Making Plans for Your Tax Refund?

There are so many things that you can do with a tax refund. It is not a lottery windfall, it is money that you worked hard for and you deserve to get the most out of it. It is understandable that you may want to spend it on lavish gifts for yourself and family. Alternatively, you can make your tax refund work for you, which will lead to much more financial security in the long term.

Reduce Debt
A tax refund can help you significantly reduce your debts. By paying off the debts that have the highest interest rate first, you are effectively adding to your monthly income. In the long run, paying off debts will save you more money than you received in your tax refund, too, so it is definitely an option for consideration.

Expand Your Portfolio
Look at your investment options, and see if your tax refund can help to expand your portfolio. You can also use your tax refund for future investments, which will help you to ensure a financially secure retirement. By investing your tax refunds in this way your portfolio is more likely to grow and generate more income for your future.

Pay Insurance Premiums
With so many different types of insurance to pay during a lifetime, most people find that their budget cannot stretch to the cover what they want. However, by saving your tax refund each year towards insurance, you can afford to protect your home, car and family should any unexpected issues arise.

Personal Reward
Finally, do make sure to reward yourself, too. Although it makes sense to invest the bulk of your tax refund, you should keep a little bit back for yourself. Reserve at least 10% of your tax refund to treat you and your family. Doing so will actually help you save and budget each month, as it won’t seem like you are saving every penny for a future that feels extremely far off.

Spending in Your First Year of Retirement

Your first year of retirement is full of anticipation and excitement for what’s to come. You suddenly have more freedom than you have had in years, which means endless opportunities to spend time and money on the things that you love. There is a catch, though – how do you determine whether you are spending too much? Unfortunately, while most retirees are well versed on how to generate an income for their retirement years, they often have trouble working out when and how to spend it.

While it may seem like you have a huge amount of income stashed away, you still need to budget. It is difficult to accurately predict what you will spend before you actually enter retirement, as there are too many unknown variables yet to be discovered. Your first year presents the ideal opportunity to set the bar, so that you can live comfortable for the rest of your retirement.

A good starting point is to estimate your expenditure for each year. This will provide you with the basis for your initial budget. Once you enter retirement it is important to keep track of your spending, and then compare it to your projected budget. It is also important to recognize lavish spending habits as soon as possible. Review your spending every three months to evaluate whether you are on track.

You need to allow for unexpected costs, too. A particular concern for many retirees is sudden health problems. However, anything that could derail your budget needs to be given consideration. It is for this reason that financial advisors suggest formulating a number of budgets. By doing so you can funnel contingency funds to where they are needed, with minimum impact on future retirement years.

Once you are over your first year of retirement, review your budget again. If you were under target, consider whether it was due to careful spending or adequate assets. Conversely, if you overspent on your budget, look at how you used your income and think about re-evaluating your lifestyle.