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Random updates

October 5th, 2010 at 02:36 pm

First of all, thanks for all your kind words on my previous post. I have decided to stop pumping, and it appears I'm nearly done with nursing too as a result. Made it 7 months so I'm pretty proud of myself! I know working moms who lasted much longer, but I also know some who found it too difficult to work into their busy lives.

So I'm not going to fight them taking away my room at work, but at my meeting with my boss this Friday I am going to ask for his advice on lodging some kind of complaint about how the situation was handled, to hopefully prevent this happening to any other women in the future.

I'm glad our meeting isn't today, because I feel quite woozy. Last night around 7, a slight scratchiness in the back of my throat suddenly escalated to full-body tender skin, a headache and fatigue. I went to bed at 10 p.m. and slept off and on until 7 a.m., but it was a terrible night's sleep. I was achey, and hot/sweaty or cold/shivering by turns. AA coughed what felt like the whole night, and three or four times she started crying in her sleep so that we had to get up and feed her, change her or help her get into a better position and get her pacifier in. This is unusual for her; she might cough or grumble enough to wake us up slightly, but she usually quiets down on her own. This morning she seemed groggy at first, but then she was in a really great mood, blabbing and smiling all over the place. So hopefully whatever she and I have will be really mild and shortlived, and not interfere with the trip!

I'm thinking I'll mail the UK taxes while we're actually there, to save some money on postage. I just have to finish filling them out; I should be able to knock it out in one night, so I'm not even going to try tonight.

An old college buddy saw my plea for financial advice on Facebook and met up with me this past weekend. He didn't have any specific advice, but he did think that I need to be including the UK rental income on my U.S. taxes. So, this year I'll probably try and find someone affordable to help me figure that out. Then if I've been doing the old ones wrong, I guess I'll have to send in revised taxes for '07, '08 and '09. I hope the fines won't be too steep! I think I'm OK on the UK taxes; I'm half considering trying to schedule an appointment with an adviser while we're over there, but I may not want to pile that on top of all the family and friend time. We'll see. I suppose if I knew for sure I was doing the UK taxes right, that would help me know what to include on the U.S. taxes if I find out I need to be doing that.

This friend also mulled over my retirement problems. He doesn't know the specifics of tax treaties, but he figured since we'll probably continue to make more money, and since tax rates will probably rise whether we live in the U.S. or the UK, that Roth IRAs would be the best place to start (pay the taxes now while we're in a lower bracket). So I'm going to look into that next year. Don't know if I'll be able to put away the maximum for each of us, but I should be able to manage some contributions.

Last week, I went to an informative free estate-planning seminar at a law firm. I got the invitation from my diaper-cleaning service! The lawyer broke down estate planning into four areas that you need to worry about: wills/trusts (including appointing a guardian for children in case of death), health care directives, power of attorney, and nonprobate assets. This will be on my radar to get done either late this year or sometime next year. I still have the meeting with the family planning lawyer later this month, so I'll see if what I learn from him affects any of what I've learned so far.

One thing that's in the back of my mind is that with the intent of immigration back to England someday, I do still need to keep proof of NT and I being in a marriage together. I want to meld our family with AS as much as possible, but I think the arrangement would send up red flags to immigration officials about whether NT and I were actually married or just in a marriage of convenience to be able to immigrate. So for the purposes of those applications, I need to keep some proof of our marriage that's just about the two of us.

I have so many ambitious goals for our money next year, but I know I won't be able to achieve them all! It's going to be hard to prioritize between maxing out Roth IRAs, upping our charitable contributions, paying down student loan debt, and saving up for some nice vacations.

On a positive note, I think we're going to have lots of money to decide how to spend this last quarter of 2010. NT looks to have two bonuses coming up before the end of the year, AS has just taken on another freelance project that pays $1100 (and she may get others before the year is over), and who knows? Maybe I'll actually be able to talk myself into a raise this Friday.

3 Responses to “Random updates”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    Good job on the nursing. I have a private office so never had any issue. I think other moms wondered how I did it. More like, I wonder how they did it! My SIL's office has a "pumping lounge," but she said it was always a PITA to pick up everything and go in there.

    I would consider meeting with financial advisors in the UK. I know it may be tough to squeeze in, but if you find the right person, could be very worthwhile. In this day and age you don't really have to meet in person. So if you start a relationship with someone in the UK, can keep it going. (But I think it's nice to meet in person, initially). We do so many tax returns for people we never see.

    Just thinking that it may be easier to find tax help in the U.K. versus the U.S. ??? I went to school in San Francisco and can't even think of anyone who does international tax.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Don't forget the embassies of both countries as a source for help. My friends in Mexico who have business in the US seem to go a couple times a year to the US embassy for answers to tough questions and they get quality help. I remember when they had some Social Security questions. They were in California, so they asked at a SS office there and did not get all the needed answers. Then they were in my city and asked the SS office here. The workers here were nice and helpful, but one important question was given an answer that was just illogical. Back in Mexico city, they visited the embassy and were able to get a clear, sensible answer.

  3. My English Castle Says:

    Ceejay: We have similar issues with our dual taxes. If you find someone in the Midwest--either MN or WI, let me know. The UK tax people themselves are very helpful, but I'm always worried I'm under reporting in the US. We could also use help on immigration and retirement advice when/if we return to the UK.

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