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July 15, 2013

Why Income Protection Is Important In 2013

Income protectionMost people know how important it is to have life insurance and to protect your assets, but an often overlooked aspect is protecting the most important asset you have – your income.

Most people heavily depend on their monthly income to provide for their family, pay off loan debts and keep up with other financial responsibilities.

The important thing to remember is that you can never know what could happen – and have to be prepared to handle your family’s financial situation if something were to go wrong.

Just ask yourself a few simple questions – what would you do if you’d become ill and wouldn’t be able to work for a few months? Would you still be able to provide sufficiently for your family?

A month or two may not seem like a lot of time – it could be a relatively minor mishap as a severe case of the flu or a broken leg, something that would keep you from working, and that could still have disastrous consequences on your family’s financial state.

What about an even worse scenario – if something was to happen to you and you wouldn’t be able to work again, either because of a permanent injury or death – how would you provide for your family?

Also, would you be able to set up your kids for their future – pay for their education?

Think about these questions and then it will become clear to you if you need health insurance. Basically, if you don’t have a really significant amount in savings and are dependent on your consistent income to meet all of your financial responsibilities, income protection is one of the most important things in making sure your family will be taken care of, no matter what.

There are plenty different plans you can choose from, but you should make sure that you got all the possible scenarios covered.

That includes short term income replacement – when you would be insured for the full or at least a significant amount of your monthly income and would be compensated for the period that you’d be unable to work.

You also need insurance in case something were to happen that makes you unable to work ever again – your family would have to be provided for, so insurance with a payout in the case of disability of death is also very important.

Finally, consider that not all expenses are direct – for instance, even if you wouldn’t consider your children’s education a regular expense, you still have to save money in order to provide for them, so you have to have an income protection plan that would cover the costs that will arise in the future – that, for instance, if something were to happen to you, your children would still get the proper education.

These are just a few examples of why income protection can be such a valuable asset – after all, in the year 2013 you can never be sure about your financial situation because of the still unstable economy, so protecting your family in as many ways as you can is critical.

Income protection is just another way of getting a little safer – this way you can create at least a few safety nets that will cushion the financial hit if something unexpected were to happen.

Romayne Warner is a full time self-employed blogging fanatic. Obsessed with finding small ways to save money every day, she enjoys sharing her frugal lifestyle tips and tricks with the world, she regularly writes about saving money.

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June 25, 2013

What Kind of Tax Rebate Are You Entitled To?

Income tax rebateWe pay many different types of tax during our lives. What this means is that there is the potential to claim back tax in many different ways. Your tax rebate will be dependent upon what types of tax you have overpaid on, and this will inform the process (or processes) you need to take in order to claim it back.

Healthcare Professionals

If you work as a healthcare professional you can claim tax back for your uniform, including the costs of washing or for purchasing shoes and tights. You can also claim tax back if you require specialist equipment for your job. The only proviso is that the clothes and equipment you claim for must be for work use only, and must not already be being offset by your employer.

Mileage and Travel Expenses

Another form of tax which can be claimed back is for mileage and travel expenses. If you require a vehicle for your job you can claim tax relief which will help to offset the cost of running your vehicle. As a legitimate business expense, this is something which everyone is entitled to, and a tax rebate of this nature can be very helpful for anyone who regularly travels for work related purposes. For more information about claiming back your travel expenses as a tax rebate, visit www.taxrebateservices.co.uk.

Tax Relief for Teachers

Teachers can claim tax back for a number of different reasons. If, for example, you have been required to pay fees to a professional body such as the NUT, you can claim part of these fees back as tax relief.

Teachers can also claim tax back in the same way that healthcare professionals can, if they require the use of specialist clothing or equipment for their jobs. Tax relief can also be claimed if this clothing requires laundering which is outside of the remit of normal clothes washing procedures. But this can only be claimed if the clothing in question bears your employer’s logo.

Other Types of Professional Tax Rebate Claims

There are many different types of professionals who can claim tax back according to the requirements of their job. These include:

  • Mechanics
  • Construction Workers
  • Non Resident Landlords

For more information about whether or not you can claim back tax according to your profession, it’s always important to get the advice of a regulatory body, or from a professional tax rebate service provider.

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May 18, 2013

How to Earn Money on the Internet with Your Skills

Earn onlineHave you heard that it is possible to earn money online? Maybe you have heard that it is possible to make money on the internet with the skills that you have. This could be with photography, writing, creating jewellery or even making websites. Here are some ways to help utilise your skill and start earning money today.

1. Figure out Which Skills to Utilise : Not all skills are great for setting up businesses so make a list of all the skills that you have. Do you enjoy gardening? Maybe you’re an excellent baker but have never had the courage to work at a bakery. By making a list of your skills, you will be able to go through them and put a mark against those that you can utilise and sell online – that doesn’t mean the deliveries have to be done online, just that it gives you the place to sell!

Now that you have some ideas, it is time to move onto the next step.

2. Do Some Research into Your Skills : Find out how others are using the same skills to make money? This will help you determine whether it is a profitable business or whether there is just too much competition to get work. You will also get some ideas about marketing and how to show off your talents to start earning money. You may find a hidden niche that is extremely lucrative for you.

This research will help you narrow down your list and choose one to start earning money. You may find that you have a couple but start slow and build your way up.

3. Create a Website : All sellers need to have a website, whether you have a store or you are doing everything out of your own home. Without a website, there will be limited ways for people to contact you and it will be much harder to make the money you are dreaming about. You don’t have to spend a lot and there are free options available to help you get started – however, free domain names aren’t the most professional looking.

You may find that hiring a website developer is the best thing to do. However, you will be on short funds and there are content management systems to help you do it all yourself. Think about the type of functions you will need for your website to do to determine whether you need to hire a professional.

4. Market Your New Business Everywhere : Think all the hard work is done? That’s where you’re mistaken! Just because you have a website doesn’t mean that people will be able to find you. You will need to market yourself and make sure people know that you exist. The first part of this step is to set up a marketing plan. Who is your target audience and what marketing options do you have? Which forms of promotion will be better for your type of business.

The more marketing you do, the more you will become known. You can’t just stop when you’ve spent a week doing it. This is an ongoing thing. You will need to track your progress, determine if parts of your marketing plan are working better than others and then concentrate on those.

Earning money from your skills is possible but you need to do some work. This is like starting a business and you need to find the lucrative markets. Spend some time researching before you decide on this journey to make sure you have something valuable to offer.

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March 6, 2012

6 Do’s and Don’ts When Doing your Tax Return

Filing taxes is one of the most stressful financial transactions that most people do in a typical year. Small mistakes on this document could potentially cost a taxpayer thousands of dollars, making it imperative to complete it correctly and accurately. Follow these tips around tax time to make sure that you and your money are protected.

DO consider a Professional Tax Service or Software Program

The federal tax code is longer than the Encyclopedia Britannica, making it extremely difficult for one person to completely master. Professional tax preparers do nothing but study tax code, and many have teams of professionals that can work together to prepare more complicated returns.

At the very least, a tax preparing software program will reduce the tax code down into a series of easier to answer questions. These programs are usually developed by hundreds of professionals who are each an expert in their own area of tax law. Preparing a return with one of these programs is a lot easier than doing it on your own.

DON’T Forget to Include Your Children’s Social Security Numbers

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common errors that taxpayers make. Each child that you claim as a dependent must have a Social Security number in order to be considered eligible for credits and deductions. This is to reduce fraud by taxpayers claiming non-existent children as dependents in order to get more deductions.

DO Make a Copy of Your Return and all of the Accompanying Documentation

Obviously, tax returns get lost in the mail or lost at the IRS office, but the most important reason to keep copies isn’t to replace something that gets lost. A variety of government and civilian applications require a person to submit copies of their tax returns. Everything from student aid applications to mortgage applications require an applicant to submit copies of their tax return.

DON’T Wait Until the Last Minute to File Your Taxes

The IRS will start issuing refund checks as soon it starts to receive tax returns. As the returns start to pile up, however, there will be delays in refund checks. If you’re expecting a refund, get your tax return in early.

Even if you have to pay more taxes, waiting until the deadline can get you in trouble. Many people assume that just because they file later they are delaying their payment, but you can file early and send in a payment later. In fact, there are programs to pay off your tax bill past the deadline, but you have to apply early in order to be accepted into the best ones.

DO Look For Deductions and Credits

While this may seem obvious, nearly twenty percent of taxpayers just fill out the 1040EZ form. It is estimated that about half of these taxpayers would receive a higher refund by filling out the so-called “long form” or 1040 A. By using a tax professional or computer software program, it will be a lot easier to look for these deductions.

Be prepared by gathering paperwork for the most common deductions. Have receipts for any mortgage interest that has been paid, child care expenses, and charitable contributions. Also save receipts from activities such as purchasing a home, attending college, and making major purchases.

DON’T lie or fudge numbers. Nearly a quarter of Americans admit to cheating on their taxes at some point in their lives, but few people realize the consequences if they get caught. People who are caught cheating on their taxes will pay high penalty fees, interest, and in extreme cases they can even face jail time.

If you are unable to pay the taxes you owe, look at the programs the IRS has set up for distressed taxpayers. These programs allow people to make payments on their tax debt over several months or years instead of making a lump sum payment all at once.

Filing your taxes can be stressful, but there are many different options available to make this as easy as possible. As you get your return together for 2011, make a list of items that are difficult to find or figure out so that you will be better prepared for next year.

Kathleen Ison is a freelance writer and a mother of two teenagers. They have been wanting to buy a car for a while but they know very little about the taxes and additional costs associated with purchasing a car.

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February 20, 2012

Finance Tips For Elder Care

Caring for elderly relatives can be very expensive. Today, the cost of nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities are higher than ever before. As the trend continues we’ll see more families strapped to finance for the long-term care of their elderly loved ones. Here’s how to manage the cost of care.

Consider the alternatives to a long-term care facility. Unless your aging parents requires extensive medical care or is at risk of severe injury left unattended, you may be able to care for them at home. The first and often best place for someone to age gracefully is in their own home. With some modifications many homes can be perfectly suitable for elder care.

Look at the possibility of consolidating living space into a single level. Move bedrooms, kitchens, laundry, and bathroom to one floor. By eliminating the need for stairs you can make your special senior safer.

What to do with the extra space? Many families turned a large one family home into a two or three family home with just a few adjustments to design and layout. Check your local ordinances before renting out your home as a multiple dwelling. Any apartments that you add to the structure must be safe and up to code. By renting out the basement and second level a senior citizen can bring in a healthy monthly income that can contribute to day-to-day care.

Some families will elect to offer room and board for free in order to have a trusted companion live at home with their parent or grandparent. As long as you’ve done a sufficient background check of the senior companion and you monitor the relationship closely this can be a very affordable way of giving care.

Another alternative is to have your elderly parents or grandparents move in with you. Often times this can work out cheaper for the family as a whole. Some seniors will choose to sell their primary residence and use the proceeds to pay for care while others prefer to keep the property and use it to provide rental income while holding on to the asset.

Before making any drastic moves when it comes to your parents finance it make sense to sit down with a qualified financial advisor. Choose an adviser who can give objective help and does not rely on sales commissions for income.

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