Archives for Retirement

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How to Register Your Small Business for Tax?

If you recently started a small business, or your looking to do so, tax is an important subject that you simply can’t ignore. You must know how to register your small business for tax, or whether tax registration is even necessary in for your business.

A lot of small business owners feel intimidated by tax rules, so much so that it might deter some people from starting a business altogether. The idea of an already unstable income combined with uncertainty on how to fulfil tax obligations is a major sore point.

Don’t let the fear of tax get in your way of achieving something great. Tax can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few simple ways in which you can make sure that your business is paying tax the right way. One of the first ways to start, is to register your business for tax in a way that suits your industry.

Does My Small Business Need to Pay Tax?

Paying tax won’t be an issue if your business doesn’t need to, so asking the question of whether you need to pay tax is a logical place to start. Unfortunately, no profitable small business is normally small enough to qualify for tax exemption.

Very few people expect a child running a lemonade stand to pay tax on their earnings. Realistically, these earnings are too small to amount to anything significant. Similarly, if someone bakes cookies and sells them from home, it may be more of a hobby than a serious business venture, and this is likely to reflect in the earnings.

You’ll know if your small business is more of a hobby than anything else. If you’re a hobbyist, chances you’ll end up spending all your earnings to support your hobby, meaning you won’t truly have a profit, so you’re not running a business, as all your earnings go back into your hobby rather than to contribute to your personal expenses.

It should be noted that the gap for earning without being liable to pay taxes is very narrow. Even if you’re working alone without any employees as a sole proprietorship, your earnings are be taxable. This is especially true if you’re a freelancer, contractor or any other kind of service provider and you earn most of your income through your business.

If your earnings are substantial enough that you can buy groceries, pay rent or afford to cover any of your personal expenses with your business earnings, you should consider yourself to be a small business owner, which means your business is tax liable.

Different Ways to Register Your Small Business for Tax

How you pay small business tax will depend on how you registered your business with the IRS. If you’re still in the process of starting your business, here are the different ways you can register:

  • Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest business structure. It’s easy to start, seeing as you don’t need any formal registration to run your business as a sole proprietor. As a sole proprietor, you’ll be entitled to all of your business earnings, with no legal distinction between yourself and your business. The benefit of running a sole proprietorship is that it’s simple and easy, the disadvantage is that you’ll also be liable for any debt incurred by your business, meaning your personal assets are at risk.
  • Partnership: Where two or more persons decided to start a business venture together, a business is considered to be a partnership. Depending on how a partnership is registered, business partners (like sole proprietors) can be responsible for all business losses, placing their personal assets at risk. This is known as a general partnership.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): Registering an LLC is a good option for many different business owners. The main benefit of an LLC is that the business owners or any shareholders aren’t liable for business debts or legal fees incurred, protecting personal assets. Additionally, business owners have the choice whether their LLC company should be taxed as a personal proprietor, partnership, S-corporation or C-corporation.
  • Corporation: Corporations are owned by stockholders and require a set structure. Corporations can fall in either one of two categories – S or C-corporations. It’s unlikely that you’ll register your new small business as a corporation, seeing as stockholders are required to elect a board of directors for a corporation. Although some small business owners register as the sole stockholder and appoint themselves as the a single-person board of directors, this business model doesn’t lend itself well to most small businesses that are just starting out.

As mentioned above, there are different ways in which you can register an LLC for tax. While registering an LLC to be taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership won’t change the tax rules that your business falls under, there are two unique corporate tax regimes for LLC companies. Here’s some more information about registering your business as an S or C-corporation.

  • S-corporation: With the S-corporation model, the business entity pays no income tax. Instead, the tax liability of the business tax is distributed to the S shareholders on a personal income tax level. To qualify as an S-corporation, a business must be a domestic corporation (i.e. not foreign) and have no more than 100 shareholders. Additionally, an S-corporation may only have 1 class of shares. Certain businesses, such as financial corporations, are ineligible to be registered as S-corporations.
  • C-corporation: Unlike an S-corporation, C-corporations are taxed independently of their business owners. With a C-corporation, there’s no limit with regards to how many shareholders a company may have. Furthermore, rules regarding foreign shareholders are more relaxed. Because of this, most major corporate companies are taxed as C-corporations

For most new businesses, sole proprietorship is the most popular choice. It’s easy and doesn’t require any upfront investment in terms of registering your business. Once your business expands, however, registering it as an LLC to be taxed as sole proprietorship can be a good way to protect your personal assets.

Tax Rates for Different Small Businesses

Your taxable income will differ depending on how your business is registered for tax. Here are the business tax rates:

  • Sole proprietorships pay a 13.3% tax rate
  • Partnerships pay a 23.6% tax rate
  • S-Corporation pay a 26.9% tax rate
  • C-corporations pay a 17.5% tax rate

Keep in mind that for these tax rates to apply, your business must fall within the guidelines of a small business in your industry. For new businesses, this usually isn’t a problem. Most freelancers, contractors or even healthcare professionals with a healthcare practice quite easily fall into the specifications set for small businesses. Similarly, small building contract firms, plumbers or other service providers are usually eligible to qualify for small business tax rates.

Different Kinds of Small Business Taxes

Although it can be tempting to register your business as a sole proprietorship simply to take advantage of the 13.3% tax rate, there are other taxes that small business owners must pay, which can complicate your choice.

Depending on your business model, there are different kinds of tax you might have to pay such as:

  • Income tax
  • Employment/Payroll tax
  • Self-employment tax
  • Excise tax
  • Sales tax
  • Property tax

While all businesses are required to pay some form income tax, you won’t be liable to employment tax if you have no employees, not would you need to pay excise tax if you don’t sell eligible products such as cigarettes or liquor.

If you register your business as a sole proprietorship, you’ll usually have to pay self-employment tax. Self-employment tax covers tax expenses that are normally at least partially covered by your employer, such as Social Security and Medicare. You are liable to pay self-employment taxes if you’re self-employed and your net earnings in the past year were at least $400.

How to Pay Small Business Tax for the first time?

Whether you’re starting a new business, or you already have a young startup and you need to pay tax for the first time, consulting an accountant is the best way to help you stay on track with your tax obligations.

Although owning a sole proprietorship can simplify your taxes, there are various reasons why getting an accountant is still the best choice, especially when you’re just starting out.

Firstly, you may choose to register your business under a different tax regime than sole proprietorship, which can complicate your taxes. Even if you register as a partnership, tax rules can become daunting.

Secondly, your first year or two of business will be a busy time. You’ll need to learn a lot about your industry to succeed. You’re unlikely to have enough time to learn enough about filing your small business tax correctly, which could place you at risk for penalties for late payments and other mistakes.

Most importantly, consulting an accountant is a great way to get professional, trustworthy advice on how you should register your business for tax, giving you a head start on your small business tax.

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Three Retirement Savings Tips for 30-something Year Olds

irs-tax-services-miamiIf you are a person in his or her 30s, then you are at a perfect age to begin to seriously plan for your retirement years. With your retirement approximately three decades away, you have a full range of options open to you. The following are three tips to start planning for your retirement.

Start saving today

This may seem obvious, but it is the single biggest problem people have when planning for their retirement. Saving money takes discipline, but it needs to be habitual as well. Set aside a certain amount of money each payday that will be used for your retirement. Do not touch this money for any reason. After awhile, you will be able to save money for your retirement automatically without thinking about it.

Invest some of your savings in the stock market

You need to place a small amount of your savings into stocks. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Only use a small amount of your savings for your retirement. Over a 30 year period, the stock market will most likely prove to be your best investment for your retirement. It is a simple matter to place your money in a mutual fund that is indexed to the Dow Industrial average.

Create a retirement account

There are very good retirement accounts that can be set up to provide you will significant income in your retirement years. A traditional Individual Retirement Account or a Roth IRA are typical choices. They both offer tax advantages. A traditional IRA gives you a tax credit each year that you make a contribution. When you retire, the money is taxed as you withdraw it. A Roth IRA does not provide any tax advantage today, but when you retire, you can withdraw the money without paying any income taxes. This includes the interest earned on the money in a Roth IRA account.

A Miami tax preparer will be able to answer any questions you have about retirement accounts. Accounting services in Miami can assist you other ideas on saving for your retirement.

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Three Tips to Get the Most from Your 401(k)

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.38.48 PMIf you were to ask a Miami tax preparer or any other finance professional how to ensure a comfortable retirement, their answer would most likely be to enroll in your company’s 401(k) program. This tax-advantaged account is a must for any employee no matter how small or large their salary may be. Take these steps to build up your 401(k) as much as possible.

Contribute as Much as You Can

It goes without saying that contributing more will give you a bigger nest egg for your retirement. It’s particularly important to do so because the money in a 401(k) works for you through the investment vehicles of your choice. This means that you’re not only saving more but also earning a greater return. An easy way to do this is to simply increase your contribution rate every time you get a raise.

Make Sound Investments

Although the range of investment options will vary from one 401(k) provider to another, it is usually possible to create a diverse and balanced portfolio. Employees can typically choose from a blend of mutual funds, index funds, stocks, and more. Research each option carefully to get an idea of how it may perform in the future. You’ll also have to assess your level of risk tolerance; it will vary greatly based on your income, age, and other factors. One option is to enlist the help of one of the accounting services in Miami; the cost of this professional advice is usually well worth it.

Take Advantage of Employer Matching

Nobody in their right mind would turn down free money, but many employees do exactly that when they fail to collect the biggest employer match possible. Employer matching is when the company contributes an amount equal to the employee’s own contributions up to a certain percentage of their gross pay – usually six percent. If you do not contribute the full amount, you are passing by some very easy money. Be sure to contribute at least enough to get the maximum employer match.

A 401(k) is an incredible opportunity to save and invest for your golden years. Every employee should put in as much money as they can, diligently compare the investment options, and collect the greatest possible employer match. Your nest egg will grow faster than ever when you follow these tips.

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Four Ways to Grow Your Retirement Account

Every worker should be thinking about ways to maximize their retirement income. However, it can be tricky to allocate extra funds for the future with so many concerns in the present. Make use of these methods to build a sizable nest egg while also leaving enough money for today’s expenses.

Use Tax-advantaged Accounts

A 401(k) plan is tax deferred, meaning that the contributions as well as any capital gains are not taxed until they are withdrawn. An individual retirement account (IRA) is another good option because the contributions are tax deductible. Roth IRA contributions are not tax deductible, but they allow you to collect tax-free distributions if you are over the age of 59½. Your Miami tax preparer can help you decide which one of these plans suits your age, income, and retirement strategy.

Contribute Your Pay Raises

Employees sometimes shy away from saving for retirement because they believe that they need the money right now to maintain their current lifestyle. Whether you have an IRA or a 401(k), you can make it easy to save more for retirement by raising your contribution every time you get a raise. You’ll have more money in the account generating returns without having to change your way of living.

Invest Wisely

Although leaving your cash in the bank is easy and virtually risk-free, it does not generate a significant return. You can put your money to work for you by investing it in mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or other types of investments. Ask one of the accounting services in Miami for advice on what investments are best suited to your risk tolerance and income level.

Retire Later On

There’s no law that requires you to retire as early as possible! If you enjoy your job and you can still perform the necessary tasks just as well, you can maximize your retirement income by pushing your retirement date forward. Waiting just a year or two can give you a noticeable boost in savings.

These habits will put you on the path to a comfortable retirement. It’s easy to put them into effect without resigning yourself to a spartan lifestyle. When you retire and see the sum of money that you’ve amassed, you’ll be glad you followed these tips!

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Three Benefits of an IRA or 401(k)

Retirement is a goal of nearly every worker in America, and it requires a great deal of saving and investing. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans are both excellent options for people of all income levels. Take these benefits into account when you are planning for your retirement.

They Provide Tax Benefits

The best part about IRAs and 401(k) plans is that your contributions are not taxed immediately. The money is taxed when you withdraw it upon retirement, but in the mean time, it is free to generate capital gains, interest, and dividends. Your Miami tax preparer will report these earnings when you collect them, but you will have more retirement income in the long run by saving and investing with an IRA or 401(k).

They Encourage Financial Discipline

One of the hardest parts of saving money is building up the willpower to put it away instead of spending it. IRAs and 401(k) plans put your retirement savings on autopilot, which makes it much easier to exercise financial discipline. The money in a 401(k) cannot be withdrawn unless you can demonstrate a severe financial hardship such as the loss of your primary residence. You can withdraw money from an IRA at any time, but it will be taxed. Both of these plans can be set up to withhold money from your gross pay; this makes the difference hardly noticeable.

They Put Your Money to Work for You

The money in an IRA or 401(k) is placed in investments such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. This means that your money will earn a return that will be much greater than the interest rates of most savings accounts. If you choose your investments wisely, your savings can accumulate a noticeable amount of additional retirement income. With 401(k) programs, your employer may even match your contributions up to a certain point. It’s hard to beat the appeal of free money! Consult with one of the accounting services in Miami if you want to learn how much your contributions can grow over the course of your career.

There is no reason not to have an IRA or 401(k) if you would like to someday retire and enjoy your golden years. These retirement plans put you in a favorable tax position, make it easy to contribute on a regular basis, and generate impressive returns on your savings. Remember these points to ensure that you have a comfortable retirement income when the time comes.

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Five Ways You Can Still Give To Charity When You’re in Debt

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.31.21 PMIf your finances are in the red, it’s imperative that you put every spare dollar towards paying your bills. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your spirit of giving. There are many things you can do to help the less fortunate even if you are in a financial struggle yourself.

Volunteer Your Time

If you cannot get a second job or pick up extra hours at your current one, consider doing some volunteer work. Since the volunteer agency can then move a paid employee to other tasks, you are essentially saving them that employee’s hourly wage. While you cannot write off the time itself, you may be able to write off the mileage and any other expenses related to the volunteer work. Meet with a Miami tax preparer to ensure that this write-off is done properly.

Donate Nonperishable Food

Take a look in your pantry; there are probably a few nonperishable food items in there that you will never get around to eating. After making sure that they are not expired, give them to a local food bank. It may not seem like much, but they provide important nourishment for families in need.

Give Blood

Donated blood saves lives every day, and you can contribute to the supply without spending a dime! Check the local newspaper for blood drives in your area. Giving blood only takes a few minutes, and you’re helping others in a very direct way.

Turn In Your Old Glasses

Your old glasses may be useless to you, but don’t throw them away yet. Many charities collect used glasses to distribute to needy individuals who have similar prescriptions. You’ll make a big difference by helping a child see the whiteboard at school or helping an adult maintain the good vision that their job requires!

Clean Out Your Closet

Items of old clothing usually can’t be sold for any worthwhile amount. Fortunately, charity organizations will be glad to take them off your hands and give them to the less fortunate. This is especially helpful in the wintertime when many poor people have to go without warm clothing.

If you’re in debt and you’re worried that charitable acts are impossible for the foreseeable future, consider one of these options. You might even save some money by having one of the accounting services in Miami write off your charity-related expenses. Use these methods to give others a helping hand while conserving your money for your own debts.

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Two Lessons About Retirement Savings to Teach Your Kids

We all remember what it was like to be a kid. Even thirty years old seemed ancient and so far in the future that it would never happen.

Needless to say, it’s difficult to expect kids to give thought to their retirements and the fact that the decisions they make when they’re young will have sizable effects on their quality of life during the golden years.

Still, there are a few lessons you can teach your kids, even while they’re so young they have trouble comprehending life beyond high school, that will get them to appreciate the value of saving for retirement the right way.

Compound interest is why it pays to start saving early!

Let’s say a kid graduates from college, goes on to get his Master’s degree, and enters the workforce at the age of 25.

If he immediately begins saving for retirement, it will only take $4 per day over the next 40 years (at which point he will be 65) for him to retire a millionaire. This is assuming normal market returns over time of 10 to 11 percent.

However, if he decides not to worry about saving for retirement until he turns 30, and he invests $4 per day, he will retire with a savings of just over $500,000 — about half of what he would have if he had started earlier.

Waiting only five years to start saving for retirement cost him over five hundred grand — or half his potential retirement savings.

The numbers are even more dire if he waits until he’s 35. That $500,000 number gets cut down to just over $300,000.

This is due to the power of compound interest. The longer you have money sitting in an investment account earning interest, the more that interest compounds, and the more money you make.

Therefore, there is no substitute for starting early when it comes to retirement savings.

It doesn’t take much!

Look at the above example again. We’re talking about only four dollars per day here!

Ask your kid to make a list of things he might consider buying if he had four dollars in his pocket. A candy bar and a soda from the mini mart? A greasy hamburger and soggy fries from a fast food joint? How about a few rounds of skee-ball at the video arcade?

Then ask him which of those he would be willing to forego if it meant becoming a millionaire. My guess is that he would answer all of them.

Young people blow money every day on things they don’t really need, such as overpriced coffee, outfits they’ll only wear once, et cetera. Get your kid in the habit of looking at the long-term picture instead of instant gratification.

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Three Reasons Thirty Year Olds Should Start Saving For Retirement

Your grandparents may not have imagined a retirement lasting 30 years or longer, but you can look forward to a long retirement, so start saving as early as possible. Ideally, you should start retirement planning in your 20s, but when you have an entry-level position and student loans to repay, it’s not always easy to save money. This leads us to the first reason to start thinking about your retirement by age 30.

Reason #1 You’re At Your Peak Earning Potential

By age 30 or so, you’re more likely to have a better paying job than you did in your 20s, with benefits such as company matching 401(k) contributions. As you advance in your career, you will earn more, giving you more disposable income to save more towards your retirement. Your 30s and 40s are your peak earning years; use this time to pad your retirement portfolio.

Reason #2 You Can Afford to Take Risks

If you start saving for retirement at age 50, you need safe, secure investments, but when you start saving at age 30, you can afford to take more chances for higher returns. You will have time to make up for a financial loss at age 35 but by age 50, you cannot afford any losses. Use accounting services in Miami to alleviate the bookkeeping burdens associated with long-term investments such as real estate or stock funds.

Reason #3 Because 80 is the New 60

It’s common to see financially stable couples in their 80s fulfilling their dreams of traveling to exotic destinations, sailing around the world or going back to college. People are healthier today; make sure you have enough money saved to do the things you have always wanted to do once you retire. If you imagine skinny-dipping in Ibiza at age 70, you will have to take advantage of compound interest now to pay 2044’s travel costs.

Consult a Miami tax preparer to ensure you take advantage of the tax benefits of saving for retirement and so you understand how tax deferrals work. Using a tax consultant or an accounting firm is a small investment that can significantly benefit you in your retirement.

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5 Habits To Maximize Your Retirement Fund

Those who are saving for retirement have a myriad of options to take advantage of. There’s social security, standard bank savings accounts, 401(k) accounts, IRA accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and more. Deciding between these options can be overwhelming. Do yourself a favor and visit with your local Miami tax preparer in addition to reading this article.

1. One of the best ways to save for retirement is to take advantage of tax laws by investing in an IRA and a 401(k). If your state’s tax rate plus the federal marginal tax rate adds up to 30%, investing in an IRA and a 401(k) will cost merely 70 cents on the dollar. The government covers the rest of the cost by subtracting it from your tax bill. There are also extra tax credits for those who are of low income but devote some of their money towards retirement savings. It’s a whole lot easier to save for retirement when the government is footing part of the cost.

2. Another important consideration is the fact that many employers offer matching contributions on 401(k) savings that range from 25 cents on the dollar to a dollar to dollar ratio. These often extend up to a specific cap but the amount of money that you’ll be able to put aside for your retirement will turn out to be quite significant when your employer kicks in some funds. Anyone who has an employer that matches 401(k) contributions should max out this option every year.

3. Workers over the age of 50 are encouraged to save more than others in order to “catch up” their retirement savings. This especially helps late savers. Anyone interested in catch up contributions should contact accounting services in Miami to learn the specific rules for contribution limits as they change on a regular basis. They should also inquire about the 2001 tax law changes that altered the annual contribution limits for specific tax deferred savings plans. One’s contributions to multiple savings plans are not interdependent and savers have the ability to save money in several different retirement plans at the same time.

4. When you select stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other investments, diversify your savings between a wide variety of sectors. This is commonly called smart asset allocation. The strategy allows you to minimize your risk by limiting your exposure to specific industries. So invest in numerous sectors in a variety of markets across the world. This way, if one particular market or line of business tanks, you won’t lose your entire nest egg.

5. Alter your retirement investments as you age. If you are young, take some risks with your money. Those who are nearing retirement should invest in bonds, annuities and mutual funds with less risk as they’ll need their retirement funds soon.

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Four Reasons To Begin Your Retirement Savings Now

Now, if you are like most people, you have plenty of monthly expenses that are hard to keep down. When dealing with this, plenty of people opt to not fund their retirements. This is unwise whether you are 25, 45 or 55. With this in mind, here are four reasons to begin your retirement savings now.

Compound: First and foremost, if you want to enjoy the power of compound Interest, you should start saving now. Think about it, if you put away thousands of dollars, you will enjoy a serious return on your investment. Then, if you start early enough, you will watch as your money makes money. This is the sweet spot of saving, and any smart Miami tax preparer would recommend that a person start saving early on.

We live a long time: In the past, people would retire at 60 and die at 65 or 70. No more. In fact, if you are young, you may live to 100 years old or longer. However, not only will you live a long time, but you will want to travel and enjoy life. Fortunately, if you sit down and come up with a retirement plan, you will end up enjoying your days later in life. Otherwise, if you don’t save any cash, your older years are going to be boring.

Unexpected expenses pop up: Sadly, plenty of people don’t think of the unexpected expenses in the future. Think about it, not only will the cost of housing rise, but so will the cost of health insurance, food, fuel and vehicles. To combat this, you will want to put some money away in a retirement account. If not, you are going to face an uphill battle to pay your bills in the future.

Get used to putting money away: Finally, when you want to save money, you will want to start easily as you won’t notice a difference. Think about it, if you automatically send money to your 401k, IRA or other retirement fund, you will not notice it. On the other hand, if you wait for years to save money, you will feel the pain of parting with your funds every month.

If you are of working age, you need to start socking away cash. Even if you only put a hundred dollars away a month, you are going to enjoy your retirement in the future.

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Top 4 Ways to Save for Retirement

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 9.45.51 AMNo matter how old you are, it is never a bad time to start thinking about your retirement. However, there is a difference between thinking about saving for retirement and actually putting money away to ensure your financial security later in life. What are some good ways to grow your nest egg for the future?

Take Part in Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans

Most employers will have a 401k plan that you can participate in after a certain amount of time spent with that employer. If the employer matches any of your contributions, try to get the maximum possible match. This is because that dollar-for-dollar match equals an instant 100 percent return on your investment.

Put Away at Least $10 a Week of Your Own Money

If you aren’t employed or your employer doesn’t offer a pension plan, it is important to save money on your own. You should aim to put away at least $10 a week of your own money toward retirement. Even at just $520 a year, you could have thousands saved for retirement even if you only have a few years to save.

Think About the Long-Term Tax Consequences

Putting money into a traditional IRA or 401k may help you save money today. However, investing in a Roth account may eliminate your tax burden in retirement. This is because your money has already been taxed, which means you get to take your money out tax-free after age 59.5 if you invest with a Roth. A Miami tax preparer may be able to help you figure out which method is better or if putting some money in a Roth and some money in a tax-deferred account is a viable strategy.

Its Not All Stocks and Mutual Funds

You should aim to invest in more than just stocks and mutual funds. If you have pocketbook control over your IRA or 401k, it may be a good idea to invest in other items such as gold or real estate. Those who do have a Solo IRA or 401k and need help managing it may find the assistance that they need by partnering with someone who specializes in accounting services in Miami.

There are many options available to you when saving for retirement. Whether you decide to invest in an employer plan, invest in a self-employed account or save money on your own, good planning and seeking help from professionals can help you get maximum returns on your investments.

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Five Creative Ways To Save For Retirement

Pennies make dollars. The sooner one realizes that fact, the sooner money can be saved. Look for ways to save on everyday living expenses.


Utilities are the biggest and easiest category in which to start saving. When not being used, lights should be turned off. Adjust the thermostat a few degrees warmer during the air-conditioning season, and a few degrees cooler during the heating season. Unplug appliances that are not being used. These simple tasks will reduce utility bills. When a utility bill arrives, put the difference of what you expected to pay and the actual amount due into a retirement savings account.


Everyone has to eat. There are numerous ways to save on the amount of money spent on food. Instead of buying lunch, taking lunch to work can result in big savings. Skip or reduce the number of expensive lattes, and bargain shop when making food purchases. A great way to save on food purchases is to clip coupons. Newspaper and online sources provide hundreds of dollars in coupon savings. Some stores offer double redemption on coupons. Coupon savings does not have to be an extreme measure. Clip only coupons for items normally purchased. Keep them in an envelope that has a grocery list on the outside. Five dollars saved each week means over $250 savings for the year. That amount should also go into the retirement account.

Transportation Expenses

Purchasing gasoline is a necessary evil. To save on gas consumption, eliminate as many unnecessary errands and trips as possible. Not only will a retirement account grow, but the world will be a greener place. Using a GPS, even to destinations previously traveled, will determine the shortest route and save the most fuel. Carpooling is also an excellent way to cut costs of transportation and help the environment. Public transportation, if available, is cheaper than using one’s vehicle.


Like food, everyone needs clothes. Thrift stores offer many bargains. Often items, having the original tags on them, can be purchased for a minimal price. Clearance racks are also wonderful sources for clothing purchases at reduced prices. As much as 90 percent savings have been realized by smart shoppers.


Cutting out entertainment would take some of the joy out of living. There are ways to save. These savings are some of the easiest to accomplish. Movie theaters offer matinee showings for much less than evening rates. Many communities offer free or reasonably priced activities to be enjoyed.

In order to truly save, each time money spent is less than expected, be sure to actually put the money into a retirement savings account. It will be surprising to see how quickly the funds will grow. Three dollars saved each day, will put over $1,000 into that account. Do consider consulting with a Miami tax preparer for a wide range of account services in South Florida.

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Retirement Savings Tips for Newlyweds

Most newlyweds don’t give much thought to retirement since it is so far away. There’s bills and loans to pay, the thought of a baby and his education and of course the cost of a honeymoon. Yet retirement should be on the minds of newlyweds because a couple can’t grow old together in a comfortable manner unless they are financially sound.

Develop A Plan

The first step towards savings for a retirement is making a plan. Write down how much money you and your spouse will need to retire and do the things that you want to do. Most retirees want to do some traveling but others are content to rest by the pool. Whatever your goals are, define them clearly so that you can develop a plan of attack. If you have any financial questions, reach out to the accounting services in Miami for help.

Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans

If your employer has a sponsored retirement savings plan that matches any contributions that you make to your savings, take advantage of it. This is an invaluable resource as it is typically tax deferred. This money will be taken right out of your paycheck and put into your savings so that you are not tempted to spend it. Start contributing to this type of program right away so that you can maximize your savings with the help of your employer. If your employer doesn’t offer a 401k plan, you’ll need to develop your own retirement savings system. It is most prudent to invest in mutual funds or a traditional/Roth IRA.

Stock Market Trading Versus Investing

Newlyweds are advised to invest in a diverse group of mutual funds that spread risk out across a number of industries. This is a much safer way to invest retirement savings compared to playing the stock market on a daily or weekly basis. Even small contributions to mutual funds can make a large difference over time. Investing in mutual funds or even bonds is a much better choice than leaving the money in the bank where it will accumulate minimal interest that doesn’t even keep pace with inflation. Don’t forget that the federal government has printed plenty of money over the past decade to stimulate the economy. This means that the value of the American dollar is decreasing and constantly losing value. If you don’t invest your savings, it will decrease in value while sitting idly in the bank.

While newlyweds face a variety of initial expenses, they should make it a point to save 10% of their net income after taxes. Be sure to contact a Miami tax preparer to help maximize your deductions and help plan for your golden years. Retirement might be 40 years away but time flies when you are working 40 hour weeks. Add in the fact that the social security system is expected to run out of funds within the next 20 years and there is a recipe for disaster if you haven’t taken it upon yourself to save for retirement.

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3 Ways to Succeed With Your Retirement Plan

Retiring is often exciting for most, although it may be bittersweet if you have enjoyed your career over your lifetime. Ensuring you are prepared to retired and capable of succeeding without working can be possible with a bit of planning and with the use of various resources and tools. Understanding when you are ready to retire is a way to ensure you genuinely feel capable of moving forward and no longer working for a living.

Plan Early

Planning early is essential if you plan to retire from your place of work. Investing in a savings account, a 401k and other slow-rolling investments throughout the duration of your career is one way to ensure stability once you are ready to retire on your own.

Check Investments, 401ks and Other Assets You Own

Be sure to check any assets you own along with 401ks, savings and checking accounts. Reviewing your entire financial picture before seeking assistance is a way for you to determine if you feel truly comfortable with the idea of retiring. If you are unsure of how to go about checking into any investments and accounts you have, it is also possible to work together with professional accounts to get the job done.

Work With Professional Accountants

Working with professional accounting services in Miami is one way for you to get peace of mind whenever you have the thought of retiring on your mind. Working together with a professional Miami tax preparer it is much easier to assess your current financial standing and the options you have in regards of retiring and living comfortable without earning anymore through traditional means of working. Working with a CPA, or certified public accountant is a way for you to feel excited about retirement rather than fretting over how to properly handle and manage your money once you are no longer working each year. Professional accountants are also able to assist with budgeting and helping you to feel as ready as possible before you choose to official retire from the workforce.

Whether you are thrilled to retire or if you are apprehensive due to the fear of being unprepared, getting assistance with professionals and by reassessing your current assets is a way to get peace of mind. Feeling confident with your decision to retire is important, which is why working alongside professional Miami tax preparers and CPAs is highly recommended to move forward with your life.

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Five Tips to Revive Your Broken New Year’s Financial Resolutions

As soon as the clock struck twelve at midnight, you decided that you were going to change your financial future. However, with more than half of the year over, you need some motivation to get back on track.

Stop with the Credit Cards

Constantly piling more debt onto your credit cards is only going to make your financial situation worse. Credit cards should be used only in the event of a true emergency or if you are literally paying the amount off as soon as you put it on. This latter strategy can be useful if you receive cash rewards since you can use the cash to pay off more credit card debt each month.

Start Saving Money

While you may not have the income to put thousands of dollars aside each month, you can work to make a small fund for yourself. Each week, take a percentage of your paycheck and contribute it to a savings account. Even when you don’t have the money for that, you can still look into other types of investments such as a 401K or retirement plan with your job.

Understand the Difference Between Need and Want

Breaking down your budget to the bare necessities will help you to see what you need as opposed to what you want. Having one thousand channels on your television, for example, is not a necessity. Opting for a plan that costs less money per month gives you the freedom to put those additional funds into a savings account or onto a credit card with a high balance.

Make a Budget

If you don’t already have a household budget, you must sit down and make one. Doing so allows you to see where all of your money is going each month and if you are spending more than you are making. Be sure to account for all income in the budget as well as all bills. Do not leave entertainment money out of it as you must see how much is unnecessarily going toward that.

Hire a Professional

Working with Miami professional accounting consultancy can help to provide a new perspective of your financial situation. Miami tax prepares can help you to better allocate funds and to make smart financial investments that match up with the limitations of your budget.

You can either say that the year is half over and that you still have six months left to improve your finances. Choose the latter for extra financial motivation.

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Fundamentals of a Successful Retirement Plan

Retiring successfully may not be as hard as you think. Now, not worrying about retirement between now and the time you retire may be a different story. No one wants to work for 50+ years only to retire and have to significantly adjust their lifestyle and habits. Every person is different, but below are a few guidelines about retirement strategy we could all benefit from.

First, do not rely on the government to be your soul provider in your retirement years. Social Security does not pay enough for most retirees now and the future does not look any brighter. Even the government does not trust Social Security as it supplements its own workers’ pay and retirement with a 401k style investment program and its own pension program for government employees.

We know what you are thinking, “wonderful, so what am I supposed to do?” In order to supplement your Social Security check, and regardless of your current age, star with an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Roth IRA. These tax deferred programs will have you, in essence, funding your own retirement and allowing your money to grow over time. One can only place between $5,500 and $6,500 each year into a Roth IRA, but such accounts can swell to well over a million dollars depending on the age at what you start and how aggressive you are with your share purchases.

Perhaps Roth IRAs and tax deferments may be a little nerve racking for you at this point? Speak with a Miami tax consultant or an accountant in order to discuss all of your regarding these matters. These individuals can show you rate returns and answer a number of other financial related questions.

In case you just plan on living through retirement frugally, cutting corners, and just going without; you are still going to need a plan. Having a nice nest egg and reduced living expenses should ease your retirement years. Some experts suggest replacing at least 60% of your pre-retirement income during your retirement years. Keep in mind, 60% is the bare minimum while 80% is the standard. We don’t know about you, but replacing 80% of our current income with savings, stocks, and pensions sounds like a difficult choir at best.

Always remember, it is never too early, or too late, to start thinking about retirement. Regardless of your situation, age, or income; saving with a retirement goal in mind will focus your efforts and have you sprinting over your retirement goals, not crawling.

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Three Things to Consider When Planning for Retirement

Regardless if retirement is just around the corner, or 100 miles down the road, it is never too late to plan. You’ve heard this before, right? Every time you see a commercial relating to retirement, or have a conversation with your spouse you are probably like most American: “I’ll start my retirement game plan tomorrow.” Retirement planning and implementation can be as frustrating as losing those few extra pounds you gained over the winter. Well, stop delaying and start acting. Below are 3 things to consider when planning for retirement.

1. Your first consideration should be the broad-strokes of the life you want to live during retirement. This includes, perhaps the most important aspect of retirement, how much of your current income do you need to replace during retirement. Some experts say 75%, some say 100%. Some even go as high as saying one needs to replace 135% of their salary with various sources including: Social Security, 401k, and IRAs to name just a few of the sources. The question being, how comfortable do you want to be in your Golden Years?

2. Another “broad stroke” is considering where you want to live and your monthly reoccurring expense. Do you want to live in Florida, or do you want to move north? Are you going to live in your current home, or are you going to downgrade (or upgrade for that matter)? Do you need a new car every year, or do you drive your vehicles into the dirt? These little “nit-noid” items may seem like minutiae, but when you know how much you spend a month it will help you know how much you need a month.

3. Lastly, determine if you want to leave any of your money to family. Some individuals leave very generous estates to family members. Others spend every dime and go on to leave their family with debts that must be settled. Be very careful of your assets today as they may become burdens tomorrow.

All of the above must sound truly fascinating to a 25-year old (heavy irony intended). As a wise man once said: “Youth is wasted on the young.” We bet that if you ask 50 individuals what they wished they would have changed; we are willing to bet at least 40 of them would say: “I wish I would have started saving earlier.”

If you are lost in terms of retirement and tax planning and live in the Miami area, contact an accounting services consultancy to get a handle on your situation. Don’t forget, it is never too late.

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Four Powerful Takeaways from the Wealthy Retirees

Retiring, for some, can be viewed as a finish line to the marathon of your life. Reaching the finish line takes proper planning some have not even considered. It is never too early to start thinking about retirement. Though 20 year olds may have better things to do; every year one waits to start a plan, that finish line draws closer and closer. Regardless if you are 20 or 50, everyone can benefit from those already in the know. Below are 4 takeaways from wealthy retirees.

1. As mentioned, start planning early. The more money you set aside early on in your career means the opportunity for your dollars will have to grow will increase greatly. The problem is many people simply do not save for retirement until it is too late. A wealthy retiree has been saving for retirement for a lot longer than 10-years. Even if you save a little in your 20’s and 30’s the outcome will be better than saving a lot in the 5-years before retirement.

2. With the above in mind, be sure to contact an accountant in order to set up proper retirement accounts early. The great thing about retirement accounts is they stay with you. Jobs come and go, people move out of state, and families grow, but a retirement account can always be there. Also, you don’t have to max out Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) every year. Save what you can when you can. Again, start early and give that money time to grow.

3. Open an IRA or ROTH IRA. No idea what an IRA is? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Thankfully there are many accountants in the Miami area which can help you get started and guide you through the process. An IRA is one of the best ways to retire comfortably and not have to rely solely on an uncertain social security system.

4. Lastly, and once you’ve set up an IRA, be sure to save a little each month. The amount does not have to be an uncomfortable, bank breaking figure. The standard saving amount many accountants quote is 10%. If you cannot save 10% each pay check, don’t worry. As long as you are truly trying, and remain diligent in your saving, you will at least get very close to your goals if not reach them. Always remember, slow and steady wins the race.

5. Lastly, get help when you need it. There are accounting professionals who can help guide you to your goals. You don’t have to be rich in order to need an accountant.

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Three Benefits of Saving For Retirement You Never Knew

Saving for retirement, some people may think, is an impossible task. Retirement planning and saving can be compared to a marathon. As with some marathons, slow and steady wins the race. With this in mind, the benefits you get from saving not only help you financially, but mentally as well. Below are three benefits you will enjoy from saving now.

1. Not having a well-padded nest egg in your retirement will cause you undue stress in the long run. With the uncertain future of Social Security, dwindling pensions, and the still recovering stock market, retirement planning has never been more difficult. Saving now will give you piece of mind today so you will not have to worry tomorrow. This benefit may sound “cheesy,” but piece of mind is very important during your retirement years. As you can imagine, stress can be very damaging when compounded by years of worry and doubt.

2. A more tangible retirement saving benefit is that by saving now, you will have more to live off later. A no brainer right? If a 30 year old places $500 into a retirement account today, they will give it a chance to grow for the next 30+ years. Each year you wait, each year your money will have less time to grow. We know what you’re thinking, “I’ll just put the $500 in a shoe box under my mattress so I can have access to it as needed.” This is faulty logic due to the fact your money shrinks due to inflation each year. Though you may feel like you’re doing the right thing, that $500 may only be worth $100 in 30 years.

3. Retirement savings are usually tax deferred; this offers a great opportunity for those who save. Also, and depending on your earnings and filing status, contributions to plans such as a Roth IRA are tax deductible. For those who are new to savings, this means an awful lot in terms of getting the most bang for your buck. Also, keep in mind the yearly maximum you can contribute to an IRA is $5,500. By breaking this $5,500 up, and making contributions via weekly/monthly auto payments, you may not miss the money as much.

It would be foolish to rely solely on the government for Social Security payments during your retirement years. Supplementing your retirement by saving today will make it so you can retire comfortably and on time. If you live in the Miami area and need help reaching your retirement goals, contact an accounting service today. There is no time like the present.

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Three Retirement Pitfalls to Avoid

We all know it is coming. We all try, as best as we can, to prepare for it. When it happens, all but a few are truly ‘comfortable’. That’s right; retirement is but a few short years away for many of us in the Miami area. Hopefully you started planning for retirement long ago. If not, don’t worry; taking positive steps now will help you later. While making those steps, knowing what pitfalls to avoid will truly make a world of difference in your golden years. Below are some of those pitfalls you should watch out for.

1. First, consider yourself lucky you live in Florida. Everyone knows many people come to Florida in order to retire, and have done so for many years. The weather, the services, and the available infrastructure for senior citizens make Florida a great place for retirement. Also, Florida offers cheap(er) tax rates than a lot of other states for retirees. If you plan to stay in Florida, you have avoided pitfall #1. If you plan on leaving, you should take the state of your future home’s tax rate into consideration. You simply may have to save a little more, or spend a little less, each month.

2. If you recently moved to Florida in order to start your retirement, but still own a home in another state, are you claiming losses, repair costs, and interest rate deductions on both homes properly? Many Americans cannot sell their old homes due to the ongoing real estate crisis. If you are one of those Americans who, for whatever reason, still own two homes, be sure you are not paying more on taxes than you should.

3. If this is your first year of retirement, and you typically do your own taxes, try paying a visit to a Miami tax preparer this year. Having your taxes filed, at least during the first year of retirement, can give you a baseline as to how to file your taxes in the future. Regardless if you take in a little side-income you must claim, or pension and Social Security earnings only, an accounting service in the Miami area can help you plan and spend accordingly.

Retiring is a scary thought for many Americans today. Some have saved and planned a little better than others. Don’t keep making the same mistakes today which will keep you from living out a comfortable retirement. Contact an accounting service in order to learn more about what you could be doing in order to secure your retirement.

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Three Ways to Catch Up On Your Retirement Savings

Many Americans retire each year. With the number of dwindling and secure pensions, have you saved enough for retirement? The days of the 30 or 40-year pensions are all but gone, leaving people to rely on Social Security and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). For those relying to Social Security alone, you may want to see exactly how much you will make per month after retirement age.

Was the amount more, or less, than you thought it would be? For a large percentage of Americans, the amount may not be as much as you thought. The only way to ensure your comfort in retirement is to save now. Below are three strategies to catch up on your retirement savings.

“Spend less and save more” is sage advice you may as well have received from your grandfather. Easier send than done is perhaps the most common response. The trick to spending less is to discover where all of you money goes each month. Once you have an accurate synopsis of where your money goes, only then can you start saving it. For example, if your dining-out budget is $200 each month, cut it back to $100 and save the remainder. That $100 you save this month on fast food might be worth $500 when you go to retire. Honestly, did you really need that McSandwich anyway?

If you have not done so already, start an IRA (traditional or Roth) account with a reputable provider. If you already have an IRA, divert as much earnings as you can each year. If it helps, set up a direct deposit to go directly to your IRA each payday. Doing so will not give you a chance to ‘miss’ the money you are sending off. Maximizing your contributions will have you sitting pretty at retirement age.

Lastly, start budgeting for your retirement now. Come up with an estimate on how much you will need each month, where you want to live, do you plan on moving out of state, and other similar questions. Doing so will leave you better advantaged on how aggressive you will need to be with you savings.

Saving money and budgeting is difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start. Consider consulting with an accounting service in the Miami area. An accountant can help you set up an IRA, prepare taxes, and give sound financial advice. Let’s face it, we all wish to maximize our saving potential so we can retire in comfort and, perhaps more importantly, style; an accountant will get you there.

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