I would throw in some caution here: if your spouse works at the same company, or in the same industry as you, you are not diversified, and should something happen, you could be in a world of hurt. Companies do go out of business, companies do lay employees off. There is nothing wrong with working together, but realize that you are not diversified and you should be trying to maximize other income streams as a result.
H&R Block Online Deluxe or Premium, or H&R Block Software Basic, Deluxe, Premium or Premium & Business get unlimited sessions of live, personal tax advice with a tax professional. You can ask our tax advisors an unlimited number of questions at no extra cost (excludes business returns). Standard live chat hours apply (10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (all times CT).
The reason I consider dividends artificial and believe they don’t matter is because you can just as easily reinvest your dividends. If a stock is worth $100/share, I don’t care if it issues a $1/share dividend or if the share price instead increases to $101/share – either way, I have the same amount of money, because there’s no difference to my net worth whether I take the dividend or sell part of a stock.
For a person working for a wage, their source of income is their job, or their labor (aka their time that they sell to someone). But you can own a house, and rent it out, and when your renters pay you renter every month, the source of that income check is your rental property, or your house. It would just be called rental income. If you have money in the bank in an account that pays interest, those interest payments are another source of income. We can say the source is interest payments, or we can identify the asset that is generating rent, and say your money in the bank that is generating “rent” (aka interest) is your source of income.