If you want to make charitable donations before the end of the year, you’re not alone. According to Giving USA, an estimated $484 billion was given to charity in the U.S. in 2021, a 4% increase from 2020.
Regardless of the causes you support, there are a few questions to keep in mind before opening your wallet.
Are they a qualified charitable organization?
While most religious organizations, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples, are eligible to accept donations, there are some exceptions. But what about the local food bank or animal shelter? Ask to see the organization’s IRS Determination Letter, which tells you if the organization can accept donations. If that’s not possible, you can check directly using the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool.
Also, keep in mind that any donation given to an individual does not qualify as a tax-deductible donation, no matter how worthy their cause.
Did you receive a gift?
Be mindful of gifts. If, for example, you write a check for $250, but receive two complimentary tickets to the organization’s annual gala, you can only deduct the amount after the ticket cost is considered. The same goes for t-shirts or other commemorative items. If a gift is offered in return for a donation, ask the organization if they can deduct the cost of the gift from your donation total in their thank you letter.
Speaking of thank you letters, be sure you get one, or a receipt that documents what you donated to the organization. This is especially important if you donate over $250 because the IRS will need a receipt or letter for documentation purposes. Also, be sure to get a receipt if you donate in cash or you won’t have proof of your contribution.
Do you know how they use the funds they receive?
If you’re considering a large donation, it’s wise to ask the charity involved how it will use your gift. You can use websites like Charity Navigator to evaluate a charity and learn about how effectively it uses donations.
Remember, it’s okay to ask to see a charity’s annual reports and documentation on how they allocate funds. According to The Charities Review Council, roughly 65% of an organization’s total expenses should go towards programs. Keep in mind that a percentage of funds needs to go towards staff, maintaining finances, and running programs.
Taking a few minutes to research can help ensure that your money is used wisely. And if you do choose to donate to an organization, be sure to do so before December 31st, or your tax deduction will have to wait until next year.
If you’re unsure how to make your year-end donations, please keep your financial team in mind. We’re here to help support you as you make these decisions.
Until next week,
Your Eagle Wealth Team
|Toys for Tots Box at Eagle Wealth
Eagle Wealth is participating in the Marine Toys for Tots program again and we need your help! This national organization distributes toys to less fortunate children during the holiday season, spreading hope and joy to others.
Thanks to your generosity last year, our Eagle Wealth community donated 150 toys to Central Oregon children in need. The donation box is set up in our lobby and our team can’t wait to help fill it up.
We’ll match every toy donated, so please join us in the fun! Drop by our office with a (new and unwrapped) toy. We’ll collect gifts until December 21st.
Click here for more information about the program.
P.S. If you live outside of Central Oregon you can still participate. Let us know if you make a donation locally and we'll put another toy in the box.
Healthy holidays: 6 Tips for Maintaining Good Habits
1. Embrace eating in
Try to prepare more meals at home, even though the temptation may be to order carryout. Start by having the ingredients for healthy meals at hand. When shopping, fill most of your cart with foods from the perimeter of the store, such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, seafood, eggs and low-fat dairy. Add in healthy middle-of-the-store items, including whole-wheat pastas, grains, seeds, nuts, beans and wild or brown rice. Make a meal look festive by covering half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
2. Don’t skip breakfast
A balanced breakfast is an integral part of any daily diet. For kids, breakfast is necessary to provide energy for the brain and body. Skipping breakfast — or any meal for that matter — doesn’t help adults either. Studies show that those who eat balanced meals throughout the day have a higher metabolism and better appetite control.
3. Jettison the juice
Most juices contain added sugar, providing unnecessary calories to your child’s diet. Kids benefit much more from fresh fruits and vegetables, which offer natural sweetness, along with fiber — and they’re fun to eat. This advice applies to adults too. That fruit smoothie may appear to be a nutritious snack, but with a calorie count often reaching 300–500, you may want to reach for a high-fiber, satisfying piece of fruit instead, and save the smoothie calories for a special splurge.
4. Stay active
Exercise is the secret to holding the (waist)line when holiday indulgences beckon. Choose fun, aerobic activities, such as ice skating or sledding with friends and family, and incorporate them into your winter plans. If you prefer a warm fire to cold winds, seek out indoor activities, like shooting baskets at your local gym, working out on exercise equipment, challenging yourself with exercise-based video games, DVD workout programs or jumping rope with your kids.
5. Strive for balance
Combining healthy foods, regular exercise and adequate sleep will help you build and restore your energy reserves and reduce stress. The outcome? You’ll feel better and more grounded to withstand the rush of the holidays.
6. When in doubt, ask an expert
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to be more active, consider scheduling a physical with your health care team before you get started. A registered dietitian can provide nutritional guidance that addresses the unique needs of your body and lifestyle.
Tip Adapted from MayoClinic
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks ended higher last week as investors navigated the crosscurrents of a potential easing in future rate hikes and continued strength in the labor market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.24% higher, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.13%. The Nasdaq Composite index improved by 2.09% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 1.68%.1,2,3
A Choppy Week
The week started lower on concerns about protests in China over its zero-Covid policy and comments by two Fed presidents that the Fed may continue its aggressive rate hike policy. Stocks then surged on Wednesday following remarks by Fed Chair Powell, confirming the central bank’s intention to slow the pace of interest rate increases, which may begin as early as this month.
Stocks buckled in early trading on Friday’s monthly employment report, which showed a higher-than-expected increase in new job growth and an above-expectations jump in wage growth. But stocks cut their losses by the end of the session to lock in a positive week.
Labor May Be Key
In a presentation to the Brookings Institution, Powell said that it might be time to begin moderating the pace of rate hikes. He cited several areas of progress in the inflation fight, including a deceleration in interest rate sensitive parts of the economy, such as housing and supply chain improvement. He also noted the price declines seen in goods and rents.4
But Powell suggested the labor market would need to cool down before the Fed could feel confident about making sustainable progress toward its two percent inflation target. November’s employment report showed robust job and wage growth, which indicated any cooling remained in the future.5
THE WEEK AHEAD
KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Composite. Factory Orders. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Manufacturing.
Friday: Producer Price Index (PPI). Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, December 2, 2022
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: AutoZone, Inc. (AZO), MongoDB, Inc. (MDB).
Wednesday: Campbell Soup Company (CPB).
Thursday: Broadcom, Inc. (AVGO), Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), Chewy (CHWY).
Source: Zacks, December 2, 2022
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance
Disclosures and Footnotes
Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance.
1. The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2022
2. The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2022
4. The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2022
5. The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2022
6. IRS.gov, July 11, 2022
7. WebMD, May 6, 2021
Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.
Please consult your financial professional for additional information.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2022 FMG Suite.