Macho Spouse


image for And the Winner Is...
And the Winner Is...

ScholarshipWinner.jpg(The video is a little blurry due to some military spouse appreciation happening last night, but you'll be able to clearly hear who was selected as this year's winner.)

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the first ever Macho Spouse Scholarship Give-a-Way presented by the Sonoran Desert Institute! This year, every MachoSpouse.com member had a chance to win a free Gunsmithing Scholarship from SDI's School of Firearms Technology. Only one could win, and that's what sucks because several guys have shown a TON of passion and interest in this line of education. If you didn't win (tiny violins playing), don't worry because you may still be eligible for free tuition through the MyCaa grants. We recommend contacting SDI for more information and help with that process. If MyCaa isn't your thing, or your not eligible, SDI offers quite a few eBooks on gunsmithing that you can download for FREE from their website. Here are two of the more popular ones:

http://www.schooloffirearmstechnology.net/workbench

http://www.schooloffirearmstechnology.net/shotgun-shells

Again, these are FREE! Plus, they have a great YouTube channel filled with tutorials and such, AND we will continue to promote different gunsmithing “How To” videos on our site. SDI is trying hard to take care of ALL of us! (applause from the gallery)

Congratulations again to this year's winner and we hope everyone has a great Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

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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 From Breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad
From Breadwinner to Stay-at-Home Dad

brodniakfamily.jpgBy Aaron Brodniak

My journey as a military spouse began shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Within a week my wife was recalled into the U.S. Coast Guard and working as a sea marshal boarding ships and performing inspections. At that time, I was the primary breadwinner of the family and had a job as a regional brewer.

Initially my wife's return to active duty was an easy transition since her first duty station didn't require us to move. That soon changed and less than a year later we were assigned to a duty station that led to me leaving my job.

My first challenges were house hunting and trying to figure out what to do with my time. In my adult life I had served in the Coast Guard and then worked in the private sector; this was my first time not having a job outside the house. Since we were expecting our first child, we decided it made more sense financially for me to stay home and finish up my bachelor's degree before my G.I. Bill expired.

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30 Ways of Thanks Day #19

30Still.jpgA great way to show support for military families is to volunteer your time for organizations that support and serve them. Say thank you by giving back!

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.

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Video - Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) - Career Help Part 1

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This is an oldie, but a goodie video highlighting the impressive work being done at MSCCN (Military Spouse Corporate Career Network) and CASY (Corporate America Supports You).  It's a little long, but we think this is a must-see video for any
male military spouse in need of career support. Deb Kloeppel, CEO MSCCN, explains why her organization is male military spouse friendly and offers an opportunity for us guys to create and sit on male spouse specific career advisrory committee at MSCCN.

Interview from: Cory Livingston, Foday Kanu, Jason Bergman, Jeremy Hilton, Chris Pape, and Deb Kloeppel

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Marine to SAHD: Introduction

Introduction to Marine to SAHD Blog, laying out where I have been what experiences I have.

Andrew Ferguson

Hello All,

My name is Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson; I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2007 and did four years of active duty in Hawaii.  In those four years I deployed twice, once to Iraq and Afghanistan.  I was injured during those four years on multiple occasions and still am injured and receiving help from the Veterans Affairs.