Macho Spouse


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Carpe Diem!

EverettDaughter-220.jpgCarpe Diem is the Latin term for seize the day.  I've seen on social media, and the news, some folks complaining about the “would've/could've” aspect of their life.  Far too often people talk about things they wish they could have or should have done.  Being married to the military, I find myself slipping into that trap more and more often because my wife's Navy career can keep me from pursuing certain passions.

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Contractor vs Employee

employee-contractor-300x270.jpgSo, you have a job offer and the employer offers you employment as either an independent contractor or an employee. You figure that since your wife is in the military, you don't need the insurance and your paycheck will be bigger without all that withholding taken out.

Life as a 1099'er

Ready to take that 1099? Not so fast. You might be in for a big shock at the end of the year. Here is a list of some of the hits you'll take.

• All the income taxes for each taxing entity will be due every quarter after your first year in business. A total of 90 percent must be paid by April 15 of the following year or there will be a penalty.

• You will have to pay the entire Social Security tax. That amounts to 15.3 percent on your first $113,700 and 2.9 percent over that amount. Employees get half that amount paid by their employer automatically. However, as a self-employed individual, you may deduct the half that an employer would have contributed.

• Independent contractors are not covered by non-discrimination laws, wage and hour protection, unemployment insurance, or pension and benefit protections that “real” employees receive.

• If you drive or run other equipment for the business that pays you, you won't be covered by the employer's insurance policy. Guess who that leaves?

What Makes an Employee

The basic issue in deciding whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor is the business's control over the work of the person. This sounds like a simple matter, but courts constantly are deluged with arguments about this issue.

If you're told when to come to work; if you don't provide your own equipment or supplies; and if you are paid in set increments such as hours or piecework, you are an employee, period. If they train you, you are an employee. The courts have made clear that just because the employer doesn't decide to use control, doesn't mean you are then an independent contractor. The crux of the matter is whether they have the right to do so. Read the IRS publication about the issue of contractors vs employees.

Making the Right Decision

Before you make any decisions, take some time to investigate and consider which category works best for you and your family. If you are leaning toward becoming an independent contractor, make sure you're prepared to save enough to cover your tax expenses and any additional costs like liability insurance.

Consider incorporating as a LLC to protect yourself and give you additional tax protection. It's a good idea to get the help of a paralegal, lawyer and tax specialist.

If you are considering becoming self-employed, be certain to read the IRS Bulletin Understanding Employment Taxes. This is a simple document that explains what the requirements are in everyday language.

This post was sponsored by the School of Firearms Technology from the Sonoran Desert Institute.

image for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Including the Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Including the Children

vid_ptsd5.jpgPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles from post-traumatic stress.  In this fifth segment, Dr. Lind discusses the importance of including one's own children in the healing process.  Depending on the symptoms, children can learn valuable life lessons from watching, monitoring, and even participating in PTS rehabilitation.

image for I wish I had a Jack
I wish I had a Jack

JackL.jpgGuys, the APA has determined that men and women share cognitive skills, we are fundamentally the same. The whole notion of guys being better at math and women being better at communication is simply a social construct. I firmly believe that statement, but that doesn't change the social construct.

This same social construct demands that we take care of our families and makes us feel like lesser men when our combat boot wearing women make more than us.

Throw that idea away, after all it's just an idea.  Who makes what, doesn't have to matter. 

image for Real Food for Real Men
Real Food for Real Men

Wings.jpgFellow male miltary spouse, Billy McFarland, started a new Facebook page about healthy eating and healthy living for men.  According to Billy, he started this while stuck at home during his wife's time in the field, deployments and training.  He plans to cover everything from what to eat and how to cook.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-Food-for-Real-Men/468272673270622

A note from Billy:

So why do I care? Many people close to me know that I have lost a lot of weight in the last 3 years. I have more energy than I did at 18 and more importantly, I can keep up with my kids. 

image for How Do I Shop for New Health Insurance Coverage?
How Do I Shop for New Health Insurance Coverage?

OK, here is an important topic USAA wrote about a few months ago and we obtained permission to re-post on Macho Money.  For those of you who are new to the military, you will receive your health insurance from Tricare.  Tricare is offered to all active duty members and their dependents.  Once your active duty spouse retires, your family is eligible for Tricare For Life.  However, if you guys decide to separate from the military before retirement qualifications are met, you aren't eligible for Tricare.  At this point the VA may be an option, but there are specific eligibility requirements so not everyone will qualify...plus the VA doesn't cover dependents.  So, for many of us, the pain of shopping for health insurance is inevitable.

 

Health insurance coverage is available to more Americans than ever under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created a marketplace of plans with a range of costs and benefits.

But before you start shopping around, it's wise to think about your needs and budget to find the best plan for you and your family.

Here's how to weigh your health insurance coverage options:

  • Figure out your budget. Your first move should be determining whether you're eligible for a health care subsidy under the ACA, says Bob Lord, product management director of health solutions for USAA. If your income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify. The subsidies are based on the second-lowest cost silver ACA plan in your area and can be applied toward more or less costly plans. "Understanding what you can afford outside of whatever the ACA is going to provide for you is powerful knowledge," Lord says.

  • Estimate your household health care expenses. If you are young, single and healthy, you likely won't be using services that often, and preventive visits are one of a range of essential health benefits covered under all plan levels. But families with young children can find themselves on a first-name basis with the staff at their pediatrician's office, so they should consider a plan that offers co-pays for office visits.

  • Peruse prescription benefits. If someone in your family is on maintenance prescription drugs, see what they'll cost. Health plans have a formulary — a list of prescription drugs they cover. Lord suggests choosing a plan where the formulary includes any brand-name drugs you use, as they are covered at a higher level.

  • Decide if you'll see Dr. Who. If keeping your current health care provider is important to you, find a plan with your provider in its network. Out-of-network providers are covered at a lower rate, if at all, than those in network. Conversely, if you find a plan that saves you a lot of money but makes your doctor or specialist out of network, weigh the savings versus having to switch providers.

Members with questions about health insurance coverage should contact USAA.

"We can help point them in the right direction if we have policies available or to the appropriate state-regulated or federal exchange," Lord says.

To get started, visit the USAA Health Insurance Marketplace.

(Note: USAA did not pay for this post, we re-posted because it is good information.  If you, or your company/organization, would like to offer more insight on this subject please feel free to contact us.)