Magazine article USA TODAY

Best Ways to Use Your Refund

Magazine article USA TODAY

Best Ways to Use Your Refund

Article excerpt

You worked hard in 2015, so it is time to ponder what you might do with your tax refund when it finds its way to your bank account. "There are many ways to spend your tax refund, so think clearly before making that decision," says Cynthia Tidwell, president and CEO of Royal Neighbors of America, Rock Island, Ill., one of the largest women-led life insurers in the U.S. "Because you never know what the future holds, it's wise to put your refund to good use." For instance:

Create--or add to--an emergency fund. "Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and can render us helpless on a variety of financial levels. That's why it's so Important to have money set aside for whatever difficulties we might experience. If you're not much of a saver, now Is the time to begin building up an account of at least six month's worth of take-home pay. At some point, you will probably need it."

Fund an individual retirement account. "Regardless of your age, this is Important. Putting your refund to work through an IRA will get you a step closer to a comfortable retirement--whenever that day comes."

Pay off credit cards. "Get those bills off the books and become debt-free now with the help of your refund."

Add to--or purchase--life insurance. "Life insurance is not typically a subject people want to talk about but, if you are a caregiver, if you have children, or if your family counts on your income, you need life insurance. Find out how much life insurance is right for your situation. …

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