Is there anything more satisfying than receiving an unexpected cheque in the mail? The extra money you receive could go a long way towards helping you save for your retirement or any other saving goals.
Of course, money doesn’t always fall into our lap so easily. When we are owed money, we sometimes have to pursue it. This can be a problem, especially when we don’t know what we are entitled to.
To give you a little guidance, here are some of the ways in which money could be owed to you.
#1: Money from a forgotten bank account
It’s not uncommon for people to forget about money they had in an old bank account. Even if it wasn’t very much, that money could still earn interest. Banks will usually write to the account holder to inform them that their account has become inactive if it hasn’t been used in a long time. However, any money in the account is still owed to the person. You can start the search and claim process through MissingMoney.com. They can help you retrieve ‘lost’ money from other sources too, such as escrow accounts, insurance policies, and stocks and bonds.
#2: Compensation from your employer
Have you ever been injured at work? Or become sick because of poor working conditions? If so, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer, be that your current employer or from a company you worked for in the past. Check out this settlement overview for an idea of how much you might be owed. As you can see from the example, it could be a life-changing amount! Speak to a lawyer if you think you might be owed money and start the legal claims process.
#3: A tax refund
If you have overpaid your taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owes you a refund. They will sometimes pay you what you are owed automatically, hence the surprise cheque in the mail. However, this isn’t always the case, and as there’s only a three-year cap for claiming a refund, you do need to be proactive. Check out Where’s My Refund as soon as possible and contact the IRS if you think you are owed something.
#4: Money from a retirement plan
If you have changed jobs a lot over the years, you may be owed money from an unclaimed retirement plan. To find out, you could get in touch with each employer you have worked for to enquire about any pension funds that were started in your name. However, an easier way to go about it is to contact the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a US government agency that can help you source owed money.
You would probably remind a friend about the money they owe to you, especially when they seem to conveniently forget! So, don’t be shy about reminding the various organizations about the money they might owe you too. If you don’t ask you won’t always get, so consider my suggestions, and take the steps necessary to claim your money.