It’s that time of year again: not just the holidays themselves but also the annual Tiverton Four Corners Re-Tree contest. The town votes on art installations made from recycled materials, and I’m proud to have earned second place! If any voters are listening, though, I’ll gladly accept first place in 2024.
My entry was titled Happy Birth-Day Mary, and it was created using 100 Mary statues that were collected and donated from around town. Crafted to look like a tiered cake or a fir tree, the sculpture integrates mirrors at each level to give a sense of infinity and an endless upward spiral of Marys. Not only was the artwork received well at the event, but it also drew an outpouring of support and comments in the weeks following. I’m thrilled that it prompted such a response!
The inspiration came from a Mary statue that had been handed down to me from my mother, who inherited it from her mother. This year’s sculpture drew from my personal grief as I continue to mourn the loss of my mom, who passed away two years ago. Looking over at this statue on my shelf, it struck me how final things seem when you no longer have your own mother. Now, reflecting on my re-tree design, I hope what shines through is a celebration of women, motherhood, and the strong roles we play as we overcome so many of life’s challenges.
We could all use a little of that inspiration these days. That’s a common theme I hear from clients and colleagues, spurred on by the heavy events brought about in 2023. Wars, political tension, and a general sense of uncertainty led to a lot of unease. The good news is that the financial markets held up, taking some economic pressure off the situation.
Next year may bring more of the same. But we begin to see what’s real and what’s sensationalist. There is plenty of reason for optimism, and I love to be a sounding board as we all look for positive ways through these times.
From a technical perspective, my focus at year-end is often on the nuts and bolts. We’re wrapping up tax planning for 2023, making sure clients have taken the right steps. And if there are opportunities to improve their tax position, we’re on top of that. That means looking at required minimum distributions (RMDs), qualified charitable contributions, quarterly tax payments, and a long list of procedural items that need to be confirmed.
We’ll turn to bigger picture planning in a few months, which is always exciting. We look forward to connecting about your plan and talking through options that will keep you moving in the right direction.
I’d also like to offer congratulations to my colleague, Jonathan Bloom, who was promoted to partner at the firm this month. He’s a valuable team member who has worked hard to earn this role.
Have an outstanding holiday season. And as always, please reach out to me with any questions!