This past week I had my taxes done. Retirement has thrown my tax habits into chaos. I tried doing them myself, but got lost when asked for the Fair Market Value (FMV) of my pension. Is there an FMV for a pension? I understand the FMV of my retirement investments, but a pension? What’s the value of that? All things considered (including a printer that’s on the fritz), I gave up and made an appointment to have someone more professional do them.
Sadly, my favorite accountant is gone. Last year she didn’t work because she’d had a mild stroke. (She wanted to, but her colleagues said no.) Since my dad worked several years after recovering from a massive stroke, I was hoping she’d be back this year. But she did the smart thing, retiring and moving out of the area.
Income and withholding information from my working years has not translated well into retirement. I’d thought my W-4 information transferred from employment to retirement, but I was only half right. When my 1099-R arrived last year, it showed no state withholding. I paid for it big time. But this year even my federal withholding wasn’t enough. So now I owe double big time.
The good news is the shock propelled me to change both federal and state withholding. The bad news is I still need to pay this year’s taxes. The further bad news is my meager income will now be even more meager than it has been.
What’s a girl on an austere budget to do? Reinstate the television shopping embargo. Instead of four weeks though, let’s make it an entire month this time. Oh heck, this calls for drastic measures—let’s make it two months.Wish me luck!