Planning for the Future: Free Tax and Financial Resources for Seniors

Life after retirement should be one of the most relaxing, stress-free parts of your life. After you stop working, however, it is easier than ever to spend sleepless nights worrying over your financial security and well-being. In a technological world, building financial literacy skills is of the utmost importance, but learning the ins and outs of online money management and accounting is no easy task. Luckily, there are several free and/or low-cost online resources available to you that you can use to plan your financial future, and mitigate the headache of navigating complicated tax systems.

  1. IRS Free Federal Tax Resources for Seniors and Retirees - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers resources that can help answer your pressing tax questions. Learn how to track your taxable retirement income, social security benefits, pension and annuity, and more through this helpful site. The IRS Tax Guide for Seniors, which is issued annually prior to tax season, can be very handy, as well. The guide helps you navigate the federal filing requirements, outlines income that is taxable and nontaxable, and provides a list of potential adjustments and deductions that can help you save a few dollars and cents.
  2. IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) - The IRS also hosts a program called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax preparation support to people who make under $54,000, as well as to persons with disabilities and/or limited English speaking ability. According to the IRS’ website, “VITA and TCE sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations across the country. To locate the nearest VITA or TCE site near you, use the VITA Locator Tool or call 800-906-9887.” Learn more about how IRS-certified volunteers can support your tax preparation here, and get ready for your visit using this essential “What To Bring” checklist.
  3. National Council on Aging Benefits CheckUp - The National Council on Aging (NOA) has created a comprehensive, free online tool to help seniors understand the full scope of the benefits for which they may be eligible. The Benefits CheckUp program monitors updates to policy and procedure for over 2,500 benefit programs. After taking an online survey, the Benefits CheckUp team helps match individuals to income assistance, tax relief, employment, veterans services, medication management, health care, transportation benefits and more. Start the survey and learn more about your benefit eligibility today.
  4. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide - The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Tax-Aide Program offers a full arsenal of tools, resources and guides that are designed to support seniors in most of their financial and tax-related matters. The AARP Foundation’s free program offers individualized tax preparation for low to moderate income taxpayers that are 50 years and older - at nearly 5,000 locations across the country. Find a location near you, and learn about the documents you need to bring to your first appointment.
  5. Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) - WISER is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals, policymakers, and educators understand the issues surrounding women’s retirement income. The organization was awarded a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging to develop the National Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning, and publishes a monthly newsletter about retirement, health care and investing issues. The Center is a “one-stop gateway for retirement planning,” and shares publications designed to help individuals and caregivers understand financial planning, health care and more. Read “A Simple Guide to What Everyone Needs to Know about Money & Retirement”, “Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know about Protecting Your Money and Retirement, and access additional reports and resources on their website.