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What Are You Doing with Your Tax Refund (If You’ll Get One)?

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), more than a third of all taxpayers have submitted tax returns. Don’t worry, you have until April 18, 2017 to file!

Traditionally, the early filers are those expecting a refund. How much are they receiving? The average refund issued to date is $3,053, up $5 from last year. And the IRS estimates about half of taxpayers will receive a refund.

The burning question for many—what am I going to do with my refund? Consider the following ways to make your refund work for you.

Create an Emergency Fund
Do you have adequate and accessible savings in case of an emergency? Unemployment, auto repairs, medical emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances can disrupt your life and your finances. Our emergency savings calculator helps you determine how much emergency savings you may need. Starting, or adding to, your liquid savings can help ease financial worries should an emergency arise so you can focus on your family’s needs.

Pay Off Debt
Are you carrying high interest debt? If so, it may make sense to use your refund to pay off debt instead of earning interest at a much lower rate. If you’re having problems making ends meet, Vantage Credit Union is here to help. We’ve teamed up with GreenPath Financial Wellness to offer members free money management advice.

Prepare for Retirement
Have you been saving for retirement? Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been funding a retirement account for years, adding your tax refund to a retirement account can help you prepare for your future. The retirement specialists at Vantage Investment Services Group* can provide some suggestions on your savings plan. And don’t forget, you have until April 18, 2017 to contribute to your 2016 IRA to take advantage of potential tax savings!

Make Home Improvements
If you own your own home, consider tackling your home improvement list. Investing your refund in your home may not only increase your personal enjoyment, but also add to your home’s value.

Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage
Life insurance. Everyone needs it. But how much coverage do you need? Taking a portion of your tax refund to purchase a life insurance policy could make it possible for your family to sustain their lifestyle should anything happen to you. When was the last time you evaluated your insurance needs? Through Credit Union Insurance Agency (CUIA),** members have access to simplified issue life insurance products, as well as auto, homeowners, umbrella and other coverage options.

Are you getting a bigger than expected return? While it may sound like good news, it may not be the most effective use of your cash flow. A large refund means you’ve loaned the government money from your paychecks throughout the year, interest free. The IRS has a calculator to help you determine the correct withholding amount.

Still need to file your tax return? Vantage Credit Union members can get up to $15 off TurboTax federal products.

Get My TurboTax Member Discount

* Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA / SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates.

** The Credit Union Insurance Agency, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Members Resource LLC, a Credit Union Service Organization.