- Pensions do not normally affect the amount of Social Security a retiree receives. However, that is not the case if you worked at a government job where your employer did not deduct Social Security taxes from your paycheck and you receive a pension as a result of that work.

- The SSA invokes the windfall elimination provision if you did not pay into Social Security and receive a pension from your government work. The SSA uses a formula to figure your reduced Social Security benefits based on your average monthly earnings, adjusted for inflation. As of the date of publication, the formula uses the first $761 of earnings and multiples that figure by 90 percent; the next $762 to $4,586 is multiplied by 32 percent; any amount above $4,586 is then multiplied by 15 percent. The three results are added together to determine your Social Security benefit.

If you will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security, any Social Security benefits you may be eligible to receive on your spouse's record may also be reduced. This type of benefit reduction is called Government Pension Offset.

- If your government employer deducted Social Security taxes from your paycheck, you earn Social Security credits based on your wages. In 2011, for every $1,120 in net earnings, you earn one credit. Each year you can earn up to four credits towards Social Security retirement eligibility. Since it takes 40 credits to receive retirement benefits, you must work at least 10 years and continually pay Social Security taxes to qualify for a Social Security retirement benefit check.

- If you had Social Security taxes taken out of your government paycheck and you receive a pension, your pension will not count against your Social Security benefit amount.

Social Security bases benefits on your lifetime earnings. Actual earnings are adjusted to account for changing average wages. Social Security calculates your average monthly earnings on the 35 years you earned the highest wages. The agency then applies a formula to determine your basic benefit at full retirement age, which is dependent on the year you were born. If you were born between Jan. 2, 1943 and Jan. 1, 1955, your full retirement age is 66. From Jan. 2, 1955 until Jan. 1, 1960, full retirement age increases incrementally until it reaches the age of 67, if you were born on or after Jan. 2, 1960.

- A statutory employee in Texas is typically an independent contractor. Usually, an independent contractor is considered to be self-employed and not an employee of any organization. In some instances, independent contractors can be statutory employees. Falling into one of four categories defines you as a statutory employee: Insurance agents who work full-time; drivers who distribute laundry or food other than milk or are paid on commission; salesmen who take orders from hotel operators, restaurant operators, contractors or wholesalers; and people who work at home on goods or materials supplied by someone else.

- Institutional scholarships constitute those awarded by colleges and universities. These scholarships represent the lion's share of the financial aid available to sociology majors. Institutions awarding scholarships to sociology majors include South Dakota State University, Western Illinois University, Michigan State University, Penn State, Calvin College and Washington State University. Scholarships available from these, and other, institutions start at $500 -- many award discretionary amounts based on available funding. Institutional scholarships require students maintain a minimum GPA, usually in the 2.75 to 3.0 range on the 4-point scale. Other types of institutional awards available to sociology majors include work study and research assistantships for advanced and graduate students.

- Federal and state government agencies provide financial aid to students in a number of disciplines, often times regardless of the particular course of study. At the federal level, students may apply for a number of grants which differ from scholarships only in name. The Pell Grant provides as much as $5,500 in 2011 for students with financial need, regardless of major. State aid works in much the same manner in that it is awarded to students for need or academic performance, rather than field of study. In California, sociology majors may apply for awards such as the Cal Grant and the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program. Contact your state's Department of Education for more information.

- Foundational scholarships constitute those awarded by third-party foundations that exist for the express purpose of awarding grants, scholarships and other financial incentives. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) awards scholarships to African American students attending historically black colleges and universities. Some of the scholarships awarded by UNCF, such as AFSCME/UNCF/Harvard University LWP Union Scholars Program, provide funding for sociology majors. This award comes in amounts of $5000 in 2011. The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships to American Indian students in various disciplines, including the social sciences. Most foundational funding for the social sciences goes to professional research projects through grants; resources at the undergraduate level are limited.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides scholarships for minority undergraduate students in a number of disciplines, including the social sciences.

- Sociology societies and groups award some scholarships to students of the discipline. Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honors Society, has chapters throughout the United States. These individual chapters provide scholarships to sociology majors directly or through colleges and universities in the area. The Social Science Research Council and the American Sociological Association award a number of grants and fellowships. Though most of these awards exist to fund graduate-level education, research or professional development, some may apply to work undertaken by undergraduate sociology majors.

- In Excel, the function to use is PMT. The syntax is

=PMT(x,y,z)

where x is the nominal annual interest rate divided by 12 (the number of payments per year),

y is the total number of payments, and

z is the negative of the current balance.

For example a nominal annual rate of 6%, divided by 12, would be entered as 0.005.

Note that the balance and the monthly payments must be of opposite sign, since one reduces the other.

- To use a financial calculator to achieve the same result, enter the nominal annual interest rate divided by 12. Note that if your interest key reads "i%," then enter the interest times 100. In other words, the 0.005 in the Excel example would be entered instead as 0.5. Then press the "i%" key. Then enter the number of monthly payments remaining. Then press the "n" key. Then enter the negative of the outstanding balance, and press the PV (present value) key. Then press "PMT," then "CMPT" to compute the monthly payment. For financial calculators in general, the PMT and CMPT buttons are punched in succession, not simultaneously. The CMPT key computes the periodic payment, based upon the data you already entered about interest, number of payments and balance (or present value) beforehand.

- The EMI can also be solved by pencil and paper. As necessary background, a helpful formula is (1 - x) * (1 + x + x^2 + x^3 + ... + x^n) = 1 - x ^ (n+1). This is obviously true since multiplying by -x cancels out most of the products created from multiplying by 1. To show this, 1*1=1. -x*1=-x. 1*x=x. -x*x=-x^2. 1*x^2=x^2. So you see that the -x and x cancel out, the x^2 and -x^2 cancel out, and so on. In the end, only the 1 and a -x^(n+1) will remain. The equation is proven.

It therefore follows that 1 + x + x^2 + x^3 + ... + x^n = [1 - x ^ (n+1)] / (1-x). This formula can be used in calculating interest payments by replacing x with 1/(1+i).

- The present value of a loan balance is the summation of future payments, first backing out the interest that each payment earned for the lender between the "present" and the time the payment is made. So PV=monthly payment * [1/(1+i) + 1/(1+i)^2 + ... + 1/(1+i)^n]. As we saw from the useful equation above, this can be rewritten as PV=monthly payment * [1-1/(1+i)^n]/i.

- From the above result, the monthly payment, or EMI, is easily calculated. For example, if the nominal annual interest rate is 7%, the initial mortgage is $300,000, the number of months of payment is 360 (for 30 years), then 300,000=monthly * [1-1/(1+.07/12)^360]/[.07/12] = monthly * 150.31 ' monthly payment = 300,000/150.31 = $1,996. This number is of course before adding in tax escrow payments.

- Simple interest is usually stated as the APR of a loan or savings account. To find the interest rate for a given time period, simply divide the annual rate by the number of time periods. For example, if you wish to find the monthly interest rate for a loan that has an APR of 10 percent, simply divide 10 by 12 in order to obtain a monthly interest rate of 0.83 percent, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. Likewise, to convert a monthly interest rate of 0.83 percent into annual terms, simply multiply by the number of months, or 12, to obtain an APR of 10 percent.

- If a loan or any other financial product truly does use simple interest, interest is not added to the principal amount. If this were the case, the interest on interest would accrue. Some student loans use simple interest, as any accrued interest ends up in a separate "pot" and is not added to the outstanding principal amount of the loan. However, many companies advertise their financial products using simple interest although they do add accrued interest to the principal if the total accrued interest is not paid each month. This can be somewhat misleading, as the borrower will actually pay interest at a rate higher than the APR. This is where compound interest comes into play.

- Compound interest is typically quoted as the APY by financial institutions. Using the same example of simple interest, to convert an APR of 10 percent into the APY, first divide by 100 to express the rate in decimal terms, or 0.1. Then, divide by 12, and add 1. This gives 1.008333. Then, raise to the power of 12, subtract 1, and multiply by 100. This gives an APY of 10.47 percent, which is higher than the APR. This type of compounding is valid if interest is accrued on a monthly basis. If interest accrues twice a year, you would use 2 in the calculation, not 12.

- Compound interest is valid for loans that add unpaid interest to the outstanding principal. If you do have a loan of this type, it is important to note that compounding will only occur if you do not pay the accrued interest in full each month. So, if you pay more than the minimum payment on a credit card each month, and this minimum is more than the monthly accrued interest, you should actually use the APR, not the APY. Compound interest is also used to advertise savings products, as the APY is always higher than the APR. Similarly, the APY is only valid if the interest gained from the savings is reinvested back into the balance.

- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average salary for physical therapists, commonly referred to as PTs, in 2009 was $36.64 an hour, or $76,220 a year. The median 50 percent of physical therapists earned an average of $35.81 an hour, or $74,480 a year. The top 10 percent of these workers earned $50.92 per hour, or $105,900 a year.

- Average physical therapist salaries differ widely based on the industry in which the workers are employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the top five paying industries in 2009 were: management, scientific and technical consulting services, home health care services, individual and family services, office administrative services and nursing care facilities. PTs in the highest paying industry, management, scientific and technical consulting services, earned an average of $42.43 an hour, or $88,260 a year. Those employed in nursing care facilities earned an average of $37.97 an hour, or $78,990 a year.

- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the top five highest paying states for physical therapists in 2009 were Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Montana. Vermont had the highest overall average, with physical therapist salaries averaging $31.44 an hour, or $65,390 a year. PTs in Montana, the lowest of the top-five highest paying states, earned $30.96 a hour, or $64,400 a year.

- Physical therapist salaries also differed by the metropolitan area in which they worked, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top-five paying metro areas in 2009 were Jackson, Mississippi; McAllen, Texas; San Francisco; El Paso, Texas, and Oxnard, California. PTs in Jackson earned an average of $69.58 an hour, or $144,730 a year, while those in Oxnard earned an average of $45.48 an hour, or $94,610 a year.

- Your bank has no idea when you and your spouse have separated, and its sole duty is to hold your money and allow withdrawals by the people whose names appear on the account signature card. If both of your names on an account, either one of you can go in and withdraw the whole balance. If somebody does this on a checking account, the other party could still be writing checks on it, which can cause bounced checks or overdraft fees. The bank will allow all of this unless somebody sends in a court order that freezes the account.

- While you've heard the old saying that possession is nine-tenths of the law, that doesn't apply in divorce cases. Both of you are going to have to account for what you've done with marital property when it comes time to try your equitable distribution or community property case. If you sack the joint accounts and run off with the proceeds, this will be treated as an advance against your share of the marital estate. You'll then have to either give the money back or cough up more value to your ex in the form of other assets. Because of this, freezing bank accounts really isn't necessary in a divorce case, unless there's a lot of money involved --- or what money there is constitutes the lion's share of the marital estate.

- In addition to having to account for the proceeds in equitable distribution or community property proceedings, there are other consequences for emptying joint accounts at the outset of a case. If a court wouldn't grant a restraining order before, rest assured that it will after you drain a joint checking or savings account. Depending upon how much you take, your ex's attorney may pursue you to have the funds returned immediately; this could cause you to incur fees not only to your own lawyer, but to your ex's, as well. Furthermore, there are few better ways to generate sympathy for your ex in the eyes of the court than by taking all the joint funds and leaving her penniless.

- While courts can enter restraining orders, or injunctions, that freeze bank accounts, these aren't automatic. Either you or your ex has to move for one, and in your motion you must show the court why such an order is needed. Generally, you will need to demonstrate a risk of substantial and irreparable injury if the order isn't granted.