Consumers are deluged with financial decisions these days and often don’t know where to turn for technical help. From filing yearly tax returns and making estate plans to dozens of other chores, millions of people are seeking technical assistance from online and stand-alone software that makes complicated calculations a breeze. Taxes, of course, top the list, but people use all sorts of software solutions to deal with insurance planning, mortgages, business accounting, employee benefits and much more. Here are four of the most popular ways that individuals use technology to help them deal with financial planning in order to make our lives just a little less complicated:
Personal & Business Taxes
Technology has made filing taxes a lot easier. Not long ago, even filing a simple individual return was a mathematical chore that required checking and double-checking math and longish calculations, all of which were related. A mistake in one place caused multiple errors elsewhere. Those days are long gone, thanks to simple filing software that guides you along from point A to point B to point C on your tax return as you prepare it. Even more complex business returns are less of a chore with the right kind of software. When it comes to the financial side of life, technology has probably had its biggest, and most positive influence, in the area of personal and business taxation.
There are several questions about insurance that come up for people throughout their lives. The first ones have to do with what kind of policy to buy. Later, people want to know about life settlement arrangements whereby they can sell their life policies to a third party for a set amount of money. Using an insurance settlement calculator can help policy holders figure out how much a given policy is worth at a particular point in time. That way, they’ll know whether the offer from a life settlement company is a good deal or not. Many of the major carriers have websites that feature a long list of sophisticated tools that help with every conceivable insurance question a person could have.
With online investing still on the rise, individuals are turning to sophisticated technology, in the form of software and neural networks, to help them decide which securities to buy, when to buy them, and how long to hold them. Online spreadsheets that alert you to changing prices, relevant current events and other pertinent factors are another wrinkle in the ever-expanding world of technology-aided investing.
When people reach the age of 50 or so, they suddenly become very interested in the Social Security website and all it has to offer. Retirement planning is an important part of anyone’s financial life, and the SSA.gov site is the go-to resource for information on the topic of benefits. Whether you want to check out your earnings history, the approximate amount of your first Social Security benefit payment or your life expectancy, SSA.gov has a ton of technology-based tools for individual taxpayers to choose from.