A Long January. First Time Planner. Peace is one breath away. The Marcus Double Dip.


written by oz chen

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I’m grateful to feel that this was a long month. In January, I…

Launched my first money workshop of the year / Launched my first paid program (more on this soon) / Took care of my health via multiple checkups / Hosted the first cocktail party of 2023 / Learned how to make old fashioneds / Hired a tax & financial planning firm / Bought life insurance / Did early spring cleaning + donations

This is a good and full feeling of meeting my “edge” while not burning out. And I hope to continue to cultivate this rhythm. Part of my support system is to ask for help, which segues into the first newsletter nugget…

First time hiring a tax & financial planning firm

I’ve heard that you get the value from house cleaners before they arrive. You’ll feel the pressure to organize your home beforehand so that they can do their best job cleaning.

This is how I feel hiring a financial planning firm for the first time. I’ve had to hunt down tons of documents and give the clearest picture of my finances so they can find the most opportunities in tax optimization (and beyond).

Oddly enough, I feel relieved to start this stressful process now (3 months ahead of the April deadline), compared to the massive frenzy I put myself in the 2 weeks before tax time.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for professional tax help, engage with them ASAP—ideally before the end of the year (e.g. December). The more popular firms have deadlines so that they can prioritize current clients before taking on new ones as they get closer to tax season.

One Breath Away From Peace

When I’m stressed, it’s likely I’m in a tight position.

Sitting too long, shoulders and neck tight, shallow breath.

It always amazes me when I catch myself in this state, that just taking 1 conscious breath…makes a world of a difference.

The body relaxes. The heart slows. Peace is nearby.

It’s easy to think of “happiness” and “peace” as faraway, someday ideas.

While it might not be permanent, if peace can be experienced just one breath away…then that means it is in our human design to experience peace, calm, and a whole limitless range of experience.

The ability to recognize your state + the ability to modify your state = the keys to living in the present.

Money tip: Double Dip on Marcus Savings Bonuses

Savings accounts used to be boring. Now they’re all the rage because of high interest rates. Saving accounts at big traditional banks only yield 0.01% on your money compared to more than 3% at most high yield savings accounts.

Marcus is Goldman Sach’s online savings accounts that I’ve been using since 2016. They have an excellent offer right now:

Get a $100 bonus for depositing $10,000 or more into a new or existing Online Savings Account. Just sign up for the offer (in your account) and make the deposit within 10 days.

Here’s how I think about this bonus: $100 on $10,000 is an extra 1% return. Since you’ll get this bonus after 90 days, you are effectively getting a bonus annualized yield of 4.16%, on top of the ~3.3% APY rate they offer on the savings account.

Double dip: if you don’t have a Marcus savings account yet, use my referral link (no cost to you) and earn an extra 1% APY for 3 months:

Here are the referral terms that make double dipping OK: “Marcus Referred Rates may only be combined with other non-referral promotional offers available to Marcus customers. You can earn a maximum combined total of 5 Marcus Referred Rates under these Referral Program Terms and any other Marcus by Goldman Sachs referral programs in each calendar year.”

Here’s my personal referral link again: https://www.marcus.com/share/OSB-JCM-66UA

Just for fun

I’m late to this viral video of dating coach Matthew Hussey, when a woman asks: “Why pays on the first date?”

I love this response at 2:19: “I will always treat my partner how I treat my best friend…I wouldn’t say to my best friend Let’s go out to dinner and you always pay.” Relationships built on animosity or extraction of value = not sustainable. Approaching it as a team mindset = sustainable.

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