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This year, file a return even if you don't have to

I got a panicked call from one of our company's advertising salespeople just as this issue was getting ready to go to press. "Debbie, you've got to get this in . seniors need to know they have to file a tax return to get the stimulus payments from the government," said the voice on the phone. I knew this was important information for a certain segment of PRIME's readers. I also knew my art director, Al, would have my head if I started pulling stories and making room for a new article. Left with no other options I promised to put the information in the only place I could .my editor's note. So, as we say in our business, here's the scoop, as explained to me by Nathan Goddard of Accounting and Tax Associates of East Longmeadow: "This tax season the Treasury department will be sending out economic stimulus payments. These payments will range from $300 to $600 for individuals and $600 to $1200 for joint filers. Most Americans are not required to do anything special to their 2007 income tax return in order to receive their payment. However, individuals not normally required to file a 2007 tax return will need to do so in order to receive their stimulus payment. These individuals include low- income workers or those who receive Social Security benefits or veteran's disability compensation. These individuals are eligible to receive payment if they had at least $3,000 of qualifying income (meaning benefits totaling $3,000 in 2007 tax year)." "Those are the people who might miss out," Goddard said. These people should file a form 1040A, he said. PRIME looks at retirement This issue also includes the first installment of PRIME's two-issue look at the topic of retirement. A boomer myself, I was curious about this topic, even though I know my husband and I will have a different approach to this stage in life, given our choice to start our family late. Still, I was a bit surprised by the emphasis on purpose-planning, even before financial planning. I think, like everyone else, we've been more worried about the numbers than how we were going to spend our time once we don't need to punch a clock. That knowledge changed how I look at retiring. I hope it made you think, too. Debbie Gardnerr PRIME Editorr dgardner@reminderpublications.com What you'll find online this month: If you have a computer with access to the internet, check out this story at www.reminderpublications.co/primeonline: The advice column, "Ask Marci"