You may be considering purchasing a vacation property, this can be an exciting milestone, but there are a few things to consider first.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Understanding how capital gains are taxed may help you refine your investment strategies.

Chris Rock once remarked, “You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.” That applies not only to income but also to capital gains.

Capital gains result when an individual sells an investment for an amount greater than their purchase price. Capital gains are categorized as short-term gains (a gain realized on an asset held one year or less) or long-term gains (a gain realized on an asset held longer than one year).

Keep in mind that the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Gains

Short-term capital gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Long-term capital gains are taxed according to different ranges (shown below).1

Long Term Capital Gains Tax Brackets (for 2024)

Tax Brackets

It should also be noted that taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is in excess of $200,000 (single filers or heads of household) or $250,000 (joint filers) may be subject to an additional 3.8% tax as a net investment income tax.2

Also, keep in mind that the long-term capital gains rate for collectibles and precious metals remains at a maximum of 28%.3

Rules for Capital Losses

Capital losses may be used to offset capital gains. If the losses exceed the gains, up to $3,000 of those losses may be used to offset the taxes on other kinds of income. Should you have more than $3,000 in such capital losses, you may be able to carry the losses forward. You can continue to carry forward these losses until such time that future realized gains exhaust them. Under current law, the ability to carry these losses forward is lost only on death.4

Finally, for some assets, the calculation of a capital gain or loss may not be as simple and straightforward as it sounds. As with any matter dealing with taxes, individuals are encouraged to seek the counsel of a tax professional before making any tax-related decisions.

 

1. IRS.gov, 2024
2. IRS.gov, 2024
3. Investopedia.com, November 28, 2023
4. IRS.gov, 2024
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

The YOLO Economy is a focus on experiences over material possessions, prompting Boomers to consider a similar mindset.

We are in the midst of an unprecedented transfer of wealth, with trillions of dollars being moved from one generation to the next. This transfer challenges many commonly held notions as new values and interests become more prominent. In short, the economy is changing, and while some of these new practices might raise an eyebrow or two, not all of these ideas are without merit.

For someone from the boomer generation, it might be easy to become upset with or confused by millennials’ differing points of view. However, taking note of the differences between the two generations can foster better communication and understanding.

The younger generations, including millennials, Gen Z, zoomers, and whatever else you call them, have a different perspective on wealth than their forebears. As these generations reach middle age, an interesting trend has emerged in emphasizing YOLO (You Only Live Once). Now that these generations have the steering wheel, they seem to be stepping on the gas and running full force into exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

At this point, it bears looking at the “why” of the YOLO economy. In other words, why do these forty-somethings spend as if there is no tomorrow?

Less money: Your average 40-year-old earns about $49,000 a year. While this is more than the 40-year-olds of the previous generation, the rising cost of living has taken a significant bite out of that difference.1

Less control: This generation also holds a smaller piece of the pie. While the post-WWII cohort controlled 22 percent of wealth in the United States once it reached middle age, millennials only controlled seven percent.2

Perhaps the biggest factor is less marriage: Middle-aged millennials are less likely to be married or start families than prior generations. Only 44 percent of millennials have walked down the aisle by age 40, compared to 61 percent for Generation X and 53 percent for baby boomers. Only 30 percent of millennials live with a spouse and at least one child, far lower than prior generations. This means that the expenses that come with a family are also off the table. If you aren’t married, the costs of a possible divorce are simply gone. Without children, you don’t have to pay for school clothes each fall, braces, and everything else that comes with helping a child grow up.3

The result is a very different economic picture for today’s middle-aged individuals. Consequently, all of these differences have informed a different set of values. Among millennials, 78 percent prefer spending money on experiences rather than material things. While prior generations may have placed more importance on things like home ownership, car purchases, and investments, millennials are looking at a different future with disparate priorities. For these reasons, spending on travel, exclusive events, and entertainment has become a priority.4

Of course, many boomers today find themselves in similar situations as middle-aged millennials. Most of the boomer generation is in their retirement, with their children growing and perhaps finding themselves needing further stimulation in their golden years. While many keep working part-time, start businesses, or help their families with childcare, there may be a pang of that YOLO spirit in them as well, and a similar yearning for adventure.

And for good reason. While their middle-age experiences may have been very different, there is no better time than now to take that big trip you’ve always thought about. Maybe it’s time to splurge on those expensive concert tickets or challenge yourself through a special adventure that always seemed impractical, like learning to SCUBA dive or skydive.

This might be too far for some, but it’s important to remember that wealth can serve us in two ways: providing security and allowing us to enjoy life. If you’ve been working hard with your financial professionals to pursue that security, maybe it’s time to talk to them about your need for enjoyment.

It’s also possible that the younger people in your family have done too much YOLO and not enough saving and investing. A conversation with a trusted financial professional may help them understand how to balance living for today and preparing for tomorrow.

1. Businessinsider.com, February 22, 2023
2. Fortune.com, March 22, 2023
3. Pewresearch.org, October 19, 2023
4. Harris Interactive, October 19, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Military families face unique challenges, making personal finance even more critical.

Military families face unique challenges, making personal finance even more critical.

One study found that military personnel have more credit problems and are more likely to make late house payments than their civilian counterparts.¹
While the financial situation of military personnel and their families mirrors the general population in many respects, heavy indebtedness and mismanagement of credit cards may be especially acute issues for service members.

Of course, military families face unique challenges, such as deployment to conflict zones, overseas assignments, and the constancy of change, making personal finance even more critical.

Money Tips to Consider

  • Some Programs Available
    • The Savings Deposit Program allows eligible personnel serving in designated combat zones to invest up to $10,000 and receive a return of up to 10%.²
    • Saving in a Roth IRA may be a good idea if you receive tax-free combat-zone pay. This allows you to deposit tax-free income and take tax-free qualified withdrawals in retirement.³
    • The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers the full cost of in-state tuition, up to between 36 and 48 months, depending on your circumstances.4
    • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance protects your family with low-cost life insurance.5
  • Set Goals—Like any mission, success begins with articulating goals you want to pursue.
  • Establish a Budget—A budget provides the financial discipline that may help you control spending impulses that can lead to greater debt levels.
  • Pay Yourself First—Determine how much money you need to set aside to reach your savings goal, deduct this amount from your paycheck, and attempt to live within the limits of what remains.
  • Establish an Emergency Fund—Uncertainty marks the life of military families, so be sure you have an emergency fund that allows you to be as prepared as possible for these changes.
  • Control Your Debt—Indebtedness is one of the enemies of financial independence.

As you think through your financial goals, remember, taking action today is your first and most important step.

1. Debt.org, April 24, 2022
2. Defense.gov. The Savings Deposit Program is a benefit offered to eligible personnel serving in designated combat zones. The guaranteed rate of return is subject to change.
3. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.
4. VA.gov, 2023
5. VA.gov, 2023. Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Reaching six figures is no easy feat. If you’re one of the hard-working few who have made it to this milestone, give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate. It can be tempting to feel like now that you’ve made it to the top of this mountain your financial worries are over. But before you go reaching for a bottle of champagne or calling a Ferrari dealer, consider this: the majority of Americans living paycheck to paycheck are from higher income households. In fact, out of 9 million Americans surveyed, 8 million of those are in higher income brackets.1

Now it’s more important than ever to take an active role in managing your money. Don’t equate earning six-figures with the ability to spend six-figures. Fortunately, there are several strategies that may help:

Steps to Take

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for maximizing your new six-figure income. Every person is different, and some suggestions may mean more to you than others. But there are tried-and-true methods that can help point you in the right direction when it comes to your financial health.

Review Your Budget

Now that you are making six figures, you may be tempted to never look at your budget again. Resist this temptation and go back over your budget to make sure your spending is based on your overall approach. Feel free to adjust your line items to match any new priorities without going overboard. Careful preparation may help you know how much you can consider spending on that splurge item that you found online. Your renewed budget should be designed to follow your other new goals, knowing that your day-to-day matters are on firm footing.2

Target Unproductive Debt

Not all debt is bad, as much of it helps you both financially and in terms of your quality of life. But certain types of debt, like credit cards and personal loans, may be something you want to manage better. Set a goal for your unproductive debt, which may put you in a better overall financial position. Each penny you save can go toward other goals, such as vacations, travel or even retirement.

Build Your Emergency Fund

Life is full of the unexpected. Prepare by setting aside enough liquid money to cover three to six months of expenses. This reserve may help you manage through a job loss or an injury or illness that requires time to heal.

Don’t Forget About Taxes

Now that you’ve entered a new income bracket, your tax obligations may have changed. Take time to review your tax situation in an effort to avoid year-end surprises. This article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice, so be sure to consult a tax, accounting, or human resource professional before modifying your tax-withholding strategy.

Don’t Forget Your Retirement Plans

If you haven’t started planning for retirement, your new income level may allow you to start setting aside money using a company-sponsored retirement plan. Initially, a financial professional may be able to provide guidance concerning the role a retirement plan can play in your overall financial strategy.

Move Forward Confidently

Restructuring your budget, managing debt, creating an emergency fund, and beginning to consider retirement may help ensure a more comfortable financial future. Even at a six-figure income, proactive preparations can help position you such that your money will eventually work for you.

1. Pymnts.com, January 2023
2. Forbes.com, March 29, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

A company’s profits can be reinvested or paid out to the company’s shareholders as “dividends.”

When looking for income-generating investments, some investors turn to dividend-yielding stocks.

When a company makes a profit, that money can be put to two uses:

  1. It can be reinvested in the business.
  2. It can be paid out to the company’s shareholders in the form of a dividend, a taxable disbursement typically made quarterly or monthly.

Dividend Ratios

Investors track dividend-yielding stocks by examining a pair of ratios.1

Dividend per share measures how much cash an investor is scheduled to receive for each share of dividend-yielding stock. It is calculated by adding up the total dividends paid out over a year (not including special dividends) and dividing by the number of shares of stock that are outstanding.

Dividend yield measures how much cash an investor is scheduled to receive for each dollar invested in a dividend-yielding stock. It is calculated by dividing the dividends per share by the share price.

Other Dividend Considerations

Investing in dividend-paying stocks can create a stream of taxable income. But the fact that a company is paying dividends is only one factor to consider when choosing a stock investment.

Dividends can be stopped, increased, or decreased at any time. This is unlike interest from a corporate bond, which is normally a set amount determined and approved by a company’s board of directors. If a company is experiencing financial difficulties, its board may reduce or eliminate its dividend for a period of time. If a company is outperforming expectations, it may boost its dividend or pay shareholders a special one-time payout.

When considering a dividend-yielding stock, focus first on the company’s cash position. Companies with a strong cash position may be able to pay their scheduled dividend without interruption. Many mature, profitable companies are in a position to offer regular dividends to shareholders as a way to attract investors to the stock.

Qualified dividends are taxed at a maximum rate of 20%. Ordinary dividends are taxed at the same rate as federal income taxes, or between 10% and 37%. State income taxes also may apply.2

Be cautious when considering investments that pay a high dividend. While past history cannot predict future performance, companies with established histories of consistent dividend payment may be more likely to continue that performance in the future.

In a period of low interest rates, investors who want income may want to consider all their options. Dividend-yielding stocks can generate taxable income, but like most investments, they should be carefully reviewed before you commit any dollars.

Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

1. Investopedia.com, February 6, 2023
2. Investopedia.com, May 26, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.
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