Continuing with our seriesSix Months to Financial Fitness, we’ve moved to month 4 where we will take a look at taxes and investments. This is a simple task for month 4 but is very necessary. This month, I want you to review every item on last year’s return to see how you can cut your taxes.
Keep track of deductions, especially those for cash expenditures, such as mileage, faxes, photocopies and charity. It all adds up and every little bit is a big help.
Contribute the maximum to tax-deferred retirement plans.
Consider your investment strategy. If you’re intimidated by the market, start with an index mutual fund. One that conservatively invests in stocks in the S&P 500. You can move on to other kinds of mutual funds later.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for month 5 where we will talk about insuring your future.
It’s not only time to think about starting a financial capability fund, but also about investing for the future. One way to do this is to set up an automatic investment plan. See there I go planning again.
Call your bank, credit union or mutual fund company and arrange an automatic investment plan. With this type of plan, money will be deducted directly from your paycheck or bank account every month. It will be put into an investment account. When I say paycheck, I am not talking about your 401K, I am talking about investment accounts where you can purchase stock options.
To arrange for this, you will need to commit to investing $50 to $100 every month. This money can become the basis of your retirement portfolio.
After you’ve completed this seven-day plan, you will feel much better. You should be able to get back on track financially and most importantly, you will not lapse into your old spendthrift ways.
If seven days was not enough time for you to get your finances in order, don’t fret. It took me more than seven days. If you need a more intricate, slower plan, join me tomorrow when I begin my series Six Months To Financial Fitness.
We are in full-fledged tax season. I had a reader request a series on how you can invest your tax refund and make it grow. About a year ago, I hosted a webinar called Flip My Refund. To start this series off, you can view that webinar here. Don’t forget, if you have a personal finance question that you would like answered, you can send me an email at email@example.com Your question may be answered on the blog, but you will remain anonymous.
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Can you believe that it is already February? We are well into tax season. Some of us will receive refunds, some of us will break even and unfortunately, some of us will have to pay Uncle Sam. For those of you who are looking to invest, if you receive a refund, that would be a great place to start. For a few way’s you can invest your refund, I invite you to watch the video below.
This month, I will answer frequently asked income tax questions, so stay tuned to the blog. As alway’s, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I will answer.
No matter what your age, you will retire one day. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to retire just to have to pick up a few hours at my local Wal Mart greeting customers to make ends meet. And this why I started investing. I know investing is a scary word for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s pretend for a moment…
There was a 65 year old gentleman with a median net worth of $170, 156. Let’s pretend that all of that net worth is invested in assets that will earn him an annual return of 7%. This is a reasonable return for a fairly conservative stock and bond based mutual fund. Let’s also pretend that he expects to live for 25 more years to the age of 90. That means this $170,156 has to last 25 years.
Based on these assumptions, this gentleman will have just under $15,000 to live on each year. That is barely above the poverty line for a one person household. No less than half of all retirement-age residents of the U.S. have only that much to their name.
Can you see the dire situation that this gentleman is in?
No matter what your age, it is time to start investing in assets that will earn you more money. This is the key principle that makes some people wealthy while others get stuck living paycheck to paycheck. If you set money aside, invest it and learn to live on less than you earn, you will end up with more than those who spend their money as soon as they earn it, or worse, before they earn it.
Here is another illustration to show, the difference between beginning your investing at the age of 25 versus starting later in life.
Most 25- year- olds think they have their whole lives ahead of them, and they do, but let me tell you those years pass by quicker than you think. People in their 20s may think they don’t need to save for retirement because that feels so far away. Boy, are they wrong. If at the age of 25 you start investing just $50 a month into a plain old mutual fund that earns a long-term average of 10% per year, then at age 65 those $50 per month will be worth about $265,000 and you will have only actually invested $24,000 over those 40 years.
I know what you are thinking: I don’t have that kind of money to invest right now. I’ll have to wait until I’m a little older. Let’s take a 35- year- old. They will have to invest $134 per month, (totaling over $48,000) to have as much as the 25-year-old in the previous illustration by age 65. That’s twice as much! And a 45- year- old will have to invest $386 per month totaling $93, 000 over those 20 years from 45 to 65.
If you want to save for retirement I have two suggestions for you:
Invest your money. Use it to buy assets that pay you back and
Invest early. Start as soon as you possibly can
Whatever your situation, I suggest that you take a moment and think about your golden years. You really can’t afford not to invest today. Whatever you do, do it now!!! None of us are getting any younger.