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Tax in the City

Many high-income earners in Portland and Multnomah County—Oregon’s most populous county—are getting (or will soon get) a rude awakening upon opening their paychecks. Besides paying their usual Federal and State of Oregon income taxes, higher income earners are doing the heavy lifting to pay for the region’s new social programs.   Last November, voters in Multnomah County passed the county’s “Preschool for All” ballot measure. Starting in 2022, the tax will provide...
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Washington State Long-Term Care Tax

The WA Long-Term Care Trust Act (The WA Cares Fund) Did you know that beginning on January 1,  2022, employers will be required to collect a payroll tax on all compensation for every W-2 employee in Washington? If you work for one of Washington’s large tech employers – Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. and make more than $300,000 you will want to learn how this new tax might impact you. This new payroll tax will be used to fund a state run, long-term...
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How does the Amazon Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion work?

Updated for 2021 The numbers behind the Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion You probably know that within your Amazon 401(k) you can contribute up to $19,500 per year if you’re under 50, and an extra $6,500 per year if you’re over 50. We’re just going to concentrate on folks who are under 50 for this example. If you max out your 401(k) with a $19,500 contribution, Amazon is going to provide you with a 50% match on your first 4% contributed, meaning that they will...
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How Will President Biden’s Proposed Tax Plan Affect High-Income Earners?

We know there are a lot of questions about President Biden’s proposed tax bill, and people are speculating about how the changes could affect them. In this video we outline the proposed tax plan, discuss who is most likely to be impacted, and explore steps you can take today to potentially reduce your future tax bills.   What do we know now? President Biden’s proposed tax plan could raise $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The proposal includes increases on...
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Investing Strategies for Amazon Employees

As an Amazon employee it is important to understand how your compensation structure works and to develop an investment strategy. The way you are compensated in your first two years of employment looks very different than how you are compensated in years three, four, and beyond which in turn shapes the ways in which you should think about investing. In the video below we walk you through an example of how to automate your investing year by year, helping you grow...
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Reduce Your Tax Bill Using the Microsoft Deferred Compensation Plan

Are you a Microsoft Level 67 or higher employee who wants to reduce taxes? The Deferred Compensation Plan benefit is an excellent way to reduce your tax bill by tens of thousands of dollars. In this video we provide an overview of the benefit. We feel this section on how to reduce your tax bill is by far the most important part of this video and worth explaining in greater detail. How Does the Microsoft Deferred Comp Plan Work? As you know, Microsoft employees are...
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Change Your Mind: The Five Best Finance Books That You Haven’t Read (Yet)

These books helped to shape my worldview and are an excellent complement to “conventional” textbook learning. There are numerous other books that might have made this list; I’m sure other people will argue that I missed this book or that book (Great! I’ll put them on my reading list). Each of these books offer unique perspectives from people who don’t shy away from their opinion, and in many ways have transformed how we think about decision making and finance. All...
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How I Invest

What drives my investing? It’s understanding that investing is for the long-term. It’s not a race to capitalize on market fluctuations. I don’t try to beat the market or to strike it big on a few trades and call it good. What drives my investing is what drives me in life. I don’t invest for the sake of making money, I invest so I can achieve my long-term goals and more importantly fulfill commitments I have made to my family and community. This commitment is...
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Intel Employees Save More for Retirement Using Intel’s Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion

Intel employees can invest more towards retirement using the Intel Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion, also known as the after-tax contribution to your 401(k) plan. We want to help you understand why this is such an amazing benefit Intel employees should consider taking advantage of. In this video, we explain what this benefit is and how it can help you invest more towards your retirement while reducing some of your future tax liabilities. The numbers behind the Intel...
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NCAA Tournament Brackets and Investing

What if I told you I held the secret to creating a better than average NCAA bracket?  It’s March which means one thing – March Madness – and 2021 has left us no shortage of excitement or upsets. After 2 rounds of the NCAA Tournament, we approach the Sweet 16 which this year includes a 15 seed (Oral Roberts), a 12 seed (Oregon State), two 11 seeds (UCLA and Syracuse) an 8 seed (Loyola Chicago once again riding the magic of 101 year old team chaplain Sister Jean), a...
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My 50-Foot Commute

I’m sure many of you reading this can relate to the mixed emotions I have experienced over the last year while working from home. Recently, I have been reflecting on the challenges and newfound opportunities that I have seen as the result of the abrupt change to my daily routine, which began last March.  Over the last year, working from home has been a roller coaster of ups and downs which has taught me many hidden lessons that only a global pandemic could push my...
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How Does Compensation Work at Amazon?

This video will help you understnd how you get paid at Amazon. It will help new employees and individuals interested in working at Amazon gain  a better understanding of the compensation timeline. First off, if you are a new Amazon employee congratulations on your new position!!!   How are Amazon employees paid? There are three different ways Amazon employees are paid Base salary: This is very straight-forward, you will receive your base salary every month....
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