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It’s been a bumpy year for the financial markets — which means that some of your investments may have underperformed or lost value. Can you use these losses to your advantage?
It’s possible. If you have some investments that have lost value, you could sell them to offset taxable capital gains from other investments. If your losses exceed gains for the year, you could use the remaining losses to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income. And any amount over $3,000 can be carried forward to offset gains in future years.
This “tax-loss harvesting” can be advantageous if you plan to sell investments that you’ve held in taxable accounts for years and that have grown significantly in value. And you might receive some gains even if you take no action yourself. For example, when you own mutual funds, the fund manager can decide to sell stocks or other investments within the fund’s portfolio and then pay you a portion of the proceeds. These payments, known as capital gains distributions, are taxable to you whether you take them as cash or reinvest them back into the fund.
Still, despite the possible tax benefits of selling investments whose price has fallen, you need to consider carefully whether such a move is in your best interest. If an investment has a clear place in your holdings, and it offers good business fundamentals and favorable prospects, you might not want to sell it just because its value has dropped.
On the other hand, if the investments you’re thinking of selling are quite similar to others you own, it might make sense to sell, take the tax loss and then use the proceeds of the sale to purchase new investments that can help fill any gaps in your portfolio.
If you do sell an investment and reinvest the funds, you’ll want to be sure your new investment is different in nature from the one you sold. Otherwise, you could risk triggering the “wash sale” rule, which states that if you sell an investment at a loss and buy the same or a “substantially identical” investment within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss is generally disallowed for income tax purposes.
Here’s one more point to keep in mind about tax-loss harvesting: You’ll need to take into account just how long you’ve held the investments you’re considering selling. That’s because long-term losses are first applied against long-term gains, while short-term losses are first applied against short-term gains. (Long-term is defined as more than a year; short-term is one year or less.) If you have excess losses in one category, you can then apply them to gains of either type. Long-term capital gains are taxed at 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income, while short-term gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. So, from a tax perspective, taking short-term losses could provide greater benefits if your tax rate is higher than the highest capital gains rate.
You’ll want to contact your tax advisor to determine whether tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for your situation — and you’ll need to do it soon because the deadline is Dec. 31. But whether you pursue this technique this year or not, you may want to keep it in mind for the future — because you’ll always have investment tax issues to consider.
Chad Choate III, AAMS
828 3rd Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Harmonious Healing: Benefits of Music Therapy for SeniorsFebruary 6, 2024 | Tiffany Wyndham Hunt, MA, MT-BC, Music Therapist Board CertifiedAs we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes, and maintaining a good quality of life can become a challenge. In this pursuit of well-being, music therapy for seniors has emerged as a powerful and uplifting tool. Beyond being a source of joy and entertainment, music therapy has proven to offer physical, emotional and cognitive benefits for supporting quality of life.Music Therapy ExplainedWhat is music therapy anyway? According to the American Music Therapy Association, its the use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. Music therapy is administered by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.Enhancing Cognitive FunctionMusic has a unique ability to stimulate multiple regions of the brain simultaneously. For seniors, especially those dealing with cognitive decline or dementia, participating in music therapy can help activate neural pathways and improve their cognitive function. The rhythm, melody, harmonic progression, instrumentation, style of music, and so many other aspects can support reminiscence and memories, communication, alertness, engagement and cognitive response.Breakthrough BehaviorsBarbara, a CC Young memory support resident, appeared tired and, when asked by our music therapist how she was doing, she commonly answered that she was hanging in there. During one music therapy session, Barbara was given a small tambourine and naturally began to play it. Barbara gradually became more engaged, including the time when Take Me Home, Country Roads was playing, and she commented, Virginia is far away. This was an exciting breakthrough during the session, as Barbara had been reluctant to participate.Emotional Well-BeingMusic has a powerful and scientifically based ability to evoke emotions and memories. Due to changing living circumstances that often accompany aging, seniors may face challenges such as loneliness, depression or anxiety. Music therapy offers an emotional outlet, comfort, relaxation and a sense of connection. Listening to or singing familiar tunes or participating in music-making activities lifts spirits, reduces stress and creates a positive emotional environment. Music is innate in our culture, and it is therefore a source of grounding. So when music is intentionally employed by a music therapist, it can produce noticeable comfort, enjoyment and camaraderie.At the beginning of one particular group music therapy session, CC Young resident Rose was dozing in her chair. When approached by our music therapist who was playing the song New York, New York, Rose awoke with a big smile, began singing along and played a hand drum while moving to the beat of the music. She perked up, sharing with the group memories of her times visiting New York City and how much she loved shopping there.Physical RehabilitationMusic therapy programs for seniors dealing with physical ailments or limitations can also be integrated into rehabilitation plans of care. The rhythmic patterns and coordinated movements associated with music aid in improving motor skills, coordination and overall physical well-being. Whether through dance, rhythmic exercises or playing instruments, seniors experience benefits in movement that promote physical and mental health, often aiding their rehab and road to recovery.Social ConnectionMusic brings people together and finds common ground regardless of race, language and socio-economic factors. Music therapy does the same thing. Through group activities or one-on-one sessions, it creates a sense of community and social connection. Group singing, drum circles or interactive musical games provide opportunities for social interaction, which reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. Music therapy creates a sense of belonging and emotional support.Habla EspaolAt CC Young, occasionally, we will care for a resident for whom English is a second language. When Julio came to CC Young for rehab services, he was encouraged to participate in music therapy as part of his care plan. He was delighted to know the music therapist spoke Spanish and had fun joining the therapist in singing Spanish hymns.Improved Sleep QualitySleep disorders are common among seniors, and they can affect physical and mental health. According to UC Davis Health, music at around 60 beats per minute, which is the same as a relaxed heart, can slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and promote better sleep patterns, contributing to overall improvement in quality of sleep. Likewise, listening to calming music before bedtime or incorporating music into relaxation routines can promote better sleep patterns and contribute to an overall improvement in sleep quality.In the symphony of life, music therapy stands out as a harmonious healer on multiple levels for older adults. Music therapys ability to address physical, emotional and cognitive well-being makes it a valuable and accessible tool for seniors. As we continue to explore the therapeutic potential of music, it becomes increasingly clear that the melody of life can be enriched, and the challenges of aging can be met with the uplifting power of music therapy.Want to learn more about music therapy for seniors? Contact us and get in touch with a CC Young senior living expert today.
What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimers?Kim Trevey on Oct 22, 2023 | Bader House of Plano BlogThe words Alzheimers and dementia are often used in the same sentence and even interchangeably, as if theyre the same disease.But this isnt true.In fact, one of these isnt a disease at all.What is dementia?Dementia is not a disease in and of itself but rather a word that describes a group of symptoms related to neurodegeneration, which is a deterioration of cells in the brain. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss; difficulty with reasoning or judgment; changes in thinking skills, language and behavior; and a decrease in the ability to focus.Several conditions can cause dementia, including Alzheimers disease, which would be considered a type of dementia.Other types of dementia include:1. Huntingtons diseaseHuntingtons Disease is a type of dementia is hereditary and usually shows up earlier in life, between the ages of 30 and 50.Along with impairing memory and cognitive function, the first symptom of Huntingtons disease is often uncontrollable movement in the upper body.2. Lewy body dementiaLewy bodies are abnormal deposits of protein in the brain that cause hallucinations, imbalance in the body and attention issues.3. Vascular dementiaVascular Dementia is a type of dementia represents 10% of all dementia cases.It is caused by restricted blood flow in the brain due to blockage in the blood vessels and can lead to stroke or brain bleeds.4. Parkinsons disease dementiaThis type of dementia occurs in those with Parkinsons disease who also experience a decline in thinking and reasoning skills.5. Mixed dementiaWhen the changes in the brain are caused by multiple types of dementia, this is known as mixed dementia.The most common form of mixed dementia is caused by conditions related to Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia.Dementia is more than the natural decline that comes with aging. Dementia signifies damage that has been done to the brain cells to the extent that it is interfering with a persons cognitive function and abilities.What is Alzheimers disease?Named after physician Alois Alzheimer, who was the first to link memory loss symptoms with changes in the brain, Alzheimers disease is the leading disease that causes dementia, causing 60-80% of cases.Alzheimers is a degenerative brain disease that affects cognitive functions such as memory, learning new information, thinking, reasoning, and logic. Symptoms increase and worsen over time.An estimated six million Americans are living with Alzheimers today, most of whom are over the age of 65. About 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimers.Is it Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia?Alzheimers disease can be diagnosed through a series of tests conducted by your doctor, whether thats your primary care physician, a neurologist, or a geriatrician. These tests include mental status testing and neuropsychological testing.Mental status testing tests your thinking and memory skills. Your doctor can score how well you do on these tests to determine your level of cognitive impairment.Neuropsychological testing is often conducted by a neuropsychologist. This series of tests will also test your memory and thinking skills but will additionally test if youre able to perform daily functions normally and if another mental condition, such as depression, could be causing your memory loss.Your doctor will also conduct tests to rule out any other factors that could be resulting in Alzheimers-like symptoms, including:brain tumornutritional deficiencyautoimmune diseasemetabolic imbalancereaction to medicationan infectionsubstance abuseYour doctor may also interview family members or people close to you to discuss any changes in your behavior theyve noticed.The bottom line is extensive testing is available that can give you a proper diagnosis of Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia. You can even get tested before you start showing symptoms with the use of MRIs, genetic testing and testing of the liquid around your brain and spinal cord. Your doctor can determine if you are a good candidate for early testing.Understanding the world of neurodegeneration can feel overwhelming, but knowing the difference between Alzheimers disease and dementia can help you determine what symptoms you or a loved one are experiencing and how to approach your doctor.With extensive and ongoing research, specialists have been able to identify the numerous forms of dementia, their causes and possible treatments that wont necessarily cure dementia but can help curb symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients and the loved ones who care for them.
Youve been on a waiting list for a senior living facility for years. In the meantime, your dream cruise is planned and that family reunion is around the corner...then you get the call." If youre like many downsizing Seniors the question echoing in your mind is; What do I do about the house? Here is a quick guide that can give you the confidence and structure that you need. First, take a breathyou can do this! Next, identify a trusted Realtor who has genuine experience helping Seniors. Start by looking for Realtors that have the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. Seniors and their families need a Realtor to help navigate the maze of financial, legal, and emotional issues accompanying the sale of your memory filled home. Im a longtime SRES and still depend on this special training to help Seniors through the process. It may sound old school, but a Realtor who listens deeply and communicates with a smile, handshake, and a visit is a must. Skills like patience, planning, and guiding are critical. Invite your Realtor in as early as possible to walk through the home to learn its unique character and story! Look for a Realtor who can translate the story into a plan to market that uniqueness. Part of their role will be to help you understand how to prepare your home for the marketwhat projects to tackle, which ones to ignore, and how to not go overboard as you prepare to sell. Like all top Realtors, we have a handy list of trusted resources to help tackle agreed upon projects. Pricing should be based on reality and facts, not hopes and dreams. Location, size, and amenities are part of the equation as are market activity, market trends, and area competition. Over the years, weve developed a very customized, yet simple, tool to accurately forecast list and sale prices. All top Realtors will have something similar in their tool belt. Be comfortable asking questionsworking with a Realtor should be a collaboration, not a dictatorship. Using a professional stager and photographer is another must do in todays market. Digital marketing demands high quality, properly lit, compelling photos of an expertly staged homed so that it shines and tells its story clearly. Every Realtor handles this differently, but we believe in this concept so strongly that we provide both a stager and photographer at no cost to our listing clientsit is just too important to skip. These are the steps that lead to the For Sale signand hopefully the ability to breathe a bit easier. This article was written by Mike Julian, Managing Broker, Realty One Group Unlimited.
Experience and Background I am a financial advisor in Bradenton, FL, and began my career with Edward Jones in 2017. As a financial advisor, I want to find out what's important to you and help you build personalized strategies to achieve your goals. As a lifelong Manatee County resident, I graduated from the University of South Florida and was a teacher in Manatee County before joining Edward Jones. My driving force is to change people's lives in a positive way, and what better place than my home to do that. Whether you're planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. We will also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. Throughout it all, we're dedicated to providing you with top-notch client service. But we're not alone. Thousands of people and advanced technology support from our office can help ensure you receive the most current and comprehensive guidance. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to work with your attorney, accountant and other trusted professionals to deliver a comprehensive strategy that leverages everyone's expertise. Working together, we can help you develop a complete, tailored strategy to help you achieve your financial goals. I currently volunteer with the Manatee Hurricane football Broadcast and Booster Club, serve on my church's trustees council and have previously served as a leader in Young Life. I am a member of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and an alumnus of their Leadership Manatee program. I have been married to my childhood sweetheart, Ashley, for 15 years and we have a son, Wesley, and daughter, Camryn. We enjoy watching our children play their sports and traveling as a family.