Each year, many companies—large and small—offer summer internships. The interns are frequently college students between academic years, and they usually are unpaid. Recently, such arrangements have come under fire from those contending interns should be put on the payroll.
The concern that few private sector workers can look forward to pensions after retirement has become a pivotal pressure point among retirement discussions. The traditional pension, a lifelong stream of income to a retiree and perhaps a surviving spouse, is becoming a rarity for those who are not long-term government employees.
Nevertheless, millions of people do have a form of pension these days, one that kicks in after age 70½. At that age, required minimum distributions (RMDs) typically begin from retirement plans, such as traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. With proper planning, RMDs can serve as a long-term pension and also provide benefits to a surviving spouse.
Negative opinions are easy to find, and there’s little doubt that high-pressure sales pitches may lead to some bad decisions. Nevertheless, millions of Americans own timeshares. Surveys indicate that purchasers tend to be well educated, with comfortable incomes. Can so many capable and accomplished people all be wasting their money?
The answer to this question is that timeshares can’t be crammed into a single basket and treated as a universal good or bad deal. There are an infinite number of buying opportunities, with enormous variations from one arrangement to the next. If you look at a timeshare as a big-ticket purchase rather than as an investment, and if you read the terms of the agreement carefully before making any commitment, you might decide to add a timeshare to your vacation plans. Or you might not.
Going through a divorce can be a stressful experience, and some items may be overlooked. Nevertheless, if you are in this situation, it is critical to plan for future health insurance. Medical bills and health insurance premiums can be extremely expensive; any lapse in coverage might lead to a financial crisis. The fine points of paying for health insurance after a divorce will vary by your specific circumstances, including the terms of current coverage and state law. That said, here are some general thoughts to help you in this area.
As 2016 began, people were lining up to buy tickets for the Powerball lottery, which eventually reached a total prize of $1.58 billion. Many states have lotteries, and countless participants win prizes, albeit usually much smaller than the Powerball jackpot. Are such winnings taxable? The answer, in a word, is yes. (As an exception to this rule, some states exempt their lottery winnings from state income tax.)
According to the IRS, lotteries are a form of gambling, along with pastimes such as raffles, horse racing, and casino games. Cash winnings are taxable income, as is the fair value of prizes such as cars and trips. All of your gambling winnings must be declared on Form 1040 of your tax return as “Other Income.”
The recently-signed Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 reinstates some expired tax benefits retroactively and makes them permanent. On the list is the 100% tax exclusion of the gain from sales of qualified small business stock (QSBS).
Example 1: Nick Oliver creates a company in 2016 and sells all the stock in it in 2022 for a $3 million gain. If the stock meets the requirements to be QSBS, Nick will owe no tax on that $3 million profit. (In most cases, tax-free gains of QSBS are capped at $10 million.)