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The Musicians

The Musicians

Anna never thought she would be a Marine. She went to college to study music, specifically Violin Performance. As she graduated she got an email from a friend about an audition that he promised would peak her interest. Well he was right. The audition was to be a member of "The President's Own", the Marine Corps Band that plays for the President of the United states. Almost 20 years later here she is, a Gunnery Sergeant no less. Along the way she married Robert, himself a musician who years ago won a spot in the National Symphony Orchestra playing horn. Now with 2 kids and an option to retire just around the corner they are not sure what to do.

Obviously Anna still needs to work. It's expensive raising kids in the DC metro area. With the kids getting bigger they would love to get a bigger house. But can they do that and still afford to pay for the kids' college? So does she stay with the Marines or does she leave. She's not sure if she wants to hit the audition circuit in her mid 40's or if it is time for a new chapter in her life. Maybe she could do something outside of music? Robert is very happy where he's at and just wants to make decisions that will provide for his family. He just doesn't know what those decisions are.

Anna and Robert have many big decisions in front of them. Should Anna retire from the Marines? If she does, does she still want to perform as a musician or should she start a new career? Should they buy a bigger house? Where? Should they be saving more for the kids' College, maybe for Anna to go back to school?

It can be overwhelming to try to understand the impact of all of these decisions. Our goal is to help Anna and Robert make the right decisions in the right order so that they can be confident in their future.

First, we stop and take a breath and talk about what's important to Anna and Robert now, and in the future. We can't plan for your future if we don't know what you want to accomplish. After a great conversation during the goal setting process we lay out the top 3 priorities for Anna and Robert.
Have more time to be available to the kids.
Stay in the DC area
Plan for both Anna and Robert to be fully retired by 60, 55 if possible.

With the focus gained Anna decided it's time to leave the Military. Between her pension and the decision to take on some violin students, her income will stay about the same but she'll have lots more time to be a mom. They also decide to look for a bigger home, maybe outside the beltway, but still close to Robert's job.

During the Tax review appointment we discover that Anna never deducted the instrument her parents bought her when she graduated from college. "I can deduct that? But I didn't pay for it." Anna says in surprise. She did not have to use it in the military since they provided an instrument so it was only used for 1099 gig work. We review gifting and depreciation rules and it turns out yes, in her case she can deduct it. That discovery will save a lot in taxes and they decide to use that opportunity to fund Roth IRA's.

We have a lot left to do, but we have a process to make sure it all gets done. One step at a time, doing the right things in the right order and we'll get there.

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