Happy Returns! … How to Use Your Tax Refund Wisely.

Happy Returns! … How to Use Your Tax Refund Wisely.

For most taxpayers, the light at the end of the tax season tunnel is the hope of a refund. Many of us view a tax refund as ‘bonus’ cash; however, it really should be utilized just as any of your other income would be and managed purposefully. So if you’re anticipating a tax refund this year, make sure you have a plan for your money. Prior to receiving any tax refund, think about your personal financial situation to determine what your needs are. The following 10 ideas can help you prioritize your financial picture and plan how to use your refund wisely. read...
8 Retirement Moves You’re Most Likely to Regret

8 Retirement Moves You’re Most Likely to Regret

Quitting work too soon. One-third of all retirees will live to be over 91 years of age. Avoid the mistake of rushing to retire as soon as possible. Working until age 66 instead of 62 will increase your social security benefits by 25 percent. You can expect social security payments 75 percent higher if you wait until you’re 70 years old. Overestimating investment returns. Stock market returns can be depressed for 10 years or more. Just because the average return is 7.0 percent after adjusting for inflation doesn’t mean it’s seven percent every year. Be realistic in your assumptions about future...
Filing for Bankruptcy as a Retiree

Filing for Bankruptcy as a Retiree

Calculate what your income is. Your income will determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Income qualifications vary from one state to another, however, so it’s important to check the requirements for your state. Ensure your debts will be erased if you file for bankruptcy. Debts can be secured or unsecured, and some types of secured debts won’t go away when you file. What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Chapter 7 erases any unsecured debt, which includes medical bills as well as credit card debt. Your income has to be below a certain level for you to qualify for this type of bankruptcy and this level varies from one state to another. The downside of filing for Chapter 7 is that your assets will be sold to pay your creditors back. Your creditors will not be paid back if there are no assets to sell. What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Chapter 13 bankruptcy includes setting up a restructuration plan, usually with monthly payments. Filing for this type of bankruptcy means that you’ll have pay at least a portion of your debt. The main advantage of Chapter 13 is that your assets won’t be sold. However, you’ll have to prove that your income allows you to keep up with the repayment plan after subtracting your living expenses. Your secured debts also have to be below a certain level in order to qualify for Chapter 13. What kind of assets could you lose if you file under Chapter...
Things to Consider Before Lending Money to Family and Friends

Things to Consider Before Lending Money to Family and Friends

Should you loan money to friend or family member? It’s a complicated subject. While it’s natural to want to help the people in your life, loaning money has the potential to destroy relationships. Refusing to lend money can be hard on a relationship, too. There are no easy answers. Think carefully before loaning money to family and friends: 1. Only loan what you can afford to lose. The grim reality is that you might never see your money again. You can minimize the pain of default by only loaning what you can afford to lose. read...

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