Wednesday, October 13, 2021

5 Tips to Help You Plan Out Your Tax Payments

The end of the year is quickly approaching and if you're like most people, that means it's time to start thinking about your taxes. If you haven't already made preparations for this year's tax season, then now is the time to get started. 

In this article, we will go over 5 tips that will help guide you through the process of planning out your tax payments. With that said, let’s jump into these 5 tips.

Start Early

You should start planning out your tax payments as soon as you have a solid idea of how much money you're going to earn for the year. 

This is because your tax bill will change depending on whether you received a bonus at work if any extra income was brought in from side jobs, and so forth. 

If it takes you a little longer to gather up the money you owe, then tax planning as early as possible will give you more time to save.

Consider a Side Job

If you're having trouble saving up enough money for your taxes before the end of the year, then taking on a second job could be what helps get you to where you need to be. 

There are quite a few things that people do as part-time jobs in addition to their day jobs, such as cleaning tables at a local restaurant or walking the dogs in the neighborhood. 

For some extra cash, you could even sell stuff that you no longer use anymore like clothes, appliances, furniture, etc.

Be Sure to File

If you're like most people, then it can be easy to forget about your taxes until the last minute. However, if you do this and don't end up filing them in time for the tax deadline, then there's a chance that you could get hit with some pretty hefty fines. 

Many states will charge you a late filing fee of up to $100, and failing to file could result in the IRS charging you interest on your outstanding tax bill.

Use Your Deductions

If you're going to be paying taxes for the upcoming year, then it makes sense that you should try and minimize what you end up owing. 

This can be done by utilizing various tax deductions available to people who fall into specific categories, such as getting a mortgage or owning a business. 

By taking advantage of these deductions, you could end up saving a significant amount of money on your taxes when the time comes to actually file.

Make Estimated Payments

If you're worried that your tax bill is going to be higher than normal, then it would probably be wise of you to start making quarterly estimated payments

Doing this will help ensure that the IRS doesn't end up charging you late fees for not having enough money on hand when the deadline rolls around. 

The main downside with doing this is that you'll have to set up a payment plan with the IRS and if your income goes down for some reason, then there's also the possibility of having to pay back what they already gave you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

How to Do Your Taxes When You're Self-Employed

Whether you’re a freelancer, full-time entrepreneur, or something in between, being self-employed means it’s entirely up to you to complete the paperwork and send in the right amount of money to your tax agencies

If you want to keep as much of your hard-earned cash as possible, it’s important to be organized and stay on top of your tax responsibilities throughout the year. 

Luckily, there are plenty of apps and services out there that can help you do this. Here are four tips for doing your taxes when you’re self-employed:

Work With a Professional

Don’t do your taxes yourself—find an accountant to help you. Working with a professional can save you money in the long run. If you are just taking advice from random people online or inexperienced friends, you are probably paying too much in taxes.

Many accountants offer free consultations so take advantage of this service. It’s worth getting an outside opinion as there are many deductions and exemptions entrepreneurs would otherwise miss out on.

Keep Your Documents Organized

Experts from companies like Right Choice Insurance and Taxes Inc. encourage entrepreneurs to keep their business and personal expenses, receipts, and other documents organized throughout the year. 

Organizing is key to simplifying your taxes come April. You should also save money throughout the year to ensure you have enough money to pay for your taxes once the paperwork is complete.

Use Software to File Your Taxes

If you’re self-employed, you likely know all too well how complicated it can be to file your taxes. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for filing your taxes that are designed with independent contractors in mind. 

These programs streamline much of what is involved in filing taxes, making it easier than ever to accurately report income and expenses. The best programs also offer tips for deductions and credits you may not have considered.

Don't Forget Your Deductions

Knowing what deductions are available to you when you're self-employed is important, but can be tricky to navigate. Self-employed workers may deduct many of their business expenses in much the same way that employees do. 

Office supplies, computer equipment, and Internet service can all qualify as deductions if they're used exclusively for your work.

If you’re self-employed, filing your taxes can be quite confusing. Save yourself from the headache of mishandling your taxes by considering these four tips.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

How to Determine if You're Eligible for a Medicare Supplement

Have you been utilizing Medicare benefits since turning 65? Have you been growing increasingly concerned about your cost-sharing obligations with Medicare as these unprecedented times are beginning to take a toll on your monthly and yearly healthcare budgeting plans?

Are you now wondering what you can do to fill the gaps in coverage? If all of these questions apply, then you are likely interested in acquiring a Medicare supplement plan. Here is a quick guide about Medicare supplement plans to address eligibility determination.

Eligibility Requirements

If you are 65 years of age or older, then you have fulfilled one of the primary requirements to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan. The other requirement is that you are currently enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. 

You may also be eligible for this type of health insurance coverage if you are under 65 years of age and are eligible for Medicare due to disability.


Medicare supplement plans are designed to help pay your out-of-pocket costs. As you have experienced when using Medicare, you are responsible for the deductibles, copays, and 20% when visiting your healthcare provider. A Medicare supplement or Medigap plan can pay a portion or all of your out-of-pocket costs with added benefits.

Is It Right for You?

Now that you have learned the requirements to be eligible for a Medigap plan, you may now be wondering whether or not this type of plan will benefit you. 

It would be advantageous to acquire coverage if you suffer from a chronic health condition and would like to implement a predictable solution to your healthcare costs. When determining coverage, you may also want to consider how often and frequently you utilize healthcare services.

Types of Medigap Plans

There are ten types of Medigap plans and each can provide you with a robust and complete solution for all your healthcare needs. Generally, all plans will provide benefits to help pay for Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs at an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted.

Where to Obtain Coverage Help and When to Enroll

There are several private healthcare insurance companies that offer Medicare supplement plans. To save time, consider visiting a one-stop-shop Medigap website that allows you to compare plans from different health insurers like Silver American

You can enroll in this type of plan as soon as you have acquired Medicare Part B coverage. There are no specific dates to enroll in a Medigap plan, so you can choose the date. There is a six-month open enrollment period where you will be guaranteed coverage regardless of your health status

After the open enrollment period, you may still apply for coverage but will likely be subjected to health questions and are not guaranteed acceptance.

Your healthcare costs can now be more predictable to help support your daily, monthly, and yearly budgeting plans when enrolling for a Medicare supplement or Medigap plan. 

Remember to consider the frequency of your visits to your healthcare professional as a factor in determining the right supplement plan for your needs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Top 4 Places To Retire When You Have A Lot Of Life Left In You

Now that you have finally retired after decades of working, some people might think you are ready for a rocking chair on the front porch. However, you know better. 

Since you are only as old as you feel, you realize you've still got plenty of life left in that body of yours. With so many places to go and people to see, it's important to pick a retirement destination that lets you do that and much more. 

To make your retirement one that is fantastic day after day, here are four great places to enjoy your retirement.

Sarasota, Florida

If you want white-sand beaches, a walkable downtown, and plenty of things to do near your home, Sarasota may be the place for you. A major tourism spot in Florida, the city is filled with museums, art galleries, and restaurants that serve every kind of food you can imagine. 

When combined with low property taxes, almost nonexistent crime, and a large retiree community where you can make plenty of friends, Sarasota is hard to beat.

Myrtle Beach, SC

While many places may not be able to compete with Sarasota, Myrtle Beach is an exception. Home to about 30,000 permanent residents, this South Carolina paradise has golf courses galore, lots of festivals, and much more. 

Best of all, when you are exploring Myrtle Beach Premier Properties, you'll find out property taxes are low, the state offers a homestead exemption for residents over age 65, and plenty of other financial benefits.

Manchester, New Hampshire

Should you want to retire to the northeastern part of the U.S., Manchester is a New Hampshire city you may want to consider. Surrounded by mountains and forests, the fall foliage is spectacular. 

If you love wintertime and perhaps want to do some skiing or other winter activities, Manchester gets about 60 inches of snow annually. When it's not snowing, plan on visiting local farmers’ markets and retail shops on Main Street.

Nashville, TN

Finally, you can spend your retirement hanging out at the Grand Ole Opry and other spots in Nashville. Long known for being the country music capital of the world, Nashville also features over 100 public parks, museums and restaurants, and pro football and hockey teams you can cheer on when attending their home games.

Since you have no plans to sit in that rocking chair and count cars as they go by your home, consider any of these great retirement destinations. Whichever one you choose, your days and nights will be filled with plenty of fun activities.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

How to Make Sure You're on the Right Financial Path to Retirement

Planning for retirement doesn’t happen overnight. It takes careful planning and budgeting. The earlier you can get started the better position you’ll be on the right financial path to retirement. Here are some tips to help you get started!

Get Paid to Save With Your Employer

Many employers today offer a retirement savings plan like a 401k or a 403b where you may contribute a portion of your paycheck to go towards your retirement savings. 

This not only helps you start saving for the future, but employers may even match a percentage of your contribution. It’s literally free money for investing towards your future. Take advantage of this benefit if your employer offers it. It also uses pre-tax dollars.

Review Your Investments

In addition to a 401k plan with your employer, you can contribute to retirement through a traditional IRA and Roth IRA. There is a limit on how much may be contributed towards these plans each year depending on your income. 

Invest wisely by diversifying your portfolio. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. These investments also require periodic review. As you near retirement, consider investments with less risk. A financial advisor may help construct a financial plan to help you achieve your financial goals for retirement.

Budget for Your Retirement

How much you need to put away for retirement depends on the type of lifestyle you want to live. The factor is that on average Americans spend about 20 years in retirement, but the longer period of retirement you can plan for the more comfortable you'll be financial. 

If you want to maintain your existing lifestyle after retirement, you'll need about 70-90% of your pre-retirement income.

Reduce/Eliminate Debt

Entering retirement often means less income. The more debt-free you are, the less there is to worry about finding income to cover for that expense. Consider what you have and what you may want to offload. Do you have two cars, but only need one during retirement? 

Are you an empty nester and don't need a home with as many bedrooms? These are all considerations to help reduce and offload unnecessary expenses. The more you can clear out debt before retiring, the easier it’ll be for you financially.

Determine Your Retirement Age

Consider how long you will be working. Are you planning to take Social Security when you reach full retirement age? Taking it earlier can mean a reduction in your benefits, so the longer you can hold out until full retirement age the more benefits from Social Security.

It's never too early to start thinking and planning for your retirement! For some, a financial advisor may be necessary to help ensure the right financial path to retirement.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

4 Factors To Consider Before Investing In Vacation Property

Like many people, you may have spent years dreaming of purchasing vacation property on a beautiful beach or in majestic mountains. 

Now that you have decided to make your dream a reality, don't rush into the decision without first taking these four very important factors into consideration.

Know What You Can Afford

Before looking at locations and features that you want in a home, sit down and figure out just how much money you can afford to spend on vacation property. In addition to the mortgage or investment loan cost, you also need to what your current income and credit score will allow you to get approved for.

In addition to the monthly mortgage or investor loan cost, additional costs for the property should be considered. For example, property taxes, insurance, utilities, furniture, and other things associated with your vacation property.

If the home is for you and your family to visit throughout the year, also consider the costs of traveling to the vacation home. These costs not only include flights to and from a nearby airport but also what type of activities you plan to do while you’re there. 

For example, if you plan on skiing at your vacation property, then consider the costs of a seasonal pass or renting skis.

Renting Out the Property

If your vacation property will be for investment purposes only, know what comes with renting it out to others. For example, if you are obtaining a mortgage for the purchase, your lender may require you to obtain an investor loan, rather than a traditional mortgage.

There is also a cost of getting tenants into your property. For example, the cost of listing your property on multiple websites, advertising, preparing the property for new tenants, cleaning up after past tenants. 

One thing you can do is contact professional property management companies to ensure that you are aware of the cost of cleaning and repairs between tenants.

When finding a property management company, consider looking at local listings so you can learn about typical repairs in that area. Also, ensure you are aware of any restrictions the locality or state where the property is located may place on using the property as a rental property. 

Finally, be realistic about how much rent you can charge. If you go too high, you'll just have a property that's collecting dust.

Pick a Great Location

Even if the vacation property you love looks fantastic and can be bought at a great price, it won't do you much good if it is in an undesirable location. 

Besides looking at Facebook groups and Reddit forums about the location, take the time and money to visit the location before agreeing to purchase the home.

When visiting the location, consider the ease of getting through the airport, how long you have to drive from the airport to get there, and how accessible the roads are. Also, consider the time of year that you plan on spending there. 

If you plan on going there for the winter season, then consider visiting the location in the winter season to see if the roads get cleared regularly or if you’ll need to consider getting chains for your rental car.

Protect Your Investment

Protecting your property should be considered before purchasing a vacation home. Many people choose to install a security system with cameras and motion detection devices. In addition to this, you may want to look into the cost of hiring someone to stay in your home while you aren’t there. 

This not only makes the home seem occupied throughout the year, and thus less likely to get squatters, it also ensures that if there was a security breach, someone will be on-site to take care of any inquiries with local authorities.

Also, you may want to hire a property management firm to make sure maintenance issues are taken care of immediately. After all, you don't want guests arriving at your vacation property, only to discover a broken toilet or leaking pipes.

No matter what type of vacation property you choose to invest in, keeping these four factors in mind will help to ensure your investment will be stress-free and profitable.

About the Author

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. She recommends Skye Management when it comes to vacation property management.

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