good reminder to plan forward. I don't have the capability to do the same, hang on, then just close.

The other entity announced their closure, "burning" the remaining customers, then others stepped in to try to help. At that point, there was, in my opinion, a dying entity with a negative value, so I did not even offer to buy a customer list or the code. Eventually, someone bought the code only (from what I hear) so they could more easily sell the former customers on some sort of data conversion. it was, to me, ugly and worst case. Many of those customers reached out to me, and switched, but few were happy.

It is oh so hard not to keep being the "one", letting go of even relatively routine tasks is a challenge for me. I think it is what makes us successful at what we do, but is also limiting in many ways.

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9 minutes ago, Medlin Software, Dennis said:

 

 Most importantly, to be able to set the incoming filter makes work life much easier, compared to getting in a situation where one has to take all comers.

Yes; and I can and intend to set those filters this coming tax year.  I totally agree with everything that you said.

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I also see it as a strange time, where it is tough to get someone to come in to be groomed to take over/buy, or even just to get someone to buy. I have seen a profitable vet clinic close, because no one would come in with no money down and only a pittance of payment for the clients/equipment. I have seen my last similar competitor of mine go away, where even their programmer did not want to keep it going. Our family orthodontist has been wanting a partner/replacement for some time (high end very successful) and his prior attempt failed for some reason - yet those low-cost chains are still popping up and churning through the freshly minted DDS'.

Thinking about it, maybe it is us who are failing at setting up for replacement, if so, by keeping too tight of control and not documenting things well enough to be replaceable - at least in the eyes of those who could replace us. Or maybe it is just the fear of being responsible for themselves that has less willing to step up.

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This is certainly on the minds of many of us 'of a certain age.'  I renewed my license though 2025 and have alerted my clients this year.  I still enjoy the 10-12 weeks of work and it pays for my exotic dive trips.  But I will be 80 in 2026 so not sure how many dive trips are still in my future.

My eyes also have been worsening although likely helped with a new prescription, brighter lights, and bigger fonts.  But, like many others here, so many of my clients (now all and only 1040 plus some Sch. E and small C's) have been with me for 20+ years.  I did spin off my business clients about 10 years ago when my other CPA retired as I did not want to deal with payroll and monthly reports year round.  It was a great decision.

As my practice of only about 50 is so small, I don't think there is much value in trying to 'sell' it. I would also worry that they might not be treated as kindly and may blame me.  I prefer they find their own.  When we had a local chapter of the state society, I was quite active and knew personally many of the small practitioners.  Not now since the state closed down the local chapter.

I am inclined to think that when I dread preparing one more return, I will know.  Unfortunately my long time clients keep providing referrals (I've never advertised) and I just met with another new person last week.  It's hard to say no as others may decide to not return for whatever reason.  The decision will be easier once my very elderly clients (90's now and poor health) pass away. 

Meanwhile, let's continue to enjoy and appreciated this great group around our virtual water cooler.  I really do miss comments from some who have stepped back completely and am always happy to see something from some who just drop in from time to time to check on the rest of us!  Enjoy summer!

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1 hour ago, Medlin Software, Dennis said:

I also see it as a strange time, where it is tough to get someone to come in to be groomed to take over/buy, or even just to get someone to buy. I have seen a profitable vet clinic close, because no one would come in with no money down and only a pittance of payment for the clients/equipment. I have seen my last similar competitor of mine go away, where even their programmer did not want to keep it going. Our family orthodontist has been wanting a partner/replacement for some time (high end very successful) and his prior attempt failed for some reason - yet those low-cost chains are still popping up and churning through the freshly minted DDS'.

 

I have been training a very knowledgeable girl, who could be a great success on her own, for four years.  However, things have gotten stagnant.  She has made no preparations to either take over or move on.  I am certainly not going to hand my office and equipment to her on a platter.  I guess that I have made things too easy for her.  Even my clients would go with her willingly, but I only see complacence.  I could quote almost everything that Margaret said except for the fact that we had 279 clients this year; a mixture of everything from simple 1040's to Partnerships.  We don't do payroll or other Business entities other than many Schedule C returns.

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I am Medicare - 2.5y. I keep working because I like it. Some days I like it more than others, so my workflow follows that cycle too. I will likely keep "working" until I cannot, and definitely until at least age 70. Must get to FRA or perish before I claim SS, so my < 40Q spouse, and our disabled daughter, can get the most from SS (and for our daughter, hopefully she will get 40+ years off my benefit). Yes, I am a believer the PTB will never let SS fail, and for our daughter, me waiting to at least FRA will more than double her benefit.

I am sure I have lost customers because of how I manage my workflow (while normally responding within a few minutes, some days, it may take until the end of the day for me to muster the fortitude to face the messages), turning off the phone and limiting contact to written form has weeded out those who want me to train them step by step, and those who are abusive. Some are abusive in written form, but they get fired instantly. before ending the phone aspect, I dreaded work. I still somewhat cringe when my phone rings, and it has been about 5 years with no customer phone interaction. That is what 25 years of having to answer a support line can do, and even with only letting my phone ring for my contacts, I still jump at times.

I am sure, for most here, they have clients chomping for their (my term) misdeed of having and needing that refund yesterday and try to put that rush on you. I feel that too, when someone claims they need to order a new license NOW, and they had no idea it had expired (impossible). It appears preparers are in a Catch-22, as not many clients want to owe, with most thinking you let them down if they don't get that big refund (so no incentive to actively manage their WH, removing that "need" to get that refund ASAP).

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10 hours ago, mcbreck said:

I

 

2 hours ago, mcbreck said:

I'm 57 and the only reason I'm working is to pay for health insurance. 3 more years and I'm done (baring a complete stockmarket meltdown).

 

Just curious,  how will you get health insurance at age 60?

Medicare doesn't start until age 65.

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Well I am 77 now and I still enjoy working with my long time business clients every month.

Right now I only work about 17 or 18 hours per week

Working on personal tax returns is the least enjoyable thing I do so  I only do the personal tax returns of my business clients.

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3 hours ago, Medlin Software, Dennis said:

I am Medicare - 2.5y. I keep working because I like it. Some days I like it more than others, so my workflow follows that cycle too. I will likely keep "working" until I cannot, and definitely until at least age 70.

Dennis, you had better think about raising that ante.  I will be 85 in a few weeks and, truthfully, do like what I do most of the time.  At 70, I was only halfway through my career and still working part-time as a Dental Receptionist.  I pulled that plug at 73 because my business was really taking off and a few years later in 2012, I took and passed the RTRP test and built an office addition onto my home.  These were well thought out decisions and have only recently begun to feel the limitations closing in.  When I started this thread, I never expected it to become amazing as it has.  At age 70, I set the goal at 80 and look what happened.  For nearly five years I have been preparing for whatever comes.  Therefore, I am putting those filters in place; but will never willingly walk away until I have to.

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On 6/4/2024 at 7:55 PM, mcb39 said:

I might be looking forward to only one more year.  It depends on the progression of my eye issues.  I have already thrown my hat in the ring for 2024, but I have been struggling for the past 6 months or so.  The use of frequent eye drops and ointment at night has helped tremendously (depending on the day).  This only helps with side effects as there is no cure for Macular Degeneration.  I intend to give it my best shot, but honestly, I am getting tired of the spammers and scammers; the computer updates; the computer breakdowns; the constantly having to watch your back for malware, viruses, etc., and the games that Microsoft is playing with our OS.  Honestly, it's been a great ride, but it really isn't fun anymore.  Hopefully, some R & R will change my attitude.  I am tired of waiting for clients to bring in their information, pick up their returns, return calls and take care of issues addressed by the IRS and the States.  If it weren't for all of you, I would already be gone.  I get my best information here and my best cheering up; as well as the realization that others have it much worse than I do.  Thank you again for all of your help and kindness.❤️

I feel for you, Marilyn. I hope that you can maintain your eyesight for as long as possible. All of the above and medical issues mainly for my husband are why I decided to hang it up. I don't even know what Microsoft did to my laptop, because my entire desktop changed after one of their updates. Now I struggle to find many of my programs. I hate their new file explorer.

I am so excited every time that I finish another extension. I still have too many corporations to wrap up, but I will get it all done by the end of the year.

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12 hours ago, Lee B said:

 

Just curious,  how will you get health insurance at age 60?

Medicare doesn't start until age 65.

I would guess her financial plan includes low enough income from years 60-65 to qualify for ACA insurance.   That is a strategy I see a lot of people taking.   If you have enough stashed to live off of and only generate interest/CG to get you above poverty level and below 200%, you get basic medical insurance for free.  Smart planning IMHO.

Tom
Longview, TX

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15 hours ago, Lee B said:

 

Just curious,  how will you get health insurance at age 60?

Medicare doesn't start until age 65.

Anyone can buy health insurance and my wife works at a major university - they will allow us to continue our current insurance inside their plan and we pay their cost (it's a benefit they pitch to employees). With Obamacare eliminating the pre-existing condition problem, getting health insurance isn't an issue. We don't have a pre-existing issue but you never know.

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I plan to live to 100 or even more. Plenty in my family have, with being able to drive and work close to that age too. Primary focus now is getting our daughter's benefits to the max we can, then we reset. Same as having an estate plan for now, when she is subject to means testing, then rewrite when her means testing goes away.

For the desktop organization issues, relying on the IS has never been my style. I currently use Stardock's Fences. It keeps my shortcuts in the places I want, from monitor to monitor. I have used their taskbar software too, to keep that area looking the way which works for me.

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2 hours ago, mcbreck said:

We don't have a pre-existing issue

Everybody has a pre-existing issue. For-profit insurance companies make a living denying us coverage so they can pay dividends to their shareholders. It's the worst example of capitalism applied to a public good.

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The big health insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers and especially Medicare Advantage Plans are destroying our health care system.

As long as they make record profits, they don't really care about the patients and the medical providers.

Small rural hospitals and independent pharmacies are going out of business all over the country due to reimbursement rates

that are way to low to even keep their doors open.

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And med students have zero incentive to go family or internal med. the exception are the three year to MD programs for these tracks.

Our 4th year med student gets by on student loans, food stamps, and other no wage benefits. And he will be forced to accept where he matches and start paying his loans while earning a restricted wage.

He is thinking internal med and going back to research (as an MD this time). But he still has his eyes on anesthesia as even the last in class will likely start at 400k. He would prefer trauma surgery but he does not want to be poor and tired for 7 to 10 more years.

it is way more than reimbursement which limits access. Not encouraging family med in a meaningful way is just as bad. Advantage plans like the games united healthcare plays are a big issue too. Thankfully we are second generation Kaiser lifers. We get what what we need timely, with no surprises. 
 

 

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