How Long Does It Take Taxes to Come Back?

Waiting for the IRS to process your federal tax return? You might be wondering how long it takes for your tax return to come back. If you file electronically, your tax return will usually be processed within 21 days. A paper return can take six weeks or longer. If you include direct deposit information, your refund will come back much faster.

If you’re concerned because your federal tax return is delayed, you can check its status online or speak to an IRS representative. Keep reading to learn what’s going on behind the scenes at the IRS with your tax return and what factors may affect when you’ll see your refund.

How Long the IRS Takes to Process Your Taxes

The main factor affecting when you get your tax return back is how long the IRS takes to process your information. Processing time will vary depending on whether you file an electronic or paper return. On average, processing for e-file returns takes less than 21 days, whereas paper returns can take more than six weeks.

If you want to get your tax refund early, it’s best to file electronically, include direct deposit information, and file early in the tax season.

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💡 Quick Tip: Online tools make tracking your spending a breeze: You can easily set up budgets, then get instant updates on your progress, spot upcoming bills, analyze your spending habits, and more.

How Long a Tax Refund Typically Takes

Once your return is submitted to the IRS, processing can be broken down into three stages: return accepted, refund approved, and refund sent.

For electronic returns, you will typically see an email from the IRS within 24 hours confirming that your return has been accepted. For paper returns, you can expect notification in about four weeks. The acceptance stage just means the IRS has verified your personal information and checked that your dependents haven’t been claimed by someone else.

Next, the IRS will take a closer look at the information you’ve provided and either approve it or send a letter by mail asking for a correction or more information. This is the part that takes less than 21 days if you’ve e-filed.

Paper returns take longer because they must be manually uploaded by a human. Once uploaded, the information you provide can then be compared to data in the IRS system. However, submitting a paper return isn’t the only factor that can slow down a refund.

Factors That Could Slow Down Your Refund

If your return was filed electronically more than 21 days ago and you haven’t seen your refund yet, there could be a number of reasons for the delay, including:

•   The return has incorrect or incomplete information

•   Your personal info has potentially been used in identity theft or fraud

•   The child tax credit or recovery rebate credit may need to be corrected

•   The return qualifies for an additional child tax credit, earned income tax credit, or injured spouse allocation (form 8379)

•   Your bank or credit union needs additional time to post the refund to your account

If the IRS needs more information or wants a corrected return, they will contact you via mail. Many issues can be quickly resolved, especially if your finances are organized, as in a budget planner app. In the event that you owe money, the IRS will work with you to develop a payment plan. A debt payoff planner can also help you determine how you can pay your outstanding taxes comfortably and quickly.

Recommended: What Is The Difference Between Transunion and Equifax?

How to Track the Progress of Your Refund

The IRS offers two ways you can check the status of your refund: online or with a representative. An online tool called “Where’s my refund? ” allows you to check the status of your federal return. You’ll need the following information on hand:

•   Social security number

•   Filing status (Single, married–filing joint, married–filing separate, head of household, qualifying widower)

•   Refund amount

After inputting this information, you should be able to see whether your return has been accepted, processed, or sent back to you.

The IRS also has representatives who can research the status of your refund, either by phone (1-800-829-4477) or in person at a taxpayer assistance center . Note that the IRS probably won’t be able to give you much information if you e-filed less than 21 days earlier or by paper less than six weeks earlier.

As with the online checker, you’ll need to provide the representative with your social security number, filing status, and the refund amount you expect.

What to Do if Your Refund Arrives and Has a Mistake

If you receive your refund and realize there’s a mistake, you can file an amended return to correct it. Keep in mind, you can’t electronically file an amended return; you must send it by mail.

Some mistakes are identified by the IRS. In that event, you’ll receive a letter in the mail explaining the issue and how to respond.

If you’re still unsure of what to do, the IRS offers a hotline where you can ask for guidance.

•   Individual taxpayers: 800-829-1040 (TTY/TDD 800-829-4059)

•   Business taxpayers: 800-829-4933

How Long the IRS Has to Audit Your Taxes

If the IRS needs to review your tax return in more depth, you may be audited. Generally, the IRS tries to initiate audits as soon as they identify an issue with your tax return, but they may go back as far as three years. In cases where the error is substantial, they can audit up to six years of prior tax returns.


💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

The Takeaway

If you file electronically, your tax return will usually be processed within 21 days. A paper return can take six weeks or longer. If you include direct deposit information, your refund will come back much faster.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

When can I expect my 2023 tax refund?

According to the IRS, nine out of 10 tax returns are processed within 21 days. To expedite the process, you can file your return electronically and include direct-deposit information. Paper returns are generally processed within 6 weeks.

How long does it take to get your tax refund direct deposit?

Most taxpayers who e-file and include direct-deposit info receive their refund in 21 days. If you submitted a paper return with direct-deposit info, you can expect your refund within 6 weeks.

How long does it take taxes to be returned?

Most taxpayers who e-file can expect refunds within 21 days. If you file via paper return, expect processing to take six weeks or more.


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SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How Long Does It Take for the IRS to Mail Tax Refund Checks?

How Long Does It Take for the IRS to Mail Tax Refund Checks?

If you’re expecting a refund from the IRS, you shouldn’t have to wait too long for your money. According to the IRS, it issues about 90% of refunds within three weeks of receiving your filing. Key to receiving your refund quickly are two actions on your part: using e-file and providing your bank info for direct deposit.

In fact, a directly deposited refund can show up in as little as five days.

This table shows the estimated times for receiving an IRS tax refund depending on how you file and choose to get your refund:

Estimated Federal Tax Refund Schedule
Filing Method and Receiving Method E-File, Direct Deposit Paper File, Direct Deposit E-File, Check in Mail Paper File, Check in Mail
Time between filing date and receiving refund 1-3 weeks 3 weeks 1 month 2 months

What Money Will Be Included In My Tax Refund This Year?

Of course, the size of your refund depends on how much you overpaid. But the average refund for individuals in 2023 was $2,753. That figure is down from 2022, when the average tax refund was $3,012.

To get your refund faster, you may want to file earlier, rather than waiting until the last minute. Typically, the tax season, when the IRS starts accepting and processing returns, starts in late January.


💡 Quick Tip: We love a good spreadsheet, but not everyone feels the same. An online budget planner can give you the same insight into your budgeting and spending at a glance, without the extra effort.

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Reasons for Your Tax Refund to be Delayed

People typically receive their tax refund two weeks after the IRS accepts their tax filing if they opt to receive a direct deposit, or in three weeks if they choose to get a check in the mail. But if you’re still waiting after that point and wondering where your tax refund is, here are a few possible reasons for the delay:

•   If anything in your return is incomplete or incorrect, the IRS may need to give the return further review before sending you a refund check. In this case, you may get a notice from the IRS in the mail with instructions for fixing or completing your tax return. It may take up to four months for the IRS to process returns that require extra handling. The sooner you respond to the IRS request for information, the sooner your return will be processed.

•   If you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, there may be a delay in receiving your tax refund. The IRS is required to hold any tax returns for people claiming those two tax credits until mid-February. This hold will show up in the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the IRS site if it applies to you.

•   Your bank or credit union may take more time to post a refund to your account. The time for posting IRS refunds varies from institution to institution.

Recommended: IRS Tax Refund Dates and Deadlines

How to Use the ‘Where’s my Refund’ Tool on the IRS Site

The IRS has a “Where’s My Refund” tool on irs.gov where anyone can check and see the status of their tax refund. It can also be accessed using the IRS2Go mobile app. If you submit your tax return electronically, you can easily check on the status of your refund online within 24 hours of filing. If you mail your tax return, it will take about a month or longer for any information about refunds to show up on the IRS site.

In order to access your refund information on the IRS website, you will need to input your social security number, tax filing status, and the dollar amount that you expect to receive on the return. Double check your information before submitting it: If the wrong social security number is entered, this could result in an error, extra identity verification steps, and even a delay in receiving your tax refund.

What Do the IRS Tax Return Statuses Mean?

There are three different IRS tax return statuses that you will see when you use the Where’s My Refund tool. Here’s what they mean:

Received

Once the IRS has received a return, it is marked as received. You can check to see if your return has been received using the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the IRS site.

Approved

Once the IRS processes a tax return and there are no errors or missing information, it is marked as approved. At that point, the process of sending a refund by mail or direct deposit can begin.

Sent

When the IRS mails out a refund check or sends a direct deposit refund, the tax return status is marked as “sent.”


💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

How to Contact the IRS About Your Tax Refund

It’s best to wait at least 21 days after filing your return electronically, and six weeks after mailing your return, to contact the IRS by phone. At that point, you can call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954.

Recommended: 41 Things to Do With Your Tax Refund

The Takeaway

Knowing when you’ll receive your tax refund can be helpful if you’re planning to use the money to pay off debt, create a budget, or save for a big purchase. Filing your return electronically and opting to get your refund via direct deposit will allow you to get your return quickly, typically within three weeks. A money tracker app can help you manage your finances, including your refund, and track your spending and savings.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

How quickly will I get my refund?

Most refunds are sent within three weeks of the IRS receiving a tax filing, but it can sometimes take longer, especially if you mail your return or opt to get your refund by check through the mail.

It’s been longer than 21 days since the IRS received my return and I haven’t gotten my refund. Why?

Sometimes the IRS needs to manually review tax returns if they are incomplete, have errors, or if fraud is suspected. Also, if a taxpayer claims certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, his or her return may take longer to process.

Will calling help me get my refund any faster?

Calling may help you track where your refund is, but it won’t necessarily help you get it faster. Wait at least 21 days after filing your return electronically, and six weeks after mailing your return to contact the IRS by phone. You can call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954.


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SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How Much Does a Pharmacist Make in a Year?

If you’re exploring career options, pharmacy might have popped up on your radar — and for good reason. Not only can pharmacists command a good salary, they also have job security, as the pharmaceutical industry is one that won’t vanish any time soon.

That said, how much does a pharmacist make? Is it worth all the trouble of going through pharmacy school to become one? Let’s find out.

What Are Pharmacists?

You’ve likely picked up a prescription or two at a pharmacy, but maybe you didn’t give any thought to the person behind the counter. This individual is your local pharmacist, and it’s their job to prepare and dispense prescription medications.

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Pharmacist Job Responsibility Examples

In addition to doling out prescription drugs, pharmacists also consult with patients, provide instructions for how to take medications, and help patients find low-cost medications. Some also give health screenings and immunizations.

Keep in mind, a pharmacist often needs to be outgoing, since their work involves speaking with patients throughout the day. If that’s not your personality, you may want to look into jobs for introverts.

💡 Quick Tip: We love a good spreadsheet, but not everyone feels the same. An online budget planner can give you the same insight into your budgeting and spending at a glance, without the extra effort.

How Much Is a Starting Pharmacist Salary?

As with most professions, pharmacists tend to earn more money as they gain more experience. But what is a good entry-level salary for pharmacists?

Pharmacists with less than a year of experience generally earn, on average, about $54 per hour. That’s $112,320 per year.

Of course, how much you actually can earn depends on where you live, what your duties are, and whether you work for an independent pharmacy or a chain. It can also help to research the highest-paying jobs by state.

Recommended: Is a $100,000 Salary Good?

What Is the Average Salary for a Pharmacist?

Now that you see what starting salaries are for pharmacists, let’s address the next question: How much money does a more experienced pharmacist make?

Generally speaking, pharmacists are usually paid by the hour. A pharmacist with 10 years of experience earns an average of $67.05 per hour. That adds up to $139,464 per year.

What Is the Average Pharmacist Salary by State for 2023?

The amount you make will depend on where you live, among other factors. Here’s a look at the average pharmacist salaries by state, from highest to lowest.

State Salary
California $161,597
Oregon $155,710
Washington $149,466
New Hampshire $141,041
Nevada $140,869
Maine $139,517
Vermont $137,658
Delaware $136,276
Maryland $135,894
Connecticut $134,175
Alaska $134,044
Massachusetts $131,978
Rhode Island $131,960
New Jersey $131,698
New York $131,594
Pennsylvania $129,724
New Mexico $129,145
Wisconsin $128,918
Minnesota $128,502
Virginia $128,380
Hawaii $128,245
Arizona $126,174
Idaho $125,760
North Carolina $125,068
Michigan $124,768
Colorado $120,986
Illinois $120,887
Kansas $118,122
Ohio $117,573
Kentucky $117,448
Indiana $117,338
Missouri $116,513
Nebraska $116,366
Utah $116,009
South Carolina $115,570
West Virginia $115,339
Texas $115,089
North Dakota $114,359
Georgia $114,118
Tennessee $112,879
Wyoming $112,326
Montana $111,924
Iowa $110,405
Florida $109,106
Alabama $106,271
Mississippi $105,677
Louisiana $102,542
South Dakota $100,246
Oklahoma $98,951
Arkansas $89,660

Source: Zippia

Recommended: Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage

Pharmacist Job Considerations for Pay & Benefits

Where you live is one factor that can determine how much you earn as a pharmacist. Your on-the-job responsibilities may also play a role. For example, there are different job titles, and each has its own set of responsibilities, requirements, and salary ranges. Examples include:

•   Staff pharmacist

•   Pharmacy specialist

•   Clinical pharmacist

•   Pharmacy manager

•   Director of pharmacy

Some pharmacists may have roles and responsibilities beyond filling prescriptions, such as offering immunizations and health screenings. Some may be in charge of hiring and managing other employees. Some may work in traditional pharmacies, while others may work for companies focusing on chemotherapy, nuclear pharmacy, or long-term care.

Recommended: 25 High-Paying Trade Jobs in Demand

Pros and Cons of Pharmacist Salary

While being a pharmacist can be a rewarding job, there are potential drawbacks to keep in mind. Let’s look at some pros and cons.

Pros of Being a Pharmacist

Naturally, the high salary pharmacists tend to command may be one reason to consider this career path. Because many pharmacists get paid by the hour, they’ll be compensated fairly for their time even if they work more than 40 hours a week.

Another perk is that you may have a flexible schedule that allows you to work part-time or during certain hours. There could even be opportunities to work remotely, which may be useful if you’re working in a rural area.

You might also be able to open your own pharmacy instead of working for someone else. This brings freedom and flexibility to you as a business owner.

Finally, you’ll be a valuable member of your community, since it’s your job to help people on their path to wellness.

Cons of Becoming a Pharmacist

If becoming a pharmacist was easy, everyone would do it! For starters, you’ll need to have about six years of education after high school. And the cost of pharmacy school can range anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 a year for an in-state public college, or $20,000 to $95,000 a year for a private school.

Depending on your financial situation, this could require you to tap into savings or take out student loans. (Creating a budget while you’re in school or just starting out can help you keep track of where your money is going. A money tracker app can help make the job easier.)

Another possible drawback? Some pharmacies may not guarantee a certain number of hours a week, and in that case, being paid hourly may not come with the big paycheck you’d expect.

Also keep in mind that some pharmacists work long hours, which can have a negative impact on your health and mental wellbeing.

💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking for a rewarding and potentially lucrative job, becoming a pharmacist might fit the bill. You’ll help your local community get healthier, and depending on where you live and your level of experience, you could earn competitive pay, too.

FAQ

What is the highest pharmacist salary?

The state where pharmacists tend to earn the most is California. The average annual income of a pharmacist there is $161,597.

Is it hard to be hired as a pharmacist?

Becoming a pharmacist requires six years of education after high school. The workload is challenging, and pharmacies looking to hire generally have high expectations of applicants.


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SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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2024 Gas Cost Trip Calculator Table with Examples

Thinking about taking a road trip? The rising cost of gas might put a dent in your budget if you’re not careful. But how much will you spend on gas for a trip? What should your budget be?

Using a trip cost calculator can help you determine what you are likely to spend filling up your tank on a longer trip. Then you can use that information to decide whether it’s more cost-effective to drive, take a train or bus, or fly.

Let’s look not only at a gasoline cost trip calculator table, but also why you should calculate how much you’ll spend on gas and how you can save money filling up at the pump.

Why Use a Gas Cost Trip Estimator

You may think nothing of filling up your gas tank every few weeks when you’re only driving to work and the store. But consider how much gas you’d use for a trip from, let’s say, San Diego to New York City. With gas prices on the rise, understanding what it will cost you to fuel up for an entire trip can help you better budget your expenses.

Using a gas trip cost calculator can help you figure out how much of your entire trip budget will be dedicated to fueling up.


💡 Quick Tip: Online tools make tracking your spending a breeze: You can easily set up budgets, then get instant updates on your progress, spot upcoming bills, analyze your spending habits, and more.

How to Calculate Your Gas Cost Trip

To figure out how much gas will cost for a road trip, you can, of course, use a trip cost calculator. You’ll need to input basic details, like your type of car (different sizes and types of cars burn gas at different rates) and your route, and the calculator can estimate with real-time gas prices.

But a simple method is to look at your route and the total distance in miles, and divide this number by the number of miles per gallon your vehicle gets. (You can check your owner’s manual to find this out if you don’t already know). This will tell you the number of gallons of gas you’ll need for the entire trip.

Now you’ll need to know the price of gas so you can multiply it times the number of gallons you need. Since gas prices by state may vary wildly, you might take an average of prices found in five places along the way. Tools like Gas Buddy let you search for gas prices in a given city, so you can use this for research.

Gas Cost Trip Calculator Table
Let’s use the process I outlined above to illustrate how you can be your own gas calculator for trip costs.

Distance from San Diego to NYC 2,760 miles
Miles per gallon 22
2,760/22 125 gallons
Average gas price:

•   San Diego: $4.57

•   Albuquerque: $3.09

•   Saint Louis: $2.82

•   Indianapolis: $2.99

•   Philadelphia: $2.93

Average: $3.28
125 gallons x $3.28 $410 gas budget

As you can see, it would cost about $410 for gas for the entire trip. Of course, this is based on an average cost of gas, and prices will fluctuate over time and in different towns and cities.


💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.

Examples of Gas Cost Trips

Let’s look at a few other examples of trips and how much they would cost in gas.

Distance from Los Angeles to Seattle 1,335 miles
Miles per gallon 22
1,335/22 61 gallons
Average gas price:

•   Los Angeles: $4.44

•   Stockton: $4.45

•   Sacramento: $4.99

•   Medford: $4.05

•   Portland: $4.99

Average: $4.58
61 gallons x $4.58 $279 gas budget
Phoenix to Dallas 1,067 miles
Miles per gallon 22
1.067/22 48.5
Average gas price:

•   Phoenix: $3.13

•   Benson: $3.61

•   Deming: $3.45

•   Fort Stockton: $3.15

•   Abilene: $2.79

Average: $3.23
48.5 gallons x $3.23 $157

Reasons to Calculate Your Gas Cost

So why should you bother using a road trip cost calculator? Well, most people don’t have unlimited funds when it comes to taking a road trip, so for starters, it can help you see how much you’d spend. You might decide it’s not worth driving if the cost exceeds what you’d pay for a flight, bus, or train ride.

Even if you’re not planning a big trip, looking at how much it costs to drive on a tank of gas can be helpful for maintaining your month-to-month budget. Once you understand how much you’re spending on gas, you might explore how to improve gas mileage to get more bang for your buck or you might limit how often you drive to save money.

Tips on How to Save on Gas Money

Speaking of saving money, let’s look at how to save money on gas.

Plan Where You’ll Fuel Up

If you’re planning a road trip, use a tool that shows you exactly where the cheapest gas can be found. You might be able to save $.10 or more a gallon simply by planning ahead. There are even some trip fuel cost calculators that will help you plan where to stop based on gas prices.

Consider How You Pay

There are different types of credit cards that can help you save at the pump. Branded gas credit cards often offer rewards that will shave off a few cents per gallon or give you a bonus after you’ve charged a certain amount of purchases.

You might also consider a cash back credit card that gives you cash or credits for your purchases once you’ve hit a certain threshold.

Look into Alternative Transportation

You may be quick to rely on cars to get around, but there are often other overlooked methods of transportation to consider. Whether it’s a bus, train, Uber, or plane, you might be able to save money by leaving your car at home.

You can also cut your gas costs by splitting them with a friend.

Another way to stick to your travel budget? A money tracker app, which can help you keep tabs on where your money is going while you’re on the road.

Only Use Premium if Necessary

Most cars run just fine on regular unleaded gas, which can be significantly cheaper per gallon than premium versions, especially if you’re on a long trip. Check your car manufacturer’s recommendations to see if you can use regular unleaded gas.

Drive an Empty Car

The heavier your car is, the more gas it burns. So if you’ve been lugging around something heavy unnecessarily, consider leaving the load at home before you drive.

Who Should Save Money on Gas

The real question is, who shouldn’t save money on gas? We could all benefit by keeping a little extra cash in our pockets.

That said, if you’re planning a long road trip, you’ll probably want to explore ways to improve gas mileage and to save on gas. Also if you have a long commute to work, you might be spending more on gas than necessary.

The Takeaway

Paying attention to how much gas costs, particularly for a road trip or long commute, is just smart financial planning. Whether you use an online version or crunch the numbers on a piece of paper, a gas trip cost calculator can help you figure out how much you may want to budget for fill-ups.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

How do I calculate gas cost for a trip?

To calculate gas for a long road trip, divide the number of miles of the route by the miles per gallon your car gets. This is the number of gallons you’ll need to drive the distance. Then, average the cost of gas on your route and multiply this times the number of gallons to get the total cost of gas for your trip.

How much would 1 mile of gas cost?

Divide the cost per gallon by the number of miles per gallon your car will go. For example, if you pay $3.99 per gallon and your car gets 22 miles per gallon, driving one mile would cost about $.18.

How do you calculate fuel to destination?

To calculate how much fuel you’ll need to get to your destination, divide the number of miles of the remaining route by the miles per gallon your car gets. Then, average the cost of gas on your route and multiply this times the number of gallons to get the total cost of gas for your trip.


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SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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What Is the Age for Early Retirement for Social Security?

Throughout your working career, you pay employment taxes that help fund Social Security, which provides income when you retire. In 2023, nearly 67 million people will receive Social Security benefits, collectively totaling more than $1 trillion.

There are strict rules about when you can claim Social Security benefits. You can start collecting retirement benefits as early as age 62, but if you can delay claiming your benefits, your monthly benefit amount can continue growing until you reach age 70.

Learn more about Social Security benefits, early retirement age, and the advantages and disadvantages of filing for your benefits early and late.

Key Points

•   Social Security benefits provide income for retirees, with the amount depending on their earnings and the age at which benefits are claimed.

•   The full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security benefits varies based on the year of birth.

•   Benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, but the monthly amount is reduced compared to claiming at FRA.

•   Delaying benefits past FRA can increase the monthly amount through delayed retirement credits, up to a certain point.

•   It’s important to consider shortand long-term financial needs before deciding when to claim Social Security benefits.

What Are Social Security Benefits?

Social Security is a social insurance program created in 1935 to pay workers an income once they retired at age 65 or older. When people talk about Social Security benefits, they’re referring to a monthly payment that replaces a portion of a worker’s pre-retirement income.

The amount you receive depends on how much you earned and paid in Social Security taxes during the 35 highest-earning years of your career. Generally speaking, the higher your income, the bigger your monthly check will be — up to a point. Also important is the age at which you claim benefits. Typically, the later you receive benefits, the higher your monthly check will be.

Note that retirees aren’t the only ones who are eligible for Social Security benefits. People with qualifying disabilities, surviving spouses of workers who have died, and dependent beneficiaries may also qualify for benefits.

Recommended: When Will Social Security Run Out?

At What Age Can You Collect Social Security?

When the Social Security program began, the full retirement age (FRA) was 65, and that’s still what many in the U.S. think of as the average retirement age. However, as life expectancy in the U.S. has increased, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has adjusted the FRA accordingly.

The chart below illustrates FRA by year of birth.

If You Were Born In Your Full Retirement Age Is
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 or later 67

Recommended: At What Age Should You File for Social Security?

What Is the Early Retirement Age for Social Security?

You can choose to claim retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, SSA will reduce your benefit by about 0.5% for every month you receive benefits before your FRA. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you file for Social Security benefits when you’re 62, you’d receive around 70% of your benefit.

On the other hand, if you wait to claim benefits after your FRA, you’ll accrue delayed retirement credits. This increases your benefit a certain percentage for every month you delay after your FRA. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you delay receiving benefits until age 70, you’ll get 124% of your monthly benefits. Note that the benefit increase stops when you turn 70.

Recommended: When Can I Retire? This Formula Will Help You Know

Can You Claim Social Security While You’re Still Working?

When you claim your Social Security benefits, the SSA considers you retired. However, you can continue working after retirement and receiving benefits at the same time, though they may be limited.

If you’re younger than FRA for the entire year, the SSA will deduct $1 from your payment for every $2 you earn above an annual limit. In 2023, that limit is $21,240. In the year you reach full retirement age, the SSA will begin deducting $1 for every $3 you make above a different earnings limit — $56,520 in 2023.

No matter their work history, your spouse has the option to claim Social Security benefits based on your work record. That benefit can be up to 50% of your primary insurance amount, which is the benefit you’d receive at FRA. Your spouse can begin receiving spousal benefits at age 62, but they will receive a reduced benefit.

Pros and Cons of Claiming Social Security Early

The main advantage of filing for Social Security early is that you’ll have access to retirement funds sooner. This can be a boon to individuals who need extra money to get by each month. To help you maximize every last dollar, consider using a spending app to create budgets, track spending, and monitor bills.

The main disadvantage of filing early is that you may permanently reduce your monthly benefit amount. This could be a factor to keep in mind as you determine whether you’re on track for retirement.

So how do you decide when to file for your benefits? Consider your “break-even point.” This is the age at which receiving a delayed higher benefit outweighs claiming benefits earlier.

Here’s an example of how that works. Let’s say your FRA is 67 and your annual benefit is $24,000. If you claim your benefit at age 62, your benefit drops to $16,800 a year. If you delay until age 70, your benefit would be $29,760 a year.

By adding up each year’s worth of benefits and comparing them across different potential retirement ages, you find your break-even point. So in that last example, claiming your benefit at FRA breaks even with early filing at age 78. If you expect to live until this age or longer, you may consider filing for Social Security at full retirement age. Delaying until age 70 breaks even with claiming at FRA at age 82. So if you expect to live until 82 or longer, you may consider delaying your benefits.

Recommended: How Can I Retire Early?

The Takeaway

Social Security is an important source of guaranteed income during retirement and can help ensure you can cover recurring expenses like housing payments and utilities. Your monthly payment amount is determined by how much you’ve earned during your working career and the age at which you claim Social Security benefits. You’re eligible to receive your full benefits when you reach full retirement age (FRA). If you file before then, the monthly payment will be reduced. If you file later, your monthly payment can increase, up to a point. Consider your short- and long-term financial needs carefully before deciding when to claim Social Security.

Whether you’re planning to continue working past your FRA or are preparing for retirement, using a money tracker app can help you manage your overall spending and saving. The SoFi app connects all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see all of your balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score monitoring, plus you can get other valuable financial insights.

Stay up to date on your finances by seeing exactly how your money comes and goes.

FAQ

Can I take Social Security at age 55?

You cannot claim Social Security benefits at age 55. The earliest you can file for benefits is age 62.

What happens to my Social Security if I retire at 55?

If you retire at 55, you will have to wait seven years, until age 62, before you are eligible to claim early Social Security benefits. Retiring early may also affect the size of your benefit if you are leaving work in your top-earning years.

What is the average Social Security benefit at age 62?

The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit in 2023 is about $1,827 for those filing at full retirement age. Filing early at age 62 would reduce that benefit by 30% to $1,278.90.


Photo credit: iStock/svetikd

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

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