2013 Tax Day Countdown

It’s just a little over a week until the Tax Man Cometh here in the US.

Have you filed yet?  With the delay of the filing season caused by the Congressional Shenanigans of earlier this year, more and more people are filing later in the season.  While the IRS doesn’t begin processing returns until January 30, a 2012 survey by Intuit found that 82% of taxpayers who filed by the end of February (just 28 days) got a refund.

What are you going to do with your refund?

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Over 50 Retirement Planning

So you’ve started a little later than you should.  I know I have, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to just give up.

You will just have to be a little more fluid in your goals.

According to the 2012 Survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute 66% of US Workers report having some retirement savings.  While this may seem like a great statistic, it’s down from 75% from their 2009 survey.  Approximately 60% of respondents report that their retirement savings totals less than $25,000!   So what do you do?

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Retirement Myths

When you begin to look at retirement from any age, whether you’re 25 and planning ahead (awesome!) or 50 and are thinking.. Hmm.. I wonder what I should do? 

You’ll hear from a number of different sources, including this one, information that’s spot-on and some that’s more of an old wives tale.  One of big problems with listening to any type of advice is it at one point in time it may have been true. Times change, laws change and definitely people change.

With Social Security in the news lately we’ve taken the approach in this household  with retirement planning by not counting on Social Security. We just don’t feel it’s likely to get much of anything when the time comes for us to ‘retire’.  More than likely, we’ll be looking for ways to supplement our income.  And in one case, that has already begun.  That’s a post for a different day, however.

This article is going to go through some of the most popular retirement myths that abound.  No, I’m not talking about Elvis having retired and is now flipping burgers in a Memphis suburb (everyone knows he’s in Amarillo).   Continue reading

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Reflection & Retirement Planning

After we became ‘eligible’ for AARP, our focus has shifted a bit from the “Get Outta Debt” theme we’d been living under for the last four years.  As anyone who has successfully made that “Outta Debt” goal can tell you, we shift to “Stay Outta Debt”.  The good news there, is that you’ve already done the hard part.  Paying down bills, creating a Spending Plan and looking to save money can all be carried forward to your new theme of staying Debt Free.

In the “AARP Eligible World”, we have the added theme of getting ready for retirement.

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Emergency Fund Financial Study

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!   

Emergency Funds, Rainy Day Funds, “Oh Crap” Funds.. call them what you will, the concept of having money stashed aside for the sole purpose of unexpected expenses is a key aspect of your financial health.  For the longest time, our Emergency Fund was our Credit Card.  This was before we got our act together, set up a small emergency Fund and knocked out our $68k in Credit Card debt.  Of course, if you’ve been here before, you know these things.  And for those new visitors, welcome.

So why do I rehash a topic we’ve discussed before, both here and in my book (‘We Got Outta Debt‘) ?  Because it’s important, that’s why!  How important?

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Balancing 401k to Deductions

We owe Uncle Sam some money this year.  We stopped claiming our younger two daughters as dependents on our Taxes this year.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make any adjustments to my withholding earlier and now we’re paying the Tax Man.

tax-manIt’s too late to do much about the 2012 taxes, except maybe add some to our IRA.  However, what we need to balance now is how make some adjustments for 2013.  The two choices I see are:

1.  Increase our Federal Withholding to we pay Uncle Sam more money for him to blow, or

2. Increase my 401k contributions.

As you might guess, I’m pretty certain we’ll do #2, but I need to figure out how much to increase and not get to the point where we get money back from IRS next year.  Since we’ll be eligible for Catch-up Contributions this year (a nice benefit to turning 50), we have some room to add.

I’ll keep everyone posted on how things go with this.  In the meantime, if any of my readers know of a good site to help figure this out, please share in the comments.

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Guest Post – Debt Freedom

I’m happy to present my first guest post by a non-blogger!  I found Bethany on Twitter where she talked about having paid off all her debt except for a little more on her Student Loan.   I wanted to take some of the focus off the ‘older’ voice (me) and get some insights from a younger person who has a lifetime ahead of her.  I’ll let Bethany take over… 

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Hi, I’m Bethany and I am almost DEBT FREE!!  I am 26 years old and graduated from Central Michigan University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  I majored in Marketing and luckily I’ve been able to find a job in that field.  I am also a photographer and enjoy shooting both landscapes and portraits.  I especially enjoy photographing children, they’re just so innocent and carefree.  Check out my albums on www.facebook.com/BethanySuePhotography.

I have been blessed  with an incredible family and hope to have one of my own someday.  As an adult, I did the “normal” thing in life and opened credit cards and took out student loans to attend college.  Then the constant thought/fear of paying of debt for the rest of my life opened my eyes.  I hope the tips below help you in your journey to becoming debt free!

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Updating the book cover

I’m considering updating the cover to my ebook and wanted to get some of your opinions.  Please take a moment to look below and let me know what you think! The form at the bottom will help me tabulate your input.

Thank you !

WeGotOuttaDebt-Cover

We_Got_Outta_Debt

 

 

 

 

 

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Objects in the Rear View Mirror are much farther than they appear

As much as I try to deny it, I’ve reached “that point” in my life where my age is  closer to Retirement Age than the legal drinking age.  Way back then, my worries were less about saving than they were about enjoying life.  Of course, much of that perspective has changed over time for many people.  If you’ve reached the big 5-0 and still think more about enjoying life than saving, you have either done a great job at saving, or you really need to wake up!

This article is for those who may have to wake up.. or have recently awoken and are looking for a direction.

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How We Earned an Extra $1000 by Switching Cable

We finally did it. In my book  I talk about a way to use negotiation to save money on your monthly bills.  In one of the examples I talk about asking your cable provider for a better deal.  The worst they can say  is ‘No. You have our best deal’.

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