Tax Planning Helps Doctor Enjoy and Share the Fruits of His Labor
With his wife of 28 years by his side, Jeff Cook, D.C., has built a successful chiropractic clinic and small farm, where the family raises and sells beef cows. In his early 50s, with two of his three sons interested in entering the family businesses, Jeff was ready to get serious about planning for retirement. But, his CPA service didn’t have the capabilities to help him achieve his goal of gradually slowing down his business over the next 10 years.
“My first CPA just did cookie-cutter tax work, then my next CPA was a step up, but what I really needed was a different level of financial planning and accounting work that would go a lot deeper,” he says. “When I looked ahead at the next 10 years, I was becoming worried. I was doing OK, but not saving enough to last me through retirement.”
A turnkey plan
Jeff also suspected that he was paying too much in taxes.
“I felt like I was working for the government,” he recalls. “I was handling a lot of money, but not really keeping any, and it was a back-and-forth ping-pong match of paying quarterly taxes and then starting over at ground zero and building up enough to pay the next round.”
Jeff was saving through a 401(k) established for his business, but was seeing little in returns and paying hefty fees. Knowing there had to be other options, he approached Quartermaster Tax Management’s Don Rasmussen to talk about establishing a solid financial plan for himself and his family.
“The first thing Don wanted to see was my last two years of W-2s and business statements, then he came back with a plan for what could be done using current law,” Jeff says. “He told me that not only could Quartermaster Tax save me six figures a year in taxes, but I could turn around and put that amount or more back into my 401(k) each year. That’s when I got interested.”
Jeff was impressed that Quartermaster Tax Management was a firm built on spiritual faith and belief – values which he and his family share. The relationship formally began with the first of many in-person meetings in October 2016, with the transition seamlessly supported by the entire Quartermaster Tax team.
Some of Quartermaster Tax Management’s creative solutions for Jeff’s family involved estate planning, asset protection, college savings for their youngest son, a more effective 401(k) plan, home-office deductions, and balancing living expenses with savings and investments in a way that allowed Jeff to move into a lower tax bracket.
Saving more, giving back
Within just a few months, Quartermaster Tax Management was able to reduce Jeff’s tax burden by 56 percent, freeing him to both save more for retirement and donate more money to causes he cares about.
“I was able to put back 10 times more money into retirement annually than I was before,” Jeff says. “Quartermaster Tax uses a turnkey, multilayered approach, and they go as deep as you want to go.”
Plus the savings allowed Jeff to put more money into his employees’ 401(k) accounts in matching funds, making their lives better, too.
“I don’t mind paying taxes, but I love paying God more,” he says. “Quartermaster Tax used the laws to help me rearrange my finances so that I can give God more than 10 percent. When you can save that much on taxes and then put it back into your retirement and help your church and your employees, it makes a huge difference for everyone.”
With his finances on the right track, Jeff now feels confident that he can start to slow down his chiropractic business and spend more time with his wife, Amy.
“I’ve never felt like I could take time off, but this year, on faith, I’ve started taking Fridays off because I no longer have to work as hard just to pay the government,” he says. “It has been a huge, positive lifestyle change.”