Saving

5 Biggest Ways Millennials Risk Their Retirements

If you’re stressing out about whether or not you’re saving enough for retirement, you’re not alone. Millennials are among those struggling the most with this dilemma. According to a 2016 study, 64 percent of working millennials believe they’ll never save a $1 million nest egg.

Why are millennials so worried? Sadly, this age group is prone to making less-than-ideal money moves that could hurt them later in life. Let’s review the five biggest ways in which millennials are risking their retirement. (See also: 4 Things Millennials Should Do Today to Prepare for Retirement)

1. Delaying the start of retirement savings

Nearly four in 10 millennials haven’t started saving for retirement. The same 2016 survey found that 61 percent of females and 50 percent of males belonging to the millennial generation have their finances stretched “too thin” to save for retirement. Even worse, 54 percent of women and 43 percent of men of this generation are living paycheck to paycheck.

However, delaying retirement contributions has a serious impact. If a worker were to deposit just $50 per month into a 401(k) with an 8 percent annual rate of return for 10 years, they would end up with around $9,200 at the end of the 10-year period. The IRS sets a cap on how much you can contribute to a retirement account per year, which for 2017, is $18,000 to a 401(k) and $5,500 to an IRA. If you keep delaying your contributions to your retirement accounts, you’ll never be able to fully make up that gap.

2. Taking out high student loans

Student Loan Hero estimated the average student loan balance for a member of the Class of 2016 at $37,172, up 6 percent from the year before. With so many Americans still believing in the importance of postsecondary education, it’s easy to see how the average student loan continues to climb. Studies have shown that higher education still leads to better earnings potential, after all.

Still, loans are rising too fast. Back in 1993, only 45 percent of college graduates had a student loan and their average balance was $15,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars. By having to pay down a high student loan, millennials are foregoing sizable contributions to their retirement accounts.

Assuming a $30,000 balance on a federal direct…

What Does TaxAct Have to Offer for 2017?

Tax season is upon as, and many are in the market for a preparation software to file their own tax returns. You may have heard of TaxAct before, as you filed in past years. In 2017, though, they’ve made quite a few changes to improve their software, mobile app, and support… ultimately giving you a better tax filing experience.

taxact

Here’s an overview of what TaxAct has to offer in 2017:

What’s New for 2017?

In 2017, TaxAct launched a new addition to its tax filing products, called the BluPrint Financial Assessment. BluPrint Financial Assessment provides financial guidance and savings information all year-round. With this assessment, customers receive a complimentary analysis of their tax return off the bat. Then, throughout the year, they receive additional insight on ways to reduce their tax bill next year and save for the future.

TaxAct has also implemented some enhancements to its other existing features:

  • Expanded W2 import options – TaxAct now has the ability to import W-2 forms straight from employers for over 75 million Americans. TaxAct online customers can also import PDF files of their W-2 forms.
  • Redesigned mobile app – TaxAct Express, the mobile app, gives customers an easy way to complete simple tax returns from their mobile phones or tablets. On the app, customers can also take a picture of their W-2 forms and upload it directly into their returns.
  • Personalized income interview – TaxAct has streamlined its online interview process to make it faster and easier for customers to file their tax returns.
  • Unlimited support – All of TaxAct’s products now offer unlimited phone and email support no matter which edition you purchase.
  • Prior year online return access – All TaxAct customers can now access their previously filed tax returns for the past seven years.

How Much Does TaxAct Cost?

The cost of TaxAct varies depending on the product level you choose as well as whether you choose to file online or via desktop download. Here are the current prices for TaxAct’s products:

Free Plus Premium
Online $0 for federal and state filing; $10 for optional prior year import $20; $30 state additional; prior year import included $35; $30 state additional; prior year import included
Desktop Download $0 for federal; $25 state additional; $5 for optional prior year import $40 for federal and state filing; prior year import included $55…