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About 42 percent of tax refunds will go to bolster savings

With tonight's tax deadline just six hours away, we looked about to see what people are saying they'll do with any refunds they get back from the government.

A recent survey by the National Retail Association found 42 percent said they will use refund dollars to pay down debt. Another 42 percent (which may overlap with the first 42 percent) say they will bolster savings accounts.

Only 13 percent, the Grasshopper Constituency, say they'll use the bucks to splurge on something.

We noticed, not surprisingly, that Allstate Insurance came up with a set of recommendations for refund money.

Sent by email, the suggestions include the big surprise -- buying life insurance. OK, that makes sense, if you haven't done so already.

What else did Allstate think was a good idea:

  • Set up an emergency savings fund. The recommendation includes keeping enough money stashed away to cover six months to one year of unemployment.
  • Contribute to or open an IRA. Yes, the market is unstable. But pulling out of a retirement plan altogether is not the answer. Both traditional and Roth IRAs are great ways to save for retirement, although each offers different advantages. If you’re employed and have an IRA, continue contributing. If you’ve become unemployed, you might want to do a rollover from your retirement plan to a qualified IRA
  • Purchase a CD. If you don’t need immediate access to your funds, you may benefit from the fixed interest rates available with a Certificate of Deposit. You can buy a CD with a maturity or holding period as short as 30 days or as long as five years.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.