Planning for a Special Dividend – Q&A with Calan Jansen

 

Calan Jansen

Calan Jansen, Vice President at F&M Bank
Infinex Financial Advisor with F&M Financial Services, Inc.

300 Stoney Creek Boulevard, Edinburg, VA 22824

(540) 325-5642

cjansen@infinexgroup.com

Question: What is a special dividend?

A special dividend is a non-recurring distribution of company assets to shareholders, usually in the form of cash. It is typically more lucrative compared to normal dividends paid out by the company and often tied to a specific event like an asset sale or other windfall. Special dividends are also referred to as extra dividends.

Question: Why does a company pay a special dividend?

A special dividend is paid out when a company wishes to make changes to its financial structure or does a spin off on part of its business. At times, it can also be issued to minimize tax burden to the company.

Question: How does a special dividend impact stock price?

Special dividends can have some drawbacks, such as reducing the share price of the company by the dividend amount. If an investor sells their shares directly after the dividend payment, at the lower price, they will cancel out the benefit of the special dividend.

Question: If the special dividend is reinvested, is it a taxable event?

Unfortunately, the issuance of a special dividend is a taxable event to the recipient whether or not it is reinvested. It is always best to talk with a tax professional for guidance.

Question: How can a financial advisor help?

A financial advisor can help navigate the pros and cons of receiving the special dividend. While it is typically a good thing to get an unexpected bonus, there are factors to take into consideration when deciding on dividend reinvestment, and how a large dividend – that was unexpected – can alter the balance of a portfolio. It is always recommended to seek the advice of a trusted financial professional.

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. F&M Financial Services, Inc. is a nonbank subsidiary of F&M Bank. Infinex is not affiliated with either entity.

Securities and Insurance Products:

Not Guaranteed by the Bank | Not FDIC Insured | Not a Deposit | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency | May Lose Value Including Loss of Principal

 

Relocation Guide for Winchester and Frederick County: What You Need to Know for a Successful Move

Are you considering a relocation to the city of Winchester or have you recently moved to Frederick County? Keep reading for everything you need to know about living in the Shenandoah Valley.

Founded in 1752, Winchester is a medium-sized city with plenty to offer history buffs as well as people looking for modern amenities and entertainment. Still affordable and within commuting distance to D.C., Winchester is a great place to raise a family and/or to telecommute to a job in the greater metro area. In addition to its proximity to the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area, you can also drive to other East Coast Cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and even New York (4 hours away).

As part of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester and the rest of Frederick County have an abundance of natural beauty, parks and trails, and historical sites. Vineyards and farms dot the landscape here as well. Keep reading to learn more about Winchester and Frederick County!

What is the cost of living in Winchester and Frederick County?

According to the rankings from Sperling’s Best Places, Winchester’s cost of living is 101.8 out of 100, making it slightly more expensive than the U.S. average but more affordable than the statewide average for Virginia.

Perhaps the biggest factor in Winchester’s cost of living is its hot housing market, where demand outweighs supply and homes sell for a median price of $251,000. Still, that is very affordable compared to home prices in towns closer to D.C. Winchester is a great option for people who want to be within commuting distance of the metro area but can work remotely some or all of the time.

Another benefit of living in Winchester is that real estate taxes are relatively low, with the tax rate for 2020 at $0.93 per $100 of assessed value.

Looking to rent instead of buy? You’ll find that one-bedroom units rent for an average of $770/month in Winchester and two-bedrooms go for about $1,020.

Education in Frederick County

In addition to Frederick County Public Schools, our community also benefits from higher education institutions.

Frederick County Public Schools offers 12 elementary schools, including eight in Winchester; four middle schools, with three in Winchester; and three high schools, two of which are in Winchester. Preschool is also available for eligible students in certain elementary school attendance zones.

If you’re interested in private school in Winchester, here is a sampling of options:

As for higher education in Frederick County:

Neighborhoods in Winchester

As a medium-sized city, Winchester offers a mix of newer and more historic housing in both urban and suburban settings. Popular neighborhoods include:

  • Old Town: Historic downtown neighborhood with residential units as well as retail, dining, and cultural attractions.
  • College Park: Suburban neighborhood adjacent to Shenandoah University
  • Green Acres: Suburban community with midsize homes dating back to 1959.
  • Ash Hollow Estates: Another planned suburban community

Other Major Towns in Frederick County

Transportation and Infrastructure

The Winchester Regional Airport is 70 miles from Dulles International Airport

  • The Winchester Regional Airport is 70 miles from Dulles International Airport.
  • Major roadways include I-81, I-66, US 50, US 11, US 522, VA Primary 7, and VA Primary 37.
  • Public transit options include Win Tran and RouteShout.
  • Commuting to D.C.? You can drive to a Park & Ride Lot and take a commuter bus to a nearby metro station.

Setting Up Local Utilities

Creating new utility accounts may not be the most fun task associated with moving, but we’ve made it easier for you with this handy list of local providers:

  • The City of Winchester’s Public Utilities department provides water and wastewater services to residents. To apply for water and sewer service, fill out the online application or visit the Utilities Customer Service Center in Rouss City Hall. A $170 deposit is required of all first-time residential customers and will be credited back to your account after a certain number of on-time payments. If you are renting your home in Winchester, you’ll need to fill out the Tenant Form and get it signed by your landlord.
  • Winchester receives electricity from the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. To open a new account, call SVEC at 1 (800) 234-7832. You’ll pay a $5 membership fee and a deposit may be required, depending on the results of their evaluation.
  • For natural gas, you’ll need to open an account with Shenandoah Gas, a subsidiary of Washington Gas.
  • When it comes to telecom providers, you can choose from a variety of options, including Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, HughesNet, Lumos Networks, Verizon, Visuallink, Wave2Net, and Winchester Wireless.

Healthcare Services

Winchester and Frederick County offer many reliable options for animal hospitals. Also, the Esther Boyd Animal Shelter is a great foundation for those looking to adopt.

Looking for new doctors for your family? Winchester Medical Center, part of the Valley Health System, offers urgent care, internal medicine and pediatric services, as well as a variety of specialty fields in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Medical offices are located on the hospital’s main campus, or within a quick drive. Winchester Medical Center is an award-winning facility and essential resource for residents of the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Numerous dental practices can also be found throughout the city.

To care for the pets in your life, you’ll be pleased to find many veterinarian offices and emergency hospitals throughout Frederick County. If you’re looking to adopt a pet, check out the Esther Boyd Animal Shelter or the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties.

Parks and Recreation

FCPRD manages a system of owned or maintained facilities and developed park land, including 3.6 miles of paved multipurpose trail, two miles of unpaved trails, nineteen picnic shelters, nine playgrounds, two fishing lakes, and two outdoor pools.

Winchester’s Parks and Rec department offers a variety of educational, athletic, and arts/crafts programs for children and adults as well as facilities, parks, trails, dog parks, and camps. Jim Barnett Park is the largest park in Winchester with over 170 acres of green space and amenities.

For even more parks and recreational opportunities, visit Frederick County’s Parks & Recreation page.

Local Attractions

Local Media

Frederick County Libraries

Find local branches and use digital resources from the Handley Regional Library System.

Community Banking with F&M

If you’ve recently moved to Winchester-Frederick County, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is where to bank. F&M has a long local history of commitment to serving and investing in Shenandoah Valley communities. At our branches, you’ll find a friendly group of employees ready to answer your questions about getting a mortgage, taking out a personal loan or business loan, or opening one of our high interest checking and savings accounts.

6 Facts About VA Loans That You May Not Know

Are you thinking of buying a home? If you’re a veteran or active military personnel, you may be eligible for a VA loan. And the great news is, for those who qualify, VA loans offer some of the most enticing and flexible benefits available. Whether you’ve been researching this mortgage option for months or you are just getting started, here are 6 facts about VA loans that you may not know.

1. VA loans allow veterans to buy a home with little or no money down

VA loans require no down payment, making it easier for veterans to become homeowners.  Perhaps just as importantly, the VA limits what fees and costs veterans can pay at the time of closing (they will not pay an “underwriting” lender fee for example). For other allowable closing costs like title insurance or appraisal fees, the veteran homebuyer can ask the sellers to pay all of their closing costs totaling up to a maximum of 4 percent of the purchase price. This can even include things like prepaid taxes and insurance, collections, and judgments. – Choice One Mortgage

2. Closing costs for VA loans are lower compared to other mortgage types

As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of a VA loan is that the VA limits the amount veterans have to pay in closing costs. Some financial institutions even offer closing cost reductions for qualified applicants. – F&M Bank

3. You can still get a VA loan while serving overseas

One of the more interesting facts about VA loans is that military members serving overseas can grant power of attorney (POA) to a spouse or someone else to sign the loan documentation for them. There is a 60-day occupancy rule, but only a spouse can satisfy that. Otherwise, an extension of up to 12 months is granted to the borrower. – Park Place Finance

4. If you have full entitlement, you won’t have a home loan limit

If the veteran has full entitlement, there is technically no limit on the loan amount and there will be no down payment required. It is important to note that if you do not have full entitlement (either through compromise or another VA loan) then the “old school” rules apply and down payments will potentially be required based on the loan amount. – Jennifer Guidry

5. VA loans do not require private mortgage insurance

Private mortgage insurance is required on all other mortgages when the borrower does not provide 20 percent of the sales price in the form of a down payment. This is an additional cost that VA home buyers do not incur in their monthly mortgage payments – Dylan Langei Home Loans

6. There are a variety of VA loan products available

From purchase, refinance, and home construction options to financing for manufactured homes (including singlewides), there are a wide variety of VA loan products to choose from. The VA even offers a streamlined refinance product (called an IRRRL), which provides a fast refinance from one VA loan to another, lowering monthly payments. Additionally, under this “IRRRL” program, some lenders do not require an appraisal, income, or credit check. – eLEND

Originally published by Redfin

Federal Tax Filing Season Starts Soon

The IRS has announced that the federal income tax filing season for tax year 2020 returns begins on Friday, February 12, 2021. Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, the additional time will allow the IRS to update its programming and test its system to take into account any changes made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021), signed into law on December 27, 2020. Last-minute changes to tax law have already been included in IRS tax forms and instructions.

Tips for making filing easier

To speed refunds and help with tax filing, the IRS suggests the following:

  • Make sure you have received Form W-2 and other earnings information, such as Form 1099, from employers and payers. The dates for furnishing such information to recipients vary by form, but they are generally not required before February 1, 2021. You may need to allow additional time for mail delivery.
  • The federal individual income tax returns, Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR (available for seniors born before January 2, 1956), and instructions are available on irs.gov.
  • File electronically and use direct deposit.
  • Check irs.gov for the latest tax information.

Key filing dates

Here are several important dates to keep in mind.

  • January 12. IRS Free File opened. Free File allows you to file your federal income tax return for free [if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $72,000 or less] using tax preparation and filing software. You can use Free File Fillable Forms even if your AGI exceeds $72,000 (but these apparently are not available until February 12). You can already file with an IRS Free File partner, but tax returns will not be transmitted to the IRS before February 12. Tax software companies may also be accepting tax filings in advance.
  • February 12. IRS begins accepting and processing individual tax returns.
  • February 22. Projected date for the irs.gov Where’s My Refund tool being updated for those claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the additional child tax credit (ACTC).
  • First week of March. Tax refunds begin reaching those claiming the EITC and ACTC for those who file electronically with direct deposit and no issues on their tax returns.
  • April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns (or requesting an extension).
  • October 15. Deadline to file for those who requested an extension on their 2020 tax returns.

Tax refunds

The IRS encourages taxpayers seeking a tax refund to file their tax return as soon as possible. The IRS anticipates most tax refunds being issued within 21 days of the IRS receiving a tax return if the return is filed electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with the tax return. To avoid delays in processing, the IRS encourages people to avoid paper tax returns whenever possible.

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Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

NOT FDIC-INSURED. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. NOT GUARANTEED BY THE BANK. MAY GO DOWN IN VALUE.

“Fraud Department” Text Scam

We have been made aware of an unsolicited text and phone call scam circulating through our area. In this reported case, a customer received a text message that appears to be from the F&M Bank fraud department. The text message asks for a simple reply – YES, if you initiated a transaction, or NO, if the charge is fraudulent. An image is below for your convenience.

When the customer responded “NO” and denied the charge, the criminal fraudster followed up with a phone call. The caller ID also appears to be from F&M Bank, Timberville. The caller claimed to from the F&M Bank “fraud department” and asked the customer for more information. The customer became suspicious and began asking questions of the fraudster leading to the fraudster ending the call.

Unfortunately, fraudsters can configure a text message or phone call to appear to come from any source. This scam is extremely dangerous because it seems legitimate. To best protect yourself, never give out your confidential information over the phone or via text.

F&M Bank will not call or text you and ask you to provide sensitive information. If you receive such a call or text message, do not respond. Contact your local F&M Branch using a number you know to be valid. Do not use numbers contained in the caller ID on your mobile phone.

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