1A. A dual-income couple can affect personal finance planning in multiple ways. It can lead to that couple going up into the next tax racket. It can also lead to the couple not having to pay as much but there is no set rule. It can sometimes be more expensive to file together and it can sometimes be more expensive to file separately. Unfortunately, most couples end up spending most of what they have then saving it, but it still gets more money into the house. Major life changes can have a big affect on someone’s financial planning process. Marriage can help, but when it comes to taxation, the married family get penalized. It can be a benefit, however, because  there is a marriage bonus depending on the case. When two different people get married, they usually have two different ways at handling money. As a married couple, they have to work out their differences and find the most effective way to deal with their financial situation. Also couples usually spend a lot of money on weddings. Divorce can really ruin a person’s financial plan. Divorce can lead into having to sell your house, having to give a certain amount of money to your ex, and it could possibly lead to that person paying alimony. In terms of financial planning, divorce doesn’t really help at all. It may help the person who is receiving alimony, but it can still be a costly process for them. Going to court and hiring a lawyer is never cheap.  Another major change that can affect the planning process is having a child unexpectedly. Children are very expensive which means the person may need to get a raise or get a second job. There will need to be more money coming into the house. Maybe a financial goal for that person was to save twenty percent of their income, but now that is unrealistic with a child. Having a child can get someone a tax deduction by claiming their child as a dependent. The death of a spouse can really change things a lot. An entire person’s income is no longer contributing to the bills that this couple once paid so now they have to come up with that other paycheck somehow. This will lead to selling their current home and downsizing so they can afford their new home alone with their own income. Hopefully their spouse was saving so they can maybe use some money that was left to them in their will. They may need to sell some unneeded stuff and cut back on expenses. 
1B. I completely disagree with the statement that you don’t need to worry about retirement until you are middle aged. The goal of retirement is to not run out of money. If you start saving once you are middle aged, there will be less money you can save rather than if you start saving for retirement at 24 years old. If you start saving when you are younger, interest will make it so that when you are ready to retire, there will be more money than what you put in. $1,000 over the course of 40 years in a savings account becomes $10,000. Imagine saving somewhere around $1,000-$2,000 a year starting in your 20’s. A person who does this will have significantly more by retirement then someone who saves for retirement starting once they are middle aged. Retired couples basically live of off their investments. Making the right choices in the stock market will also help a lot. Investing isn’t  just for the rich, everyone can invest. A huge issue that faces people who are retired is inflation. They don’t have jobs so they have to live off of what they saved and investments. The dollar being worth less really impacts them the most. If they save x amount of dollars anticipating that it will get them through x amount of years, inflation can mess with those numbers and make it so they have to dig more into their savings then they originally anticipated. It is always best to have the most amount of money possible once a person is at retirement or they may have to start working again. It is more advantageous for someone to start saving for retirement at a younger age around their 20’s instead of waiting until they are in their 30’s or 40’s. No one is never too young to start saving for retirement. Everyone should be aware of this. 
2B. With a balance sheet, areas a person should be most concerned with is their net worth at a certain point in time. A ratio that can help someone figure this out is the solvency ratio. The formula for the solvency ratio is total net worth divided by total assets. This should calculate a percentage that accurately portrays a person’s protection against insolvency or in other words being unable to pay debts a person has. The higher the insolvency ratio, the better. This ratio will help someone find out i they could withstand a financial burden or a bad financial situation. This doesn’t directly address their ability to pay off their debts they currently have. A different ratio is helpful in deciphering if they are able to pay off their current debts. The liquidity ratio will show their wherewithal to pay off their debts. The formula for the liquidity ratio is total liquid assets divided by total current debts. The percentage illustrates how long can someone last without income based off of liquid assets. With an income and statement expense, people should be most concerned with their cash surplus or deficit. A ratio that helps out with this is the savings ratio. The formula for the savings ratio is cash surplus divided by income after taxes. This ratio helps calculate how much of someone’s income they saved. If the ratio comes out to 21 percent, that person saved 21 percent of their income. Another ratio will help someone determine how comfortably they can pay off their debts. The ratio is the debt service ratio. The formula is total monthly loan payments divided by monthly gross income. It is good for this percentage to be lower because that means their loans are low enough to not take a large percentage of their monthly income. Examine your own balance sheet along with your income and expense statement can help you figure out where you are financially and really illustrate if you need to make changes or not. 
3.  It is important that people pay attention to whether they should itemize their deductions or take a standard deduction. They should calculate each choice and determine which one they get taxed less on. If a person is to itemize their deductions, they can include some expenses in their itemized deductions so they do not have to pay taxes on that portion of their income. The first 2 expenses are expenses that are not deductible in full. The first expense is job and other expenses. In order for this expense to be counted as deductible, it has to exceed the stipulated minimum levels of adjusted gross income (AGI). The minimum AGI for job and expenses is two percent. The second expense is the medical and dental expenses. Once again, the medical and dental expenses have to exceed the minimum levels of AGI in order for this to count as a deduction. The minimum for medical and dental expenses is ten percent. Another expense that can be deducted is the state income and property taxes paid. This expense is deductible in full so it will be a deduction no matter what. Another expense to deduct is the mortgage interest. Similar to state income and property taxes paid, mortgage interest is fully deductible. It doesn’t matter how high or how low the cost was, it is being deducted if a person chooses to do itemized deductions over standardized deductions. The last expense that can be deducted is charitable contributions. Charitable contributions just like income and property taxes paid along with mortgage interest is fully deductible. All of this can end up adding to deduct more money from your AGI than a standard deduction could. It depends on the financial situation and if you have dependents you can claim or not. These deductions can prove to be very beneficial to people as saving every last cent is of course very important. Certain people can also qualify for the child tax credit which can be helpful for families to receive. 
4A. There are financial services and products that deal with money. There are multiple financial institutions that do different things. The first is a commercial bank. A commercial bank offers savings and checking accounts. They can provide other services as well but that is what they are mostly known for providing. Commercial banks make their money by lending money to people. They are making their profits on the interest rates for their loans. Savings and loan associations (S) use money from people who deposit money to them, and will either use a mortgage loan to improve the state of a house or to actually purchase the house. They also provide some of the same services as a commercial bank would provide. They also make their profit from interest rates on money they lend. A savings bank is virtually the same thing as the savings and loan associations. They are mostly based within the New England region. In large part they are the same associations. They obtain their profit the same way as savings and loan associations do. Credit unions offer financial services to its members. The members have to have a lot of similarities in terms of where there live, what they do for work, and potentially religious backgrounds. They are smaller institutions. The main financial service they offer is what they call share draft accounts. It is basically a checking account that is interest paying. They are non-profit and are to only facilitate the members. Any surplus money they have is either given to the members or put back into the union. 

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