Commentary by Troy Wise: Put that stimulus check to work in your community

Apr 5, 2021

Troy Wise of Homer

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The other day someone asked me how long I’ve been in Alaska and, after a pause, I heard myself replying, “I’ve been an Alaskan all my life; I just didn’t realize it until I tried to leave”.

I've been in Alaska for all but two of the last thirty plus years. I ended up in Homer because after retirement I could live anywhere I chose and this place is pretty tough to beat.

Except for a mortgage on my condo, I’m debt free. Even after “sharing” half of everything I owned ( and was earning ) with my wife of 40+ years, I still have a steady retirement income that supplies all I really need.

I feel very lucky to be this comfortable.
Way back in 2019 I had to cash in my 401K to finance the purchase of my condo. This made my tax return look like I was quite wealthy, so I was not eligible for any Covid relief last year.
But that was OK because Covid hadn’t affected my income.

Way further back, around 2016, I went through some life changes which allowed me to begin embracing charitable giving and it has really improved my life. I found that I could give around $100 a month to charities that supported my values and still live modestly but comfortably.

Being lazy, and looking for the easiest way to facilitate this plan, I picked 10 charities that helped causes I supported and set up a monthly donation of $10 to each. It was a small matter of adjusting priorities and the rewards were well worth it.

This seemed like a good way to fine tune the federal relief attempt and help it to address local needs. I found it very empowering to personally take part in redirecting those monies and this system still works for me today
 

I was surprised when a short while ago I received the latest Covid relief check. Turns out my 2020 tax return, which I had just filed, reflected my true income which does qualify under the latest Covid relief law.
 

It occurred to me that this Covid relief check could finance my “philanthropic endeavors” for over a year. I encourage anyone finding themselves not really needing this round of Covid relief to try this system. You’ll be amazed at the positive effects. There is another plus; you can respond to future solicitations with, “I give at the office”.

If you do this, there are two things I will suggest. Set up a ***separate credit card and email account for just this purpose. You’ll find it greatly simplifies your life and makes it easier to manage down the road.


My name is Troy Wise and I live in Homer.