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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Making Healthy Choices with Money

Apr 01, 2024 12:00AM ● By Jody McDonough

Jody McDonough, Financial Advisor at St. Croix Wealth Management

We make healthy choices with our food and our bodies, but do we make healthy, mindful choices with our money? We can in many ways. Here are a few ideas to best use your investments and income to keep more money in your pocket.

As April 15th approaches, many of us are either finished or nearing completion of filing our taxes. Although discussing taxes and money may not be the most enjoyable topic, it is certainly an important one. While I do not prepare taxes for individuals, I can offer strategies that many people find helpful to correctly file and possibly pay less in taxes. Tax considerations extend beyond deductions from wages or IRA distributions; they also impact overall wealth and the amount that is left to heirs.  

Smart Tax and Investment Strategies

Let’s begin with overall wealth. Interest earned on savings or CDs is subject to ordinary income tax, and investments in certain mutual funds outside of the IRA incur taxes on capital gains and interest. This is called tax drag. There are investment options with a tax focus that aim to reduce the tax drag. By paying less tax today and retaining that money in investments, wealth has the potential to grow significantly over time. Many people have not considered investing in 
Tax Managed Portfolios or are unaware of this effective tax managed approach.  

It is essential to understand how money will be taxed upon death as well. When traditional IRAs, 401Ks and other employer plans are left to beneficiaries other than a spouse, that money is subject to mandatory distributions which will increase the taxable income for the beneficiary. This may bump the recipient into a higher tax bracket. As a result, this can affect funding for college tuition, income tiers set for Medicare Part B and D premiums, and Social Security tax.  Under current rules, the funds will need to be withdrawn over a 10-year time frame.

Roth IRA accounts can be another strategic investment option to avoid future tax liabilities. Required Minimum Distributions are not required for Roth IRAs, and withdrawals on Roth IRAs are not considered taxable income.

Why is this important? Awareness of opportunities and choices available to us is crucial in 
order to make informed financial decisions for the present and future.

With over 24 years of experience as a Financial Advisor, I have assisted individuals in achieving their financial goals by instilling confidence and providing direction. My holistic approach includes generous listening, thorough discovery, non-judgmental understanding and navigating the complexities of the financial markets.

In addition to my professional endeavors, I am dedicated to philanthropic activities, such as providing free financial planning for members of the Angel foundation, serving as a resting Deacon at Presbyterian Church of the Way, and holding board positions for the organizations like Irish Arts MN, Boss Women United, and Women in Insurance and Financial Services Twin Cities Chapter.

Jody McDonough is a Financial Advisor at St. Croix Wealth Management - 7815 3rd St N, 201, Oakdale, MN. She can be reached at 651-491-8295 or [email protected].