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Wednesday, 09 September 2020 01:00

Three Ways to Become a Millionaire

Many Americans say they want to be a millionaire, but it’s just a dream for most. Credit-Suisse reports that in 2020 there were 18.6 million individuals (representing 11.8 million households) that had a net worth of at least $1 million or more. This is 3% of the U.S. population.

Trillions are held in traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. However, this creates a ticking tax time bomb because any money withdrawn is taxed as ordinary income (think wages or profits from any small business you own). You got a tax deduction from your original deposit and your earnings were tax-deferred until you pulled money out (typically in retirement). If you had deposited $250,000 over the decades while working, and were lucky enough for it to be worth $1 million at retirement, all $1 million will be taxed as ordinary income when you spend it.

Since 2009, I have typically given at least 40 talks per year and thousands have attended my financial seminars. Many have seen me for a consultation on their taxes, investments, and retirement planning and I’ve noticed that no more than 2% have more than $30,000 in a Roth IRA account. The main reason is that Americans love getting the immediate tax deduction when they contribute to a traditional IRA or 401(k) account. The earnings are tax-deferred, but then all withdrawals (with the bulk taken during retirement) are taxed as ordinary income. This is only fair because traditional IRA or 401(k) contributions come from either wage earnings from a job or profits from one’s business.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:00

Different Ways to Save on Income Taxes

The coronavirus pandemic shutdown of most of the U.S. was devastating. However, the economic is now slowly coming out of the previous mandatory lockdown orders and many predict that we will have a strong 4th quarter in 2020 and strong economic recovery in 2021. For many upper middle-class families, income taxes are one of the two highest single expenses, along with housing expenses. It’s the highest expense once your house is paid off. Let’s examine several major tax-savings options.

On March 7, 2020, all schools within the Elk Grove Unified School District in the Sacramento, CA area shut down after a case of the virus appeared in the city. On March 19, CA Governor Gavin Newsom issued a state-wide “stay at home” order, shutting down all non-essential businesses. CA was the first state to take this measure and it affects 40 million people.

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