Mickelson Wins – Loses Over Half to Taxes

st. andrewsIn July, Phil Mickelson won the British Open, and before that the Scottish Open. I hope you enjoyed his performances as much as I did. If you’re not a golf fan, there’s a story here that you still might find interesting.

After winning these prestigious trophies, Mickelson lightened his trip home from the lovely British Isles by forking over 44% of his winnings to the United Kingdom. Back in the U.S., the IRS took their share of self-employment tax and Medicare surtax, and his home state of California took another 13% or so leaving our golf hero with about 39% of his winnings. And that’s before he paid his travel expenses, agent fees and his caddie, leaving him with a meager 30% of earnings.

Forbes ranks Mickelson as the 7th highest paid athlete in the world. Last January, Phil was so mad about taxes he admitted he was going to make some “drastic changes” because he was in the “zone” that was being targeted both federally and by the state.

No one whom I know personally has a net worth of $180 million, but I do know most of us would do well to take a look at our own rising tax burden and think about making some changes. A couple of places to start are to

  1. review our investment strategy for these changing times, and
  2. consider how we can lower our estate tax risk (and do some good for a deserving charity in the process).

The Stewardship Foundation is always willing to help you assess your situation, examine your goals, and help you meet your financial needs. Unfortunately, we can’t help you read greens or improve your golf swing, but we can help you drive your passions and approach achieving your dreams, resulting in the financial birdie or even the eagle you desire. Give us a call. If you prefer to have a chat after the 18th hole, we’re open to that too.