April 15 is here!
If you can’t finish your taxes on time, relax. You have options.
If you don’t have your documents in order or haven’t made real progress on your tax return, filing for an extension by April 15 sounds like a good idea.
However, getting more time isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Here are seven things you should know if you can’t finish your taxes on time:
1. You still have to act by April 15. The paperwork is still due on April 15!
2. If you owe money, you have to pay. You’ll need to fill out enough of your tax return to come up with a rough estimate of what you owe. And, send the amount owed to the IRS on time! People filing for a tax extension are still required to pay 90% of what they believe they’ll owe by the April Tax Day deadline.
3. Failing to file is worse than failing to pay. You don’t want a failure-to-file penalty. It is usually 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month your return is late, up to 25% of your bill.
4. Your bank may be kinder than Uncle Sam. You may want to pay your taxes with a credit card if you don’t have the cash on hand. The interest and fees may be less.
5. You may not need an extension. File your completed return and pay what you can. Request a short extension of 60 to 120 days to pay. The IRS provides installment payments.
6. If you are owed a refund, you won’t be penalized for not filing. However, you won’t get your refund until you file your return. So, get your money ASAP!
7. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, the IRS won’t issue your refund. If you don’t do your taxes for three years, even if you’re owed a refund, the IRS will keep your money. Again, Yikes!!
Can’t Finish Your Taxes on Time? – There are Solutions!
Yes, parents stuff can be a boomer burden!
Many baby boomers and those in the over 50 group are facing the inevitable in life. They have aging parents or their parents have already passed away.
Besides coping with the emotional burden, there is also the matter of the financial aspect of a death and also dealing with your parents stuff. It can certainly be overwhelming!
Top 4 suggestions for action to take now and later:
1. Start Now – If parents are alive and willing, ask if they would like help in deciding what they want done with their belongings when they die. They might also want to start giving things away to family and friends while they are still alive.
2. Savor Memories – One way to remember a loved one is to make shadow boxes containing mementos of their hobbies and activities. They take up much less room and provide pleasant memories of a loved one. They can also be made for other members of the family. They make nice mementos for grand children and nieces and nephews.
3. Don’t Wait Too Late – You will be surprised to know that your aging parent (s) would actually welcome help in culling out possessions. It is a good time for them to reflect back on their life. It is also an excellent way to find out more about their life that you maybe didn’t even know! Communicate with your parents early!
4. Dealing with Siblings – Keep in mind when working with siblings in this situation that there are differences in how things should be done. Some adult children just want to “get it done” without giving much time or thought to the process. There are also those that want to touch each item and reminisce to great lengths. Come up with a plan on how you are going to deal with your parent’s possessions that will be workable for all to handle.
Professional organizer, Claudia Smith, with Clear Your Clutter Consulting, advocates a simple rule of thumb. “We spend our first 40 years in life collecting things and the second 40 years getting rid of things.”
Related Post: Less Clutter
How to Deal with Your Parents Stuff!
In this day and age, a Baby Boomer may very well be a solo senior for various reasons!
According to Sara Zeff Geber, about 20% of Baby Boomers today do not have children. There are also thousands of Baby Boomers whose kids are estranged, not functional or live far away. They will also age solo!
On any given weekend in a retirement community you will find lots of visitors milling around the property and visiting the residents. Most of these visitors are family; namely, adult children and grandchildren of the residents. These families are making sure their oldest members get out of their homes and remind them they are not alone in the world.
What happens when the older generation in our society who do not have family to take them to lunch and visit with them? Who can they count on for companionship? And, who will give them aide when they reach a point in life where they cannot do everything for themselves?
It is crucial that solo seniors carefully prepare to ensure a safe and secure future for themselves.
Do you want to know the 6 Myths of Retirement?
Of course you do!
How much to save for retirement ~
“Your retirement plan and withdrawal strategy should be as unique as you are, taking into account your current finances, future income, goals and dreams along with many other considerations.”
Medicare will cover healthcare needs during retirement ~
Medicare can be a godsend for doctor visits and hospitalization costs. However, it does not cover most long-term care needs such as extended nursing home stays, assisted living and many types of home health care. Keeping health care costs in mind is a vital part of retirement planning.
I can’t count on Social Security ~
You can’t count on Social Security payments to cover all your retirement needs. However, it can make sense to estimate what your payments will be as part of your overall retirement planning and budget. Consider delaying Social Security payments beyond your full retirement age up until age 70. You may receive significantly larger monthly checks.
I can work as long as I have to ~
Did you know that half of all early retirements are due to illness or disability? Also, finding good paying jobs later in life can be difficult. The bottom line: it’s probably best not to rely too much on income that you may make during your retirement.
I’ll spend less and pay less taxes in retirement ~
You may actually be spending more in retirement than you thought. Think about traveling, visiting children and grandchildren as well as pursuing new hobbies and activities. It all takes money!
Home situation will stay the same ~
Moving is often a major part of retirement. You may decide to move closer to family members. Or, you may need an assisted living situation or an area with more transportation and maintenance services at hand.
Make sure you consult with a certified financial planner (CFP) and/or a lawyer with expertise in finance issues for retirement.
Avoid the 6 Myths of Retirement.
6 Myths of Retirement – Plan Now!
Baby Boomers Working Longer
Retirement Advice from Active Retirees
Did you know that more than half of current workers have not planned for retirement!
So, we ask the question: Baby Boomers – Are You Retirement Ready?
According to recent surveys, 48% of pre-retirees do not have a financial plan! If you are one of those 48%, you need to get going.
Here is a time line of when and what you should be looking at to get on target for a comfortable retirement.
10 Years Out:
You should take a good guess at what your retirement life is going to be like.
5 Years Out:
You should probably start to get your behavior changes in order to fit your upcoming lifestyle and budget.
1 Year Out:
It’s getting close!
According to Ameriprise Financial for Pre-retirees:
For more excellent information on retirement: Research Studies
Again we ask, Baby Boomers – Are You Retirement Ready?
It comes quicker than you think!
Related Post: A Comfortable Retirement
Have you checked on this retirement expense lately? What we’re talking about is the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home. Well, let’s just say it has cracked the six-figure mark ~ $100,375! This is according to Genworth Financial in their 2018 Cost of Care Study.
This rising cost of care has outpaced inflation. Where you live in the U.S. makes quite a difference. You can calculate the cost of care by state here: Cost of Care
A growing number of older adults need specialized care. However, there is a shortage of skilled workers — both of which raise care expenses.
Look at these numbers:
It’s Time to Plan Ahead by Identifying How You’d Like to Receive Care:
Planning for your care as you get older is very important and can be daunting. You might want to work with an advisor to lay out a plan of where and how you would like to receive care.
Some retirees may spend money on the more moderate cost of receiving home care. There’s the possibility of having a home health aide come to visit. However, circumstances can change quickly which could lead to an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Long-term care insurance might be an option but becomes more expensive the longer you wait.
Select trusted individuals to oversee your medical care decision making. This may include family members as well as other expects in the field of financial planning and medical care.
Related Financial Post: Spend Good Money
A Huge Financial Decision for this Retirement Expense!
While it’s definitely a good thing to save money and be frugal about your spending habits, there are some things you should spend good money on. Yes, we mean SPLURGE on! These items are important to spend money on because they will last a long time and add to the quality of your life.
A Good Mattress — You need a good mattress because you need a good night’s sleep! Sure you could save a few bucks with the cheaper mattress, but is a stiff neck and a bad back worth it? If you can’t invest in a good mattress, try a memory foam mattress topper. This Sleep Innovations Memory Foam topper is amazing and can make your bed comfortable. If you are ready to buy a new mattress, try a Casper Mattress. It is made completely of memory foam and is designed to support your body in all the right places.
A Set of Quality Kitchen Knives — If you buy a quality set of knives, they’ll last a long time. You probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Good knives can make preparing dinner so much easier. Check out this list of Good Housekeepings Kitchen Knife Reviews to find your next set.
A reliable car — If you are considering a new car, do your homework and get a good one. A good place to start is Consumer Reports Car Buying Guide. Whether you are buying new or used, they have the best info on which cars last the longest and how owners like their cars over time. Always check into warranties. I bough a secondhand car that included a bumper to bumper warranty for two years.
A Basic Toolkit — This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it is definitely a necessary thing to have. You never know when you’ll need a screwdriver or hammer. If you purchase a toolkit in a case you will always know where everything is located. Check out this toolkit for less than $40 and has most everything you’ll need for your home.
A Good Pair of Shoes — Gloria Hunniford wrote, “Always buy a good pair of shoes and a good bed as if you aren’t in one you are in the other.” This is true! If we aren’t sleeping, we are usually on our feet, right? We need good support. Your best bet is to get a foot or gait analysis done at a serious running store such as the Colorado Running Company. You can also go online to check out walking or running shoe reviews.
Related Post: Retirement and Money
Don’t be Afraid to Spend Good Money on your Basic Needs!
Did you know there are changes being made to Medicare cards?
Did you ever wonder why your Social Security number is on your Medicare card? This certainly raises the potential for identity theft and is of great concern for older Americans.
Did you know that nearly 10,000 people apply for Medicare every day?
Identity protection changes which include the removal of the Social Security number are coming to Medicare cards. A new Federal law was signed by President Obama in 2015 making this change. However, the changes will happen gradually.
Congress provided $320 million — over the course of four years — to cover the changes, with the money coming from Medicare trust funds that are funded by payroll and other taxes, as well as beneficiary premiums.
So meanwhile, Medicare beneficiaries will continue to be at risk until the changes are rolled out. About 80 million Americans are expected to be Medicare-eligible by 2035.
Here’s what the changes in Medicare cards mean for you and when you can expect to see them implemented:
1) Medicare has up to four years to issue Medicare cards without the Social Security numbers for people applying for Medicare for the first time.
2) Medicare has four more years (after the new issues) to issue new cards with new identifying numbers to people that currently have Medicare cards.
3) Medicare has eight years for everyone to have new identifying numbers.
Update: Medicare Cards without Social Security Numbers
Have you received your new Medicare card?
In the meantime, how can a person protect themselves from identify theft?
An easy and effective way to protect yourself from identify theft is to not carry your Medicare card on your person unless you are going to a new doctor for the first time or to a hospital. (A hospital cannot refuse care if you don’t have a Medicare card.)
Don’t carry any other card that has your Social Security number on it.
Changes in Medicare Cards – Be Informed!
Related Post: How Much Social Security will You Receive?
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