If you make the change to being self-employed you may lose the cover of any life insurance provided by your employer.  So do you need to buy a plan in your one right?

Whether you’re employed or self-employed your earnings are still going to be essential to your family if you have one.  The question of life insurance is not just based on what type of employment you have but on who you need to protect if anything happens to you.  Of course the situation if you have a business is slightly different than that of an employee; so what do you need to consider?

How important is your self-employed income to your dependents?

If you have dependents they will probably rely on your income and would struggle if they did not have that income to pay for items such as a mortgage and other debts.  You need to think about what the situation would be if you were to die. You can learn more here.

If you’re self-employed your situation is different to that of someone who is in regular employment.  When an employee dies then a company doesn’t continue to pay salary to the surviving family so it’s necessary to ensure that there is enough money available from a life insurance plan to pay expenses and ongoing costs.  If you’re self-employed then the business will still exist of you die and will be passed on to your family, so it’s a very different set of circumstances.

So does that mean I don’t need life insurance?

It’s not quite that simple.  When you make this decision you’re not basing it on the situation with your business now but the situation that may exist in the future.  You should ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you remain self-employed?
  • How secure is your business?
  • Would your family be able to maintain the business if you died?
  • If the business was sold what sort of profit would be made?

Just because you’re living a relatively comfortable life on the money that is made from your self- employment doesn’t mean that it would be sufficient provision for your family if anything happened to you.  You may not even be certain that you will remain in self-employment.  If you were to return to employment then you run the risk of missing out on premiums that you could have already been paying.  Is your business one that would sell and how much money would be made; would it be enough to pay off all of your personal and business debts?

The last thing you want to do is leave your family in a position where they have a business that they are struggling to run or sell and debts that need paying.  If there is any possibility of this happening it may well be worth examining your life insurance options.  You would have improved peace of mind, and all for the cost of what should be affordable premiums of you are relatively young and healthy.

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5 Steps to Win the War with Paper

by Nick on August 8, 2014

classy (1)Today, for the first time in the 4 years that Step Away from the Mall has been active, the site is being taken over by someone who is actually qualified to talk about money… :)

I’m doing a blog swap with Kristin over at Payment Free Life today.  What that means is that I’m knocking the quality of her blog down a few notches while she classes things up over here for a day.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back to destroying the fabric of America soon enough.

In the meantime, you can find me speaking about Money and Marriage over at her blog today. But it might surprise you to learn that I actually have been cheating on you since June 2013.  That’s right.  I’ve been writing about marriage over at my other blog, Confessions of a Terrible Husband for a year.

Curious yet?  Check me out over at Payment Free Life today.

Now get prepared for some useful info for a change:

Paper-on-my-desk-224x300I hate paper. As a tax preparer and small business owner, I deal with lots of paper. I have receipts for my business, donation recipes, contracts, benefit paperwork, IRA and bank statements and other miscellaneous pieces of paper. This was the most recent stack on my desk.

Do you have a stack of paper like this on your workspace? Have you filled up your filling cabinets and are worried where the next batch of papers will go? Are you losing out on tax deductions because you can’t find your receipts?

It’s time to get rid of the paper

I’m not suggesting that you just shred everything and pray that the IRS does not come knocking on your door.

It’s time to go electronic.

The IRS does not require that you keep the original receipt. The only requirement is having a facsimile of the receipt. A facsimile could be a photocopy, photograph, scan or email confirmation. This allows you to make electronic copies of all of your receipts and get rid of all that paper that is cluttering up your workspace.

Getting started

This might take a little time and possibly a little money to get started, but you can get started for free as long as you have access to a camera. Here are the steps to convert to a paperless work space.

  1. Sign up for electronic statements. I no longer receive any of my bills or statements in paper format. I get an email when the statement is ready. I can go online and download the statement but most of the companies I do business with save all my statements online for me. This cuts down on about 70% of the paper that previously came into my house.
  2. Create some digital folders. I have a folder on my computer called 2014. In that folder, I have folders for more specific items I need to track like home repairs, business expenses, and charitable contributions. Don’t go crazy with the folders. You’ll get frustrated with the system and stop using it. A miscellaneous folder is a good thing to have.
  3. Opt in for electronic receipts. Some stores, like Staples and Home Depot, have started offering electronic receipts. I love this option. By the time I get home, the receipt is already in my inbox. I print the receipt to a PDF or download the attached PDF and file it in the appropriate digital folder. This saves me the step of having to scan the receipt when I get home.Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner
  4. Create digital copies of any remaining pieces of paper. Depending on how much scanning you do each month, you may want to get a scanner. I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap. This is a pretty beefy scanner but I use it to scan multipage client documents. If you just need to scan a few pages at a time, this scanner might work well for you.Both scanners use wifi and can save documents directly to Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive. If you don’t have a scanner, take a picture of your receipts. This might be a pain for multipage documents, but for normal receipts this works well. Just make sure to check the picture to ensure the text is legible.
  5. Have a backup plan.This does not mean keeping the paper! This is the biggest concern for clients who want to convert to a paperless system. What happens if my computer crashes? My response is always “what happens if you have a fire or break in?” No matter what happens, I have an offsite backup of all my files. Make sure that all of your electronic files are backed up. You can use Evernote, Dropbox or Google Drive for free. You can also get an automatic backup service for your computer.

I first implemented this plan seven years ago when I started my business. This system saves me time, money, aggravation and space in my work space. I can easily file all of my receipts from my desk. I don’t have to purchase more file folders, file boxes and file cabinets. Whenever I need to find a receipt, I can easily find it in my electronic files. It makes my life so much easier.

Unfortunately, this system will not help free up space when very large cats decide to invade your work space.

Baal on my desk

1Kristin Bio Photo

 

Kristin Ingram is the owner of Kristin L. Ingram, CPA, a tax and consulting firm in Connecticut and a college instructor, teaching various accounting classes at a local university. You can find out more about her frugal adventures at www.PaymentFreeLife.com.

 

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3 ways to turn your commute to a profit center. #3 Can make you a LOT of money!

August 5, 2014

For the first 5 years of working in NYC I lived on the same City block as my office. That means I didn’t even have to cross a street to get to work. Just down one elevator take about 30 steps and up another. I thought it was pretty cool at the time. And then […]

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Obstacles of Starting a Business with Bad Credit

August 5, 2014

If you have bad credit, you’re very likely to have a difficult time funding the start-up of a new business. Your credit is, in theory, an indication to how reliably you repay lenders and how likely you are to stay on financial track. Obviously, lenders aren’t usually biting their nails for bad credit risks to […]

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How to rule the stock market from your mobile device

July 22, 2014

Mobile technology gives investors easier access to information and tools needed to manage successful portfolios. If you want to rule the stock market from your mobile device, you’ll need to know how to take advantage of powerful apps that will help you make informed decisions. The following apps get high ratings from experts and casual […]

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Will the Latest Hybrid Cars Save you Money?

July 18, 2014

Do you spend a good portion of your day behind the wheel, either on your daily commute or just running errands? The cost of fuel can really add up over time, even in a relatively efficient car. You may have thought about purchasing a hybrid vehicle to cut fuel costs and boost efficiency. Yet hybrid […]

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3 Things You can Do to Increase Your Odds of Securing a Mortgage

July 17, 2014

Failure to secure a mortgage has derailed more deals in the last five years than you can imagine. So how can you prepare your process to go as smoothly as possible? Here are three things that might help. Check Your Credit Report and Fix Any Errors Every country has a different measure for credit. In […]

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How Are Installment Loans Usually Repaid?

July 7, 2014

An installment loan is a tradition, fixed length loan with a set payment schedule. The rate of payment is determined by the length of time that the loan will be in service, and the interest rate charged. Here is the equation for determining the payment of a loan: Equation P = (r(PV))/(1-(1+r)^-n) P = Payment […]

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An(other) unexpected package. Seriously.

June 30, 2014

Last time I checked in with the “goins on” in my world, I was just about to get whacked by a jacked up Russian guy for giving him back nearly $10,000 of pure gold that someone accidentally mailed to me. Yes, you read that right. Whacked for returning gold that was sent to me by […]

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5 Careers That You Should Seek Out If You Are Good With Money

June 24, 2014

This is a guest post. A financial mind is a real gift that can give you a great edge in the corporate environment. These five careers are ideal for anyone who’s good with money. Financial Managers Oversee Company Funds Financial managers are charged with supervising the finances of major companies, so they need to be good […]

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