How Big Is Your Pension Fund? Tips for the Future

Do you actively monitor your pension fund? Do you know how your pension plans are performing? Recent surveys suggest that at least two thirds of the population neither understand nor routinely monitor their pension plans. Part of the problem is that pension information is often confusing. But if the recent economic crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we need to pay much closer attention to how we are going to finance our futures.

It’s important to remember that pension plan investments are subject to market volatility and can go down as well as up. In a new US survey of baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, sixty percent admitted that in the last three years their homes, investments and retirement plans had all lost significant value and as a result they were planning to delay retirement. A quarter of the respondents said they didn’t see how they would ever be able to afford to retire. That concern is not unique to America, and governments worldwide are looking at making changes to pension legislation. France has already increased the retirement age and the UK is planning to follow suit in 2012. So what does this all mean to you?

In order to be able to grow your pension fund so that you can retire and live comfortably in your later years, you need to have a sound retirement savings strategy, routinely monitor your pension arrangements, use an annuity calculator to check what your income might be at retirement, and adjust your savings strategy accordingly. To secure your future, here are a few tips to consider.

Start early. The time to start saving for retirement is the day you enter the workforce. The beauty of compound interest is that the sooner you start the less you have to pay in to achieve the same retirement income. For example, if you were to invest £2,000 a year starting at age twenty-five and continue for eight years, then never invest another pound; you would actually end up with more money by age sixty-five than someone who invested the same amount of money annually, in the same plan, for thirty-two years, but didn’t start investing until age thirty-four.

Have a plan. As a general rule, you should be investing a percentage of your income equal to half your age. That means a twenty-four year old should be saving eleven percent of their income for retirement. It’s a good idea to consult a retirement planning expert to help you determine an investment strategy that will meet your future needs.

If possible, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If your retirement savings are in a variety of government, occupational or private pension plans and other tax-free investment schemes, then if one plan or investment is not performing well or collapses, your entire retirement fund is not in jeopardy.

Avoid living beyond your means. Ideally, by the time you reach retirement age you want to be debt free. If you want to retire free of financial worries, make it a habit to live below your means. If you can afford a new car every three years, make it last for five or six years instead. Whatever you think you can afford to spend on big ticket items, spend less, and sock that money away in your retirement funds and investments.

And above all else, you should always know how big your pension fund is at any given time. Ensure your future by actively monitoring your retirement savings and regularly check a pension calculator to see what you need to invest to meet your own aspirations.

Tax debt: Getting help with debt on IRS payments

It is really important for you to pay off your tax debt. So, it is also essential for you to keep a tab on the tax that you will have to pay to the IRS or the Internal Revenue System. However, if you are having problems with the IRS, you can try to get help with debt and become stress free. For that, you will have to negotiate with the IRS and make the payments as per the agreement. There are various kinds of payment agreements and the two main types are installment agreement and settlement agreement.

Different settlement agreements

In order to get help with debt with the IRS, you can either go for the settlement agreement or the installment agreement:

  1. Tax debt settlement: You can get debt help from tax attorneys too. They will help you in analyzing your financial condition and then help you to determine on the affordable tax debt settlement method.
  2. Penalty reprieve: If you can show some valid reasons to the IRS in regards to your bad financial condition, they may slash the penalty amount on tax debt due to non-payment of the taxes almost by one-third. So, it becomes easier for you to pay off the taxes.
  3. IRS tax bankruptcy: If you think that you will have to file bankruptcy under chapter 7, you can get help with debt through this type of agreement. But you should also know that, bankruptcy isn’t a good option as it is going to have drastic effect on the credit and you can even have to liquidate almost all of the assets that you have.
  4. Compromise offer: In case of the compromise offer, if the IRS gets the proof that you really don’t have the ability to make your tax payments, they may accept this offer. In case of compromise agreement, you will have to pay the tax amount that is much less than that what you were originally supposed to pay to the IRS. However, before you start to make payments as per the compromise offer, you will have to agree that you will make regular payments against your taxes for the next 5 years.
  5. Release of wage garnishment: If you fail to pay your taxes, the IRS will garnish at least 25% of your wages. This will create more stress on you as your budget will shrink and then it will be a problem to support yourself and your family. So, if you are unable to make the payments better negotiate with the IRS and request them to release wage garnishment and also request them to offer you a settlement or installment agreement.

The different installment agreements are the streamlined installment agreement, partial payment installment agreement, guaranteed installment agreement. Irrespective of the type of payment agreement that you choose for, remember to plan your payments in advance through budgeting.

Tax Scams To Be Aware Of

The IRS wishes taxpayers to be on the look out for 2010 tax scams. These rip-offs are not legal and could cause severe troubles for taxpayers which include paying huge interest and fines, and facing jail time. Tax scams come in a few forms ranging from a promise of a big tax refund or methods to avoid paying taxes that are illegal also called ‘untaxing’ yourself.

You should always remember the proceeding three hints.

  • The content provided in your 2010 tax return is your sole responsibility.
  • Don’t sign the return unless you have examined everything closely to be certain it is precise.
  • The most important thing to recall is someone claiming they can get you a larger refund is lying

Here are tax scams to look out for:

Tax Return Preparer Fraud
A deceitful tax preparer can bring a tax payer many headaches if they fall for such tactics. These kinds of 2010 tax preparers get their financial gain scanning a part of their customer’s refund and billing higher fees for their service. They appeal to new customers by promising bigger refunds. Choose a new tax preparer with caution. Apply the old adage “If something sounds to good to be true , then it usually is.” Regardless of who does your 2010 tax return you hold the responsibly of making certain of accuracy and any tax bill which may come from a doubtful claim. The IRS is currently setting up a system that requires all tax accountants be licensed with the IRS and a tax preparer number. The will be required to take a competency test and higher education courses.

Frivolous Arguments
A few dishonest promoters are recognized for making bogus claims like saying the Sixteenth Amendment never got ratified which was relate to the power collect taxes, earning are not income, and filing forms and paying taxes are optional. They also allege that the requirement to file the 1040 tax form is in violation of the Fifth Amendment concerning self-incrimination and the right-to-privacy in the Fourth Amendment. Never believe any of these false claims. They will never hold up in court. Contesting liabilities is a right but it has to be done legally.

To get more information on tax scams, visit IRS.gov. Make certain to enter.gov. A site with another ending is probably not legitimate.

  • Tax Tips That Will Make Filing Faster And Easier (goarticles.com)
  • Make The Task Of Tax Filing Faster And Simpler (hubpages.com)

Love Your Work And Make Money From Home

What does it mean to be financially independent? What is retirement and why are you seeking it? If you don’t enjoy your job why are you doing it? How about trying to make money from home?

Some very interesting questions here and for many the answer seems obvious. I think that we go on autopilot and forget what it means to search for the truth on our own. We get to thinking that what others tell us is “how things are”. The reality is that most people have no clue what money is, how its created, or what to do with it. Want an example you say? ok, here you go. YOU are the example. You are chasing money, thinking its something you can go out and gather up.

Money is an idea. The idea that you and I can go and do the things we love to do and in sharing what we do with others we will be compensated for the VALUE that others think we have provided.

Retirement is like a virus because its in our nature as humans to try and do the least possible and be rewarded in return. So go and work for 40 years, then your 401k, employer, or other qualified plan will provide for you in the future. Well if you don’t like the work you did for that time period then why did you do it at first? Just for the end result of a paycheck?

Sounds like a waste of your precious time. Rather than spending your time suffering through life trying to “get by” go and do what you love.

Making money from home is a great option for stay at home parents, people that don’t want to work the regular job, want to be self employed, or for those simply looking for extra income. There are lots of scams on the internet so be careful of what you look into. My advice there is not to pay money on something that says you will make $X in a certain time without ever saying what you will do, and then going on to say they cant because it will ruin it. Every real business is very clear what they do and they make money because others value their service.