Reasons Older People Tend to be Happier

While it may not make sense to everyone, researchers at HSBC say it is true that a person must age in order to be happier. According to HSBC’s survey on happiness and aging, people are the happiest between the ages of 60 and 80. Many young people associate retirement age ranges with deteriorating health, but this is not always the case. People who are in their 60s and 70s can enjoy good health by adopting an overall healthy lifestyle.

They also typically enjoy a better standard of living, but these factors are only small pieces of the entire puzzle. External factors play very little part in overall happiness, which is just a natural result of aging. Scientists say that as people age, the negative feelings naturally occurring within a human being decrease. When they do appear, they do not stay as long as they do in younger people.

Levels of happiness vary from one person to another. A person’s genetics and his or her parents’ genetics both play a big part in determining happiness. Health is also an issue, and people who are very ill are not as happy as people who enjoy good health. While this is true for all age groups, frail older adults tend to have a better morale than younger adults who are frail.

Experts say that older adults may be able to stay happier due to their abilities to make the best of the time they have. When people know that their years are limited and are constantly decreasing, they tend to avoid the things that make them angry, stressed or upset. In addition to this, they tend to focus on what makes them happy and the people who are important to them.

The researchers also said that aging affects brain function. Imaging results showed that the brains of older people do not react as strongly to negative feelings over a short period of time. Their conclusion was that an improved life outlook is due to several perspective changes and changes to the part of the brain where emotions are processed. As people age, they also place less importance on obtaining money. It only seems to be an important issue to people who are struggling financially, but people who have a steady income stream tend to adapt accordingly with their lifestyles.

Researchers also said that it helps for older people to remain active in social circles and with physical exercise. All activities should be things that add quality, value or good feelings to life. Volunteering, joining an exercise class, joining a social club or looking for a second career are some good examples. These activities keep the brain sharp and promote better overall happiness. Learning to appreciate life and value remaining time are the keys to choosing activities that are optimal for individual happiness and health.

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Cyber-attack Alert from my Cybersecurity Study Group

For the first time, a US business has been the victim of a destructive cyber-attack.
•On Monday, the FBI released a five-page confidential document to US businesses.
•The document contained technical information about a destructive malware used in a cyber-attack against a US business last week. While the FBI does not name the affected business, it is believed to be Sony Pictures.
•No information was given on how the malware spreads or what an attack looks like. Businesses are encouraged to contact the FBI immediately if they believe that they have been affected.
•This destructive malware overrides data on hard drives of affected computers and makes it almost impossible to get the data back. The malware also stops computers from being able to reboot.
•Similar malware has been launched in the past at businesses in South Korea and the Middle East. Saudi Aramaco, an oil producer was a victim with 30,000 computers affected.
•Some experts say affected computers can be fixed but require a manual replacing of the hard drive or re-imaging which is very expensive and time consuming.
•The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating the attack.

Remember Savvy Cybersecurity Principle #7: E.M.A.I.L.

While it is unclear on how this malware spreads, it is important to stay vigilant and protect yourself from potential phishing attacks. Always Examine Messages And Inspect Links before clicking on anything or sharing any personal information.

Tablet Safety 101 – Making Your Tablet Safer for Public Use

Tax Tips are not a substitute for legal, accounting, tax, investment or other professional advice. Always consult with your trusted accounting advisor before acting upon any Tax Tip.

Tablet Safety 101 – Making Your Tablet Safer for Public Use

People are relying on tablet devices more and more every day. You use them for work and some for play. Tablets provide users with many of the benefits a laptop delivers, but in a format that’s even easier to take on the go. But, is your information safe when you use your tablet?

As with most things in life, there are things you can do to make your tablet a safer choice to use for business or pleasure while on the go.
•Install anti-virus software for your tablet device. You should only use trusted anti-virus names for this though as some savvy hackers have taken to creating fake anti-virus programs that actually install viruses on your devices.
•Be cautious when installing apps. Apps are notorious for not safeguarding your privacy.
•Enable capabilities to remotely wipe your device if it stolen and notify your provider (if applicable) right away if you have not installed those capabilities.
•Don’t click on advertisements on your tablet. Many ads automatically download viruses onto your device without your notice.
•Lock your screen when you’re not using your device.
•Don’t store log-in data on your tablet device. This makes it too easy for people who “find” your tablet to access your passwords, private, and financial information. The harder you make it for them to do, the less likely it becomes that they’ll go to the effort.
•Backup your data routinely. Some people do this daily. Depending on how often you use your tablet and what kind of data is stored on your tablet, this is a wise move to make.

The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi connection present very specific dangers to your tablet device. Many hackers disguise themselves as legitimate Wi-Fi connections and hang out in hot spots hoping someone will choose their connection to attempt a logging on. Once you’re connected to their device, bad things can happen. Look for secure Wi-Fi connections and be cautious when using public Wi-Fi.

It’s best to avoid it whenever possible though – especially when using your tablet for business or personal financial matters. Tablet devices are somewhat risky to use – especially for personal and financial information like reviewing tax returns or balancing your checkbook in public. However, the steps above will make your tablet safer for limited use in public.

TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: In accordance with IRS Circular 230, any tax advice included in this communication, including attachments, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by you or any other person or entity, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions, nor may any such advice be used to promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed within this communication. If you would like such advice, please contact us.
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TLC Financial, Inc. (TLC TAX) is a Minneapolis accounting firm that provides a wide variety of accounting, tax and financial management services. Our clients are located in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Midway, Minnehaha, Como Park, Summit Hill and surrounding communities.

Understanding Your Social Security Options

TLC Financial

About half of retirees file for Social Security benefits when they first become eligible at age 62. The age to receive “full” Social Security benefits is 66 for workers born between 1943 and 1954.

If you were born in this period and file for benefits at age 62, you would typically receive 75% of your full benefit. If you wait until age 70 before filing, your maximum monthly benefit would be equal to 132% of your full benefit. Your decision on when to file for Social Security might be based on a combination of factors, including your health, life expectancy, work situation, retirement goals, and other sources of income.

If you are married, Social Security allows additional filing strategies that you and your spouse may want to consider. Here are two hypothetical examples shown for illustrative purposes only; individual results may vary. Both examples assume that the husband and wife…

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CONTEMPLATING RETIREMENT? 5 COMMON CLAIMING ERRORS THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED

TLC Financial

Error #1

Underestimating their Social Security benefits. Rather than ignoring this retirement resource, future retirees should embrace it. For many retirees, Social Security will become the centerpiece of their retirement income. It is important understand how to maximize your Social Security benefits during retirement—which will often last for a third of your life. Most new retirees have been paying into Social Security far longer than they have contributed to their defined contribution plans. Retirees should consider both as critical sources of their retirement income.

Error # 2

Rushing to collect benefits. Retirees can begin collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but they may not want to: Their benefits will be reduced by 25 percent for life. To get their full payment, they should wait until they reach full retirement age (if they can afford it) – currently 66 for anyone born between 1943 and 1954. For those…

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Receive Unemployment in 2013? What you need to know!

Collecting an Unemployment Check?
Know your filing requirements

Being unemployed can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Don’t make your situation worse by not paying your taxes. All unemployment compensation and benefits you receive are considered taxable income and need to be reported on your tax return.

Unemployment compensation generally includes any amounts received under the unemployment compensation laws of both the federal and state governments. It includes state unemployment insurance benefits and benefits paid to you by a state from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund. It also includes railroad unemployment compensation benefits, but not worker’s compensation.

Supplemental unemployment benefits received from a company-financed fund are not considered unemployment compensation for this purpose. Instead, these benefits are fully taxable as wages and are reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

Unemployment benefits from a private fund to which you voluntarily contribute are taxable only if the amounts you receive are more than your total payments into the fund. This taxable amount is not unemployment compensation; it is reported as other income.

If you received unemployment compensation during the year, you should receive Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, showing the amount you were paid. Any unemployment compensation received must be included in your income. You can voluntarily elect withholding to ease any resulting tax liability.

Getting Unemployment? Tax Ramifications!

Collecting an Unemployment Check?

Know your filing requirements

 

Being unemployed can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Don’t make your situation worse by not paying your taxes. All unemployment compensation and benefits you receive are considered taxable income and need to be reported on your tax return.

 

Unemployment compensation generally includes any amounts received under the unemployment compensation laws of both the federal and state governments. It includes state unemployment insurance benefits and benefits paid to you by a state from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund. It also includes railroad unemployment compensation benefits, but not worker’s compensation.

 

Supplemental unemployment benefits received from a company-financed fund are not considered unemployment compensation for this purpose. Instead, these benefits are fully taxable as wages and are reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

 

Unemployment benefits from a private fund to which you voluntarily contribute are taxable only if the amounts you receive are more than your total payments into the fund. This taxable amount is not unemployment compensation; it is reported as other income.

 

If you received unemployment compensation during the year, you should receive Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, showing the amount you were paid. Any unemployment compensation received must be included in your income. You can voluntarily elect withholding to ease any resulting tax liability.