Courtesy of Jacques Financial, Rockville, MD
TAX LAW CHANGES
MARGINAL TAX RATES
LONG-TERM CAPITAL GAINS AND QUALIFIED DIVIDENDS
ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX
HEALTH CARE FLEX SPENDING ACCOUNTS
HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
MEDICAL DEVICE TAX
COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS
MEN AND WOMEN
IT MAY NOT COME AS A SURPRISE TO LEARN MEN AND WOMEN have different priorities and worries. A recent survey by U.S. Trust found wealthy women – those with $3 million or more in investable assets – have goals similar to those of wealthy men, but they prioritize differently. The survey reported:
"Women create and control an increasing share of wealth and have a powerful economic influence in the workforce and at home – as business owners, executives, investors, philanthropists, consumers, caregivers, and role models for the next generation. They have a distinct perspective and set of behaviors, shaped by their experiences, upbringing, outlook, and goals that uniquely affect their income, financial security, wealth, and wealth planning needs."
For example, when it comes to investing, almost two-thirds of women surveyed think it's important to consider the social, political, and/or environmental effects of the companies in which they invest (42 percent of men share this belief). In fact, more than half are willing to accept a lower investment return if they believe the company in which they're investing has a positive social impact. Close to three-fourths simply don't want to invest in companies that have negative social or environmental influences. On the family front, more than a third of women indicated they devote more time to caring for aging parents and other relatives than do their spouses. In some cases, women said care giving has affected their career advancement and/or income levels; however, relatively few have taken time to calculate the monetary value of the time they've spent providing care.
A 2013 Congressional Budget Office report estimated the economic value of caregiving for older Americans was about $234 billion in 2011. It arrived at its estimate by multiplying $21 per hour (the average wage of a home health aide in 2011) by 11.2 billion hours of donated care. Despite the cost, or perhaps because they don't understand it, the vast majority of survey participants had no formal plans in place to provide for family members who might need support.
When it comes to taxes, a lot of people – male and female – are perplexed. Three-fourths of women are unclear about the effects of tax law changes on investments and income (as compared to 62 percent of men). Regardless of confusion, high net worth investors of both men and women felt pursuing higher returns was more important than letting tax matters determine their investment choices.