No. of Recommendations: 1
Someone once retired in his late 40s, and a relative said "He must have a lot set aside in his 401k...like $200,000 or even $250,000!" That tells me she never even did the math to understand what it takes to not have to work for money any longer. It also explains why someone who wins a million dollars thinks it's going to last forever, and doesn't realize it'll be $600K after taxes,....

This spring was my first time working with VITA. New program for our county, so not a huge number of returns (maybe 2 dozen in 4 sessions). What was surprising was that, while everyone who came in seemed quite organized (all the right papers in a folder--very easy to process), no one seemed to really understand anything that was going one--which caused some very nasty surprises for at least 5 people. One person ended up with an $11K bill on less than $60K of income. The person doing the return was sure that she had entered something incorrectly, but, no--it was a bunch of errors by the taxpayer, caused by a total lack of understanding of how the income tax works.

I generally present a short course each semester through our regional community education program. This spring, for the second time, I offered a class on understanding your income taxes--no takers.

The stuff really isn't that hard, and a basic understanding of it would save people a lot of pain and suffering.

Kathleen
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