Finance

Shoeboxed

receipts

It’s that time of year, again.  Tax season is now upon us.  And I have the lovely task of gathering, organizing, and cataloging all of our receipts from last year.  Up until this point, I’ve always done my own taxes (same with my husband).  Now that we’re married, our tax situation just got a wee bit complicated.  “No shoeboxes,” so said the accountant.  Thankfully, I have a subscription called Shoeboxed.  This app allows me to take photos of receipts via my phone and/or mail them in via pre-paid envelopes.  The program keeps track of all your receipts and allows you to export them so that you may send and/or print them out at any time.  No more paper (yay!).  With that said, don’t make the same mistake I did and procrastinate on taking the snapshots and have a build-up of receipts waiting to be scanned and/or mailed out (it defeats the purpose of having the app, doesn’t it?).  Still, I can’t image my life without Shoeboxed.  If you’re in business (sales, independent contractor, business owner, etc.), incur deductible expenses throughout the year, and/or contribute to several non-profit and/or charitable organizations, you need this.  Plus, if you sign up via the above links, you receive a 10% discount.  Every little bit helps, right?  A wise man once said, “If you count the nickels and dimes, the dollars take care of themselves.”

The Final Frontier

finalfrontier

Forbes came out with an article on the top 15 countries to retire in this year and it included one that I’ve set my sights on for quite some time–Malaysia.  Unfortunately (and fortunately), hubby and I have a long way to go before retirement but if there is ever an opportunity for us to visit the country (for fun or work), we would jump at the chance.

Fantasizing about retirement isn’t all fun and games.  It also forces you to consider more serious matters such as finance, healthcare, and lifestyle.  It’s widely known that retiring in a developing country (especially one that is non-US dollar based) stretches your pocketbook.  That’s an easy one.  In terms of healthcare, that requires a bit more due diligence.  According to International Living, Malaysia is one of the top destinations for retiree healthcare.  And, in terms of lifestyle, it’s attractive to me because it offers a variety of choices in terms of food, shopping, sightseeing, and other activities.  In a nutshell, it offers the holy trinity of the best retirement destinations:

(1)  Choice of city or country living–City-living means having access to state-of-the-art medical facilities, shopping that is on par with that of developed countries, variety of culinary cuisines as diverse as most major cities in the world, and cultural institutions such as theaters, museums, and concert halls.  The beauty of living in a country like Malaysia (so I’ve read and been told) is that you have the best of both worlds.  In addition to having the choice of living in a sprawling city, you may also choose to live in a rural village or quiet corner by the beach.  Serenity at its best.

(2)  Stretching your dollar–Again, this part is widely known.  One of the primary goals of searching for the perfect retirement destination is to find a place where you can live like a king without spending like one.

(3)  Sunny daysStudies have shown that low barometric pressure can adversely affect our bodies (joints, sinuses, etc.).  Because of this, it’s not surprising that many retirement homes are located in warm and tropical locations.

And, as countries like Malaysia get more expats as residents, we’ll see that great minds do, indeed, think alike  :).