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The Good Life Report - House Selling Tips & Gratitude Journals

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

– Voltaire

Keep These Tips in Mind When Selling a Home

If you are selling your home, you may be able to exclude the income from the sale from your tax return.

The first thing to consider is the home's ownership and use. To claim the exclusion, you must have owned the home for at least two years or the home was your primary residence for at least two years.

If you are selling your main home, you may also be able to exclude the gain from the sale up to $250,000 from your return for single filers and up to $500,000 on joint returns. If you own more than one home, you can only exclude the gain on the sale of your main home. If you experience a loss when you sell your home, though, this loss isn't deductible. You can also choose not to claim the exclusion, in which case you need to report the gain on your tax return.

Some taxpayers must also report forgiven or canceled debt as income on their tax returns. This can include foreclosure or other processes where a lender forgives or cancels mortgage debt on the home.

Not sure what to report when selling your home? Publication 523, Selling Your Home can help.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov1

Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to practice giving thanks for even the small things in life. We all have things that we're thankful for and regularly recognizing them helps us stay present and gracious.

Looking to start a gratitude journal? These tips will help you get started and love the practice.

The first thing to do is to get some beautiful stationery and pens that make you happy every time you look at them.

Once you have some good materials, start with a prompt. Most people who are just starting a gratitude journal don't know where to start. Using a simple prompt will help get your gratitude juices flowing.

When thinking about things you're grateful for, focus on depth over breadth. Rather than list a number of small items, go into detail about the things you're more grateful for.

Try subtraction, not just addition, when thinking about things you're grateful for. Reflect on what your life would be like without these things.

Don't overdo it and burn yourself out. It might be more effective to journal once or twice a week rather than every day, especially as you build the habit.

Keeping a gratitude journal is about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the good things in life we'd otherwise take for granted.

Tip adapted from Greater Good Magazine2

A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?

Last week’s riddle: I'm tall when I'm young and short when I'm old. What am I?  Answer: A candle.


A Striped Marlin in Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

We hope you enjoyed this Good Life Report. If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you. You can call us at 612-492-0212, or email us at stein@steinfg.com. If you want to talk to a financial advisor, you can make an appointment online at https://bookwithsfg.timetap.com/. We are always happy to help in any way that we can!

Sources:

1. IRS.gov, December 15, 2020

2. GreaterGood.Berkeley.edu, November 17, 2011