Planning a Successful Career-Related Move

If your company is relocating to a new city or a different state, you may be forced to uproot your family and move to an unknown locale. So what can you do to prepare yourself and your loved ones effectively in order to avoid stress and to save both time and money? Depending on your situation, here are a few tips for a smooth relocation, courtesy of KJH Financial Services.

Relocate Your Business

If you’re a business owner and are relocating your company to a different state, you’ll need to re-register your LLC or corporation. To avoid costly lawyer fees, you can file the paperwork yourself or use a formation service that will help you understand and follow the rules applicable in your state, as well as obtain all the licenses and permits you may need to legally operate.

Try to plan your move several months ahead and get in touch with a local accountant to review your paperwork and inform you of possible tax incentives, as well as to prepare for unforeseen expenses. And if you need to find a new brick-and-mortar location for your business, spend some time in your new city to find a neighborhood where your target market likes to shop and find retail space in that area that fits your budget.

Additionally, if the new job isn’t what you were hoping or planning for, don’t panic. There are plenty more opportunities out there! To give yourself an advantage over the competition, here’s a free resume builder that you can use to professionally highlight your skills.

Find a Place to Live for Your Family

In an ideal world, you would have plenty of time and opportunities to visit your new state or city, explore different neighborhoods, inquire about the best–and worst–schools in the area and find the perfect home for yourself and your family. But sometimes, a career-related relocation leaves you with barely enough time to pack. So try to optimize the time you have by doing a lot of research based on the needs of your family.

If you have school-aged children that will be enrolled in public institutions, find a house or apartment located in the school district that best suits your children’s educational needs. And if you’re concerned about spending too much time away from your loved ones, find a rental home close to your new place of employment to reduce your commute time. Two bedroom/two bathroom homes in the Boston area start at around $2,400 per month, so do your research. Certain areas are more desirable than others, especially when you take school districts into account. Once you know the area better, and if you want to put down roots in your new city, you may start looking for a place to buy.

Create a Budget for Your Moving Costs

Some companies will offer to pay for some of your relocation costs, so make sure you keep all your receipts handy. Contact a few moving companies in your area and have them come to your house in person to assess the cost of moving your household to a different city or state, and get several estimates in writing. You may be able to save money by packing your belongings yourself, but make sure to allow enough time to do so, and don’t forget to keep track of how much you spend on packing boxes, tape, and bubble wrap for your fragile items.

When creating your moving budget, be sure to include upfront costs such as internet, utilities, rent, and security deposit, as well as your travel expenses like gas, hotel accommodations, and meals. It adds up pretty quickly. Make a list of everything that will need to be turned off at your old house (cable, gas, electricity…) so you don’t end up paying providers you no longer need and don’t forget to notify the post office, your bank, and your insurance company that you are moving.

Relocating can be a wonderful thing if you’re looking for a change of scenery, but make sure you and your loved ones have a soft place to land. That means making sure that your kids have great schools to go to, that you live in a safe neighborhood, and, if you’re a business owner, that your company can thrive in its new location.

Building your career requires many strategic moves and a lot of work. If you’d like guidance on the financial planning aspect of your growth, contact KJH Financial Services. We can help you manage your money and invest in ways that will secure your future. Visit us online to learn more.

Little-known Income Tax Deductions

Tax DeductionsAt tax time, every possible deduction can help when money is tight. Yet many available legal deductions go unclaimed each year, simply because most Americans still don’t know they exist. From cost savings for eyeglasses to approved deductions for airline baggage fees, no matter who you are, you’re likely to find at least one applicable deduction on the list below—and odds are you qualify for more than one. So read carefully, the savings can add up…

• Job-hunting costs are applicable expenses that can be added to your itemized deductions. Did you spend out-of-pocket costs traveling to interviews or spend money stationery for resumes and cover letters? If so, deducting these items can make a big dent at tax time. And one doesn’t have to be officially unemployed to qualify. Searching for a better job, even while fully employed, is perfectly acceptable. Other applicable deductions include food and lodging for overnight stays, cab fares, and employment agency fees.

•If that new job is your first job, any incurred moving expenses may indeed be deductible. To qualify for the deduction, your first job must be 50 miles or more from your previous residence. Those who qualify can deduct the cost of moving and, if you drove your own vehicle for the move, deduct 23 cents a mile plus parking and tolls.

• While everyone recognizes that necessary medical items like wheelchairs and hearing aids may be deducted, few realize that eyeglasses and contacts also fall into the same category. While designer eyeglasses, or drug store magnifiers, may not seem like medical devices, the IRS does allow these deductions – a big cost savings at tax time.

• Though we all known charitable contributions are tax deductible – one of the most common ways that Americans gain tax deductions – many less obvious acts of charity also qualify, Out-of-pocket charity expenses such as the cost of paint and poster board for a school fundraiser, or the cost of delivering meals or chauffeuring other volunteers can be deducted. Such mileage deductions may be totaled at a rate of 14 cents per mile plus parking and toll fees. Deductions of more than $250 will require a written acknowledgement from the charity involved.

• Members of the National Guard or military reserve may claim a deduction for travel expenses to drills or meetings. In order to qualify, the service member must travel more than 100 miles from home on an overnight journey. Applicable deductions include lodging, meals, and 55.5 cents per mile plus parking and toll fees.

• For those employees who have served on juries in the past year, jury duty may represent a taxable deduction. Many employers continue to pay their employees during the time of jury proceedings, but require the employees to turn over jury pay as a recompense for the time away. To even things out, you can deduct the amount you give to your employer. In such cases, the write-off goes on line 36 – the line totaling up deductions that get their own lines. Add your jury fee total to your other write-offs and write “jury pay” on the line directly to the left.

• Airline baggage fees are another deduction that is rarely recognized by the American traveling public. All told, these fees can add up to serious costs. If you’re self-employed and travelling on business, you can add those costs in as approved business deductions.

• While many tax credits for energy-saving home improvements have expired, the most valuable credits still exist until 2016. These applicable credits will effectively refund 30% of the of alternative energy upgrades such as solar hot water heaters and geothermal heat pumps.

• In most cases, one can only deduct mortgage or student-loan interests if one is legally required to repay the debt. But if you’re a non-dependent student who still receives help from mom and dad, you parent’s generosity may help you at tax time. If mom and dad pay your loans, the IRS treats the money as a gift to the child who used it to pay the debt. As such, a non-dependent child can qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of student-loan interest paid. Be advised, however, that mom and dad can’t claim the interest deduction. Legally, it’s not their debt.

Just remember, in order to get the most out of your tax returns, you must stay as organized as possible, and do your research—no one likes getting audited.

Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy and save money with NerdWallet’s cash rewards credit cards.