TurboTax Online Tax Software 2010 Review

No Easier, Faster Way to Get Your Biggest Possible Tax Refund – How so?

TurboTax 2010 is all about making things easier and more accurate this year.

They take out the hassle of manually entering your information by automatically filling in:

  • Your earnings and account information from your job, bank or credit union
  • Info from last year’s tax return, even if it was prepared using different software
  • Any income you received in interest, thanks to the integration with Mint.com

Yes, they’re still the GPS for your taxes, guiding you through the entire process. Features include:
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2011 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Tax Rates

Going into 2011, it was thought that the federal income tax brackets and marginal tax rates were going to change drastically because of the Bush-era tax cuts expiring.

However, they were extended for another two years, so the tax brackets and marginal rates aren’t going to change very much going from 2010 to 2011.

Here we’re going to take a look at each of the Federal Income Tax brackets and marginal tax rates for both single taxpayers and married couples filing jointly, and take a look at what is changing going into 2011.

Note: click here for the 2012 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Rates.

The lowest marginal tax rate is the 10% bracket.

The range of income covered by this bracket in 2010 was $0 to $8,375, but going into 2011, the upper limit is changed to $8,500.  Similarly, the married couples filing jointly will see a raise from $0-$16,750 to $0-$17,000.  These aren’t very big changes, and won’t change tax amounts for many people by a large amount at all.
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10 Money Quotes Worth Remembering

Dollar Sign

If you’re lucky, your parents will have instilled you with advice to help you manage your personal finances on your own. However, these words of wisdom were likely only drawn from their own limited experiences, whereas these 10 money quotes are sourced from academics, artists, playwrights and even the church and together can ensure you have a well-rounded monetary education and understand both how to have a healthy relationship with money and use it to achieve your goals.

‘Money can’t buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.’

-Spike Milligan

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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Is It Time Bound?

We’re reaching the end of our SMART goals.  We’ve gone through making the goal specific, being able to measure it, making sure it’s attainable, and looking at how relevant it is.  Now we’ll ask if your goal is Time-Bound?

A good goal will be time-bound or timely.  It will have a starting point, an end point, and measurable time or milestones in-between.  Time adds dimension to specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant.

By making your goal time-bound you give yourself a framework to focus with.  Without deadlines for your goals, it’s easy to let your goals drift away and be put off for other things that may seem more pressing.  You need to know when your goal will end.  A finish point can be a big part of whether your goal was a success or not.
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The Power of Passive Investing Book Review and Links

The Power of Passive Investing

As a personal finance blogger I get the opportunity of receiving books about well, personal finance from time to time. I don’t always get to read them all (yet) but some I do while others are moved to the front of my reading list for when I get a chance.  I wanted to tell you about one that’s on my short list to read.

The Power of Passive Investing by Rick Ferri

I haven’t read this book yet but I will soon.  In The Power of Passive Investing, Ferri makes the case for owning only low-cost index funds and ETF’s.  I’ve heard a lot about how active funds tend to not beat the market and that most of us would do better with low-cost index funds (Warren Buffet and Tom Gardner come to mind).

I certainly don’t want to have my returns eaten up by commissions and taxes.  Investing in ETF index funds is something I’ve slowly been doing but I want to learn more.  I was excited to get a copy of this book and start expanding my investing knowledge.
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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Are They Relevant?

Having a goal is a great motivator but it still needs structure if you don’t want to be another statistic in the failed goals category. Making your goals SMART is one way to organize your goal to help ensure success.

We’ve looked at making a goal specific, making sure the goal is measurable, and looking to see if the goal is attainableNow we will look at how relevant your goal is.

When looking at the relevancy of a goal, we’re asking ourselves how important the goal is in the grand scheme of things?

Is the energy we’re going to put towards this goal the best use of our time and resources or is there something else that may be better?
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How to Create SMART Financial Goals – Are They Attainable?

In this series on SMART goals, we’ve talked about being Specific about your financial goal and then making the financial goal Measurable.  Now we’ll talk about your goal being Attainable.

Let me preface by saying that I think a person, any person, is capable of doing many incredible things.  You may be truly amazed at what you can achieve if you earnestly put your mind and resources into reaching your goal.

But there are limits.
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