The Tax Deadline Is Coming Up

6 Home Improvement Projects That Actually Pay Off
Retire with Money
Elizabeth O'Brien is a senior writer at Money
Have you done your taxes yet? You probably know the deadline’s Monday, but it’s been a strange year so it bears repeating. I just finished answering my accountant’s questions so she could file our return and was gearing up to mail a quarterly payment when I remembered I already did that. The deadline for the first quarterly estimated payment of 2021 wasn’t extended, so I mailed one on April 15. Strange year, indeed. If you’re not prepared to file your 2020 federal income tax return by Monday, you can file for an extension pretty easily. But that only buys you until Oct. 15 to complete the paperwork — if you owe money to the IRS, you still need to pay it by May 17 or interest starts accruing. You can pay in full or set up a payment plan. Learn more about filing for an extension and setting up a payment plan in today’s edition.

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Can't Make Monday's Tax Deadline?

Here’s how to file for an extension.

6 Home Improvement Projects That Actually Pay Off When You Sell

A bathroom or kitchen refresh can be cheaper than you think.

Please help me give a warm welcome to our Reader of the Week! Anne Jones, 39, lives with her husband and two children (16 and 9), in Midlothian, a suburb of Dallas. She works as a Director of Product Management for 3PL, a third-party shipping and logistics company.
Anne Jones

What are you up to these days?
Like a lot of us, I’ve been working from home since March 2020, and while it was a huge adjustment at first, I’ve learned to love it. I have more time for baking and gardening, but far less time for listening to audiobooks, since I’ve eliminated over two hours of traffic time daily. I spend a lot more time with my husband, kids, best friend and dog. And I’m actually getting enough sleep most days now!
Nice! What’s your saving/investing strategy?
 We like to let our financial advisor do most of the work at this point, and are pretty aggressive since we have a while to level out if anything goes haywire. We each have 401(k)s, IRAs, and brokerage accounts, and we keep our hands out of them for now. In the past year, I’ve managed to save more than ever, simply because we aren’t traveling or dining out.

Right now, our retirement plans are mostly “invest wisely and sock away as much as possible” but we do often discuss what we’ll do and where we’ll end up. Texas weather is good, but we’d like to go even further south. We say we’d like to stay near our kids (and hopefully eventual grandkids), but if we have a fun house near the beach for them to visit, maybe they’ll come to us!
Tell us what you're most proud of.
I’m so proud of my kids, of course. My 16 year old daughter is highly motivated and works to get what she wants. She studies hard and earns great grades, while also knowing when she’s pushing herself too much and needs to take a break. She babysits and saves her money. She even asked me a couple of months ago to start an investment account for her with $100/month. It’s a start! I wish I would’ve thought that way when I was 16.
Pre-Retirees Social Security Knowledge Found Lacking
Nearly half of respondents to a recent survey didn’t know that benefits didn’t increase past age 70 if you wait until then to claim. CNBC
10 Retirement Planning Mistakes People Make at 50
Don’t expect to work past retirement age or live the same lifestyle post-divorce, and other advice. AARP
How a Post-College Gap Year Set Me up for a Million-Dollar Retirement
A young woman pads her nest egg with a teaching year abroad. REAL SIMPLE
Morphine: A Misunderstood Medication
The more planning families can do for end-of-life care, the better. NEXT AVENUE
Elizabeth O'Brien is deputy editor at Money. She has covered retirement and health care for nearly a decade. A Brooklyn resident and mom of two boys, she navigates the alphabet soup of Medicare and the New York City subway system with equal ease. You can email her at and follow her on Twitter at @elizobrien.

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