Money Matters: Questions to Ask About Money
As a leader, it is important to know where your values stand. Your approach to money influences your decision-making, both personal and professional. Money is how businesses keep score, and many people use money as at least one of their benchmarks of success. Money matters. More to some. Less to others.
By answering the following questions, you can reveal, confirm or change the value you place on money.
- What is the role of money in my business? In my life?
- What experiences, insights and habits about money growing up shape my view of money today?
- Do I know what money I require to be happy in retirement? Does my spouse or partner agree? Have we consulted a financial planner?
- What’s the most satisfactory purchase or investment I’ve made?
- If money were no object, what would I do?
My grandmother Stella Gliddon used to say, “Money is a tool.” How you earn and save, spend and give reveals plenty about the craftsman.
Tax season has arrived once more. How you feel about paying taxes plays right into how you feel about money. There are few certainties in life, but unless you’re Al Capone, paying taxes is something everyone with a job cannot avoid.
Many Tax Day deadlines occur in the spring. For China and Japan, it’s March. For Brazil, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, it’s April. For France, it’s May. Spring comes to Australia in October and that’s when the “Tax Man Down Under” demands his due.
You can count on two hands the countries with no income tax: Bahrain, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Monaco, the country with the world’s highest density of millionaires.
Moving to one of these tax-free havens will not exempt you from paying taxes to your respective country. Those looking to escape taxation and flee to one of these tax havens must first renounce their citizenship and then apply to become a legal resident of another country. Federal taxing authorities see to it that both processes are lengthy, expensive and exceedingly difficult. They want and need our money, as this sarcastic suggestion for the Internal Revenue Service’s motto makes clear: “We have what it takes to take what you have.”
This season brings about more than just paying taxes. Did you know the idea of spring cleaning is almost as old as civilization itself?
Neanderthals may have moved from cave to cave, but modern homo sapiens had to clean up.
In Scotland, Ireland and other countries with Gaelic heritages, the celebration Hogmanay combines cleaning with the end of the year gift-giving. For the Persian new year — Norouz — the custom of “khooneh tekouni” (“shaking the house”) occurs as the old year and accumulated debris are ushered out. And there’s the Jewish practice of thoroughly cleansing the home in anticipation of Passover’s spring-time feast, a remembrance of the Israelite’s hasty exodus from Egypt.
So, while you are grumbling through tax season and cleaning up your homes this spring, don’t forget to think about money.