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For Pefin to work it needs to pull all your income information so that when your income changes (hopefully, as you earn more) the graph will change along with it. Pefin will even learn your spending habits over time. So this would give you a clear picture of what your financial life will look like one year from now, five years from now, and, really, for the rest of your entire life. Because everything is connected any moves you make will affect your complete financial picture.
And there is more
Pefin comes with a host of other useful features. As an example of this it will estimate how much you will earn in Social Security based on your income. It will tell you how much you can expect to pay in taxes and what kind of taxes you’ll pay.
Not every feature now available
The good news is that for now Pefin is free because it's in the beta stage. The downside of this is that not all of its features are currently available. However, the major ones are and since the tool is free it's worth checking out. Pefin ultimately will even include a category for your investments so you'll be able to analyze your portfolio and Pefin will offer suggestions for how you could improve it to get a better ROI.
There's no replacing real
Of course, Pefin can't replace one-on-advice from a real, honest-to-goodness financial planner. But it can give you a good and thorough idea of what your money will look like over time, which can be a great tool for long-term planning. Since it’s free for now you might just as well sign up for access and give it a try. You can always cancel out when the cost goes to $6 a month if you don't feel that you're getting fair value.
Speaking of children
If you're like many people – and especially grandparents – that are taking care of someone else's child, you may be able to claim him or her as a dependent and get a tax break. But the rules for this can get tricky. Fortunately, the IRS now has a tool that will tell you if you can claim someone as a dependent or not. As an example of this let's say your child graduates from college but then moves back in with you while working full-time. Whether you can continue to claim him or her will depend on a number of different factors. You could spend the requisite amount of time reading all the convoluted rules for claiming a dependent or you could just use a new interactive IRS tool called Who Can I Claim as a Dependent.
If you use this tool it should require only about 15 minutes as it will ask you some questions about your arrangements and then give you a simple answer. The questions you will need to answer will include things such as your marital status, your relationship to the dependent and the amount of support you provide. You will also be required to enter your basic income information and your adjusted gross income. Be sure to have all your information ready because if you're inactive for 15 minutes while desperately searching for a missing document the system will kick you out and you’ll have to start the "interview" all over again.
Here's a link to Who Can I Claim as a Dependent?