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Review Category : Investments

Did You Just Get A 6.2% Raise At Work?

It’s pretty amazing to me how many people still don’t understand our payroll tax system.  When you work as a W-2 for an employer, both you and your employer are going to pay certain payroll taxes.  The two main types of taxes are the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax and the Medicare tax.   Both you and your employer pay 6.2% into FICA up to $132,900 this year and Medicare is a perpetuity tax at 1.45%.  Depending on your pay grade and what bonuses you have earned, you may have already received a raise in your paycheck and don’t even know it. The reason is, once you hit the $132,900 limit, you will no longer be paying into Social Security. Unfortunately, since there are many individuals who pay their full amount into social security and their income exceeds $132,900 in a particular calendar year, your HR department won’t send you a notice that you now have an extra 6.2% in ...

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Could E-Sports Earn Your Child A Scholarship?

There has probably been an afternoon or evening where your child was playing Fortnite with their friends and you could hear screams and yells, thinking to yourself, “what in the heck is going on in there?” You’ve probably had to yell once or twice before dinner or bedtime to get off the gaming system, and it’s likely you’ve had a family discussion about how to stop your child from playing the gaming system as much as they do today. WAIT! Maybe it’s time to switch gears and start thinking about how this could provide a FREE RIDE for your child to college! 30 million dollars.  That was the prize money for the Fortnite World Cup that took place at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York last weekend.   And yes, the stadium they chose to host the finale was actually larger seating-capacity wise than Madison Square Garden.  E-Sports is now a $900 million-dollar industry with nearly 400 million viewers worldwide.   Gamers ...

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Slip The Maître D a $50 Bill

What’s your worst nightmare on a Saturday night?  We live near a massive outdoor shopping and eating complex called Avalon.   Filled with 20 or so restaurants, it’s generally buzzing on the weekends with couples and families walking around, spending money in the stores and grabbing a bit of the cuisine of their choice.   My worst nightmare on a Saturday night is taking the family out or meeting some friends and stepping up to the hostess who tells me it is going to be an hour and a half wait to get a table, and puts our name into the software so we can track how far back we are in the line to eat.   Nightmare, nightmare, nightmare!! A few weeks ago, a friend of mine flew into town and we went to grab dinner at a hot spot in Buckhead, where they told us our wait was going to one hour and fifteen minutes.   When I heard the hostess shout ...

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Five Money Moves To Make When You Turn 50

Recently, I had the opportunity to experience something really special.  Several of my college roommates were turning 50 years old, and there was a multiple person birthday gathering in Washington, D.C. that I attended.  As we reminisced about the good old days in college and I watched their children run around (most of them six to eight years old), it occurred to me that my very own friends are going to be starting down the backstretch towards retirement.  It’s hard to imagine that for some of them they will be 65 years old when their kids either get into college or graduate college, so does this mean they will take a different path to retirement? Either way, there are smart money moves you should be making when you turn 50.  I know this first hand because the two co-founders of oXYGen Financial (Kile Lewis and myself) both turn the age of 50 this year.   While we started oXYGen Financial to ...

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Why Do We Give Names To Our Cars?

Our oldest daughter recently graduated college from the University of Georgia.  When she turned 16, we were fortunate enough to buy a beat up 2009 Hyundai Tucson from my mother and that’s pretty much what my daughter has driven since she became a driver.  As we finally made a change for her to get a new car (we stuck with Hyundai), my daughter told me how sad she was to see Sage go.  I thought to myself, “What in the world is a Sage?” so I asked my daughter.  Unbeknownst to me, my daughter had a name for her car and already had a name ready to go for the new car.  I’ve heard people give their cars names before, but always wondered when did this start becoming a common practice? Apparently, naming cars isn’t a new tradition at all.  For centuries before us, human beings have been giving names to vehicles and boats for centuries.  Think about shows like ...

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How Will The Tariffs Affect Your Every Day Wallet?

The stock markets continue to see increased volatility as the tariff and trade war between the United States and China continues to heat up. We’ve quickly realized that one tweet, media story, or heightened news coverage can send the markets soaring or spiraling in a day.  Here’s a recent example of a tweet: The reality is that these negotiations are extremely difficult, and nobody really likes to see them be prolongated.  Think about the most difficult negotiations you have probably done in your lifetime which is the buying or selling of a home and how your emotions ran high over $10,000 or $20,000 of negotiations when someone asked you to repair a cracked window or a lock that didn’t work. We are in an unprecented $420 billion-dollar trade gap right now which really means we buy a lot more stuff from China than they buy from us.  The tariffs (which really are a tax) act as a way for us ...

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Opportunity Investing

There are many successful investing strategies.  Warren Buffett likes to buy-and-hold.  For Jimmy Buffett, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.  Some people say diversify (don’t put all your eggs in one basket) to reduce risk.  Others look for opportunities that lead to tremendous growth. Let’s take a closer look at “opportunity investing”.  There are always Investment opportunities.  They come and go, some are good and some are bad.  If you’re old enough to be reading this while drinking your morning Starbucks Green Tea Crème Frappuccino®, then you probably remember the dotcom boom in the late 1990s, or the real estate boom in the mid-2000s.  Presently, there are several investing themes that have people excited, including:  cannabis, genomic revolution, blockchain (bitcoin), eSports, sports betting, and 5G. One opportunity we believe will have a tremendous and long-lasting impact is 5G.  PC Magazine says “5G is an investment for the next decade”.  So, “What is 5G” you may ask?  Let’s take a look. 1G ...

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Are Mothers Losing Income Equality When They Have Kids?

Request a FREE no obligation consultation: www.oxygenfinancial.net The pay gap between men and women is still not close to equal, but there are more signs when it comes to motherhood that the gap is widening even more. For example, one study showed that for women, incomes drop 30% after giving birth for the first time and never catch up. That’s according to a working paper by Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais and Jakob Egholt Sogaard published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in January 2018. The study used Danish administrative data from 1980-2013. (source: CNBC) Also called the “motherhood penalty,” women start falling behind men in terms of their rank and their probability of being promoted just after the birth of the first child, the researchers found. About a decade later, women’s earnings plateau around 20% below the level just before becoming a parent. (source: CNBC) So, is this motherhood penalty something that will continue, and just what can be done to ...

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Invest 2% Of Your Income In You

When we think about investments, we often direct our attention to categories such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.   What we don’t think about often is our most valuable asset, which is our ability to earn an income and how we can grow that income faster.  Almost 20 years ago, I met an extremely successful business owner who gave me a simple lesson: Invest 2% of everything you earn back into your ability to grow your income. So, what does this mean exactly? Investing in you is like diversifying your portfolio investments.  It means that you might take a chance and invest in that side hustle you think could be a business.  It means investing in a training course or advanced education that could further your current career.  It means investing in a personal coach who could improve your business performance.  It could also mean investing in an exercise or nutrition program that could give you more stamina every day ...

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The Three Most Important Letters In Retirement R M D

What is a required minimum distribution? (*) You’ll sometimes hear that you have important financial decisions to make when you turn the age of 70 ½.  The IRS has never seen a nickel of tax revenue on account you may have started in your early 20’s, so now they are wanting to get their due.  An RMD or required minimum distribution is the amount that the tax laws require you to take out of certain types of retirement accounts once you reach the age of 70 ½. If you have a traditional IRA, a 401(k) account, 403(b), or other types of retirement plans, then you’ll generally have to start taking RMDs once the provisions of the law kick in. The rules apply to certain inherited retirement accounts as well, so be very careful when you inherit an IRA. Required minimum distributions must be made in cash, and you’re generally required to complete the withdrawal by the end of the calendar ...

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