2.16.2014

Death and Taxes

They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes.

That's mostly true. But although they may be certain, you can make them both fairly insignificant to your life.

The goal in life is to live a long, healthy, and satisfying one, and when you do eventually die, drop dead in an instant. Far worse than mortality (death) is morbidity (disease). Although death may be certain, morbidity is not. Disease can be minimized and avoided by leading a proper lifestyle. Certainly, that will not be true for everyone, but statistically, the better the life you lead, the better your chances of living it to the fullest. Avoid stress and disease causing agents like smoking and toxins. Eat a healthy diet and get some exercise as much as you can. The science is pretty solid that a healthy lifestyle leads to longer life, and more importantly greater quality of life.

As for taxes, hire a good accountant and pay him or her to do all the headache work for you. The peace of mind is priceless. You are not only paying for less stress (see above) but chances are your accountant will secure you more of a tax refund than you would get from doing it yourself. You may not be able to avoid taxes, but you can keep them largely out of sight and out of mind. I meet with my accountant for a couple of hours, usually in February, and watch as she deftly handles my tax related finances. I feel content knowing I am in good hands and then I feel glee when money "magically" appears in my bank account a few weeks later.

Death and taxes are certain, but you don't need to let them slow you down or distract you in any significant way. Definitely don't worry about them. Worry causes stress and stress causes morbidity and may expedite death, the very thing you want to avoid. So live your life to the fullest and don't be afraid to pay for some peace of mind. That has value.

Eating a healthy diet can be more expensive than eating a cheap crappy one. But you pay now (healthy food) or pay later (medical bills). Paying someone to do your taxes costs a nominal amount of money, but the free time and peace of mind you get from not having to figure out forms and calculate deductions is contributing to your happiness and long term health, by giving you more time to live life and eliminating stress. Even if you lost money paying a tax preparer, the return on investment is priceless for your quality of life.

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