October 19, 2017

Selling your vehicle privately: Great advice

While you can get more for your vehicle by selling yourself rather than trading it in, it takes more time and effort. And their are potential problems to avoid. Read more at:

6 Steps to Limit Risk When Selling Your Car Privately

https://www.driveo.com/blog/6-steps-limit-risk-selling-your-car-privately/
Risks of Selling Your Car

Term Life Insurance: all you need to know

Check out this resource on term life insurance- the affordable option for the coverage your family needs.
https://simplyinsurance.co/term-life-insurance/


do i need life insurance, need life insurance, life insurance meme

October 10, 2017

Useful Calculators

Check out this website that provides a variety of online calculators, such as financial and investments, mortgage and tax, salary and savings calculators. They provide great help in making important financial decisions. http://goodcalculators.com
Calculators For Kids

October 3, 2017

Equifax Breech: Should you freeze your credit?

As reported widely, a major breach at the credit bureau Equifax, one of the “big three” companies (along with TransUnion and Experian) that compile consumer credit histories and furnish reports to lenders considering credit applications, has exposed the sensitive personal information of 143 million people. This information includes Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses. The breach has led consumers, like Jackie* from New Jersey, to call Consumer Action’s hotline asking, “How do I place a freeze on my credit file?”
A credit, or security, freeze is a preventive tool to help you to stop impostors from using your personal information to establish credit, a crime known as “identity theft.” Freezing your credit file means that new credit cannot be established in your name until you lift the freeze. Unless you are a documented victim of identity theft, you may have to pay a fee to place the freeze and another fee to lift the freeze temporarily when you need to apply for credit, though a handful of states mandate that freezes be free for all residents.
Equifax has offered free credit file freezes until Nov. 21, 2017. If you want a free credit file freeze from Equifax, you can call 800-349-9960 or visit the company’s website.
To be effective, one should place a freeze with all three credit bureaus. However, TransUnion and Experian, not affected by breaches, are not offering free freezes. To learn the cost of freezes in your state, see this page on the TransUnion site.
So how do you place a freeze on your credit file? Contact the bureaus. Each one will have a different procedure for activating and lifting a freeze. Remember, the freeze remains on your credit file until you remove it; you should contact the credit bureaus where you placed freezes before applying for new credit. Here’s the contact information for the three major credit reporting bureaus.
Equifax
Call 800 349-9960 or visit the company’s website. For more information, see the Federal Trade Commission’s “Free credit freezes from Equifax.”
Experian
Call 888 397-3742 and follow the prompts for placing a security freeze, or visit the company’s website.
TransUnion
Call 888 909-8872 and follow the prompts for placing a security freeze by mail, or visit the company’s website, where you can establish an account and freeze your credit file. We’ve noticed that TransUnion is pushing its TrueIdentity “credit monitoring”—a paid product—on some of its freeze information pages, but you can request a freeze, for a fee, without enrolling in the paid product.
Pros and cons
Consider both the benefits and drawbacks of locking your credit file before you decide whether or not to place a security freeze.
Pros:
  • A security freeze can stop imposters from opening new accounts in your name.
  • A freeze does not stop you from getting new credit or other services.
  • The freeze does not expire—it remains in effect until you remove it.
  • Freezing provides much greater protection and typically costs much less than a monthly credit monitoring service.
  • A freeze does not affect your credit score.
  • In most cases, placing a security freeze—and lifting it—is free for victims of ID theft. However, just being a victim of the Equifax breach does not make you an ID theft victim.
Cons:
  • A security freeze only is effective if you activate it at all three credit reporting agencies.
  • Depending where you live, non-victims may pay up to $30 to place the freeze with all three agencies.
  • In most states, non-victims must pay a fee whenever they ask to temporarily lift the freeze. However, it is free in many states to permanently remove the freeze.
  • A security freeze can take up to three business days to be lifted, delaying your credit application or other transaction and preventing you from accessing “instant credit” offers at stores and retailers. (A number of states have passed laws, however, that require the freeze be lifted within 15 minutes of the request.)
  • A freeze does not prevent fraud involving your existing bank or credit accounts.
For more information, visit Consumer Action’s guide to protecting your personal data in the wake of the Equifax breach.
*Not this consumer’s real name

Thanks to Consumer Action for this item quoted directly in full.

Recognize & Combat Fake "News"

Fake news” is big news these days. While not entirely new, misleading and flat-out false information being presented as fact has become far more widespread over the last few years, and the repercussions have been serious. In 2016, a fake news story about Hillary Clinton leading a child-trafficking ring headquartered in a Washington, DC, pizzeria led a man to fire an assault rifle inside the restaurant.
Other fake news stories have impacted U.S. elections, our healthcare policies, the national economy ($130 billion in stock value temporarily vanished when nervous investors sold securities because of a hacker’s false Associated Press tweet claiming that an “explosion” had injured President Obama), individual finances (58 percent of Americans believe that fake news is a serious threat to their financial decision-making) and even personal health.
Consumer Action’s recently published Fake news: Recognizing and stemming misinformation is written to help consumers evaluate the accuracy of what they read or hear and refrain from spreading false stories. Thanks to the internet and social media, misinformation that decades ago might have been heard or read by relatively few can now reach millions of people around the world in a matter of minutes. While companies such as Facebook and Google have made efforts to prevent fake news from “going viral,” informed consumers are the best gatekeepers when it comes to stopping its proliferation.
To help consumers fulfill their critical role in stemming fake news, the new publication covers:
  • The different forms fake news can take, from propaganda and hyper-partisan stories to factual misstatements and misidentified satire;
  • How to vet a story, from looking for telltale signs of fakery to using the internet and tech tools to verify sources, facts and photos;
  • The “dos and don’ts” of dealing with fake news; and
  • A dozen resources—articles, websites and tech tools—that further empower individuals to avoid, spot, vet and stop fake news.
Fake news: Recognizing and stemming misinformation is available as a free PDF download from the Consumer Action website. The publication, which was created with a grant from Google, will also be available in Spanish by the end of November.
Thanks to Consumer Action for the entire direct quote above!

Medicare open enrollment

Medicare open enrollment begins October 15. If you’re already enrolled in Medicare this is the time you can make changes to your supplemental plans.

Attend a free PEHP Medicare presentation near you to learn about Medicare and your options. If you have questions visit www.pehp.org/medsup or contact us at (801) 366-7555 or (800) 955-7347.

October 1, 2017

How women undermine their retirement security

"While women still face a gender pay gap, their inclination to put family expenses first and their reluctance to discuss financial matters also hurt retirement savings. The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement symposium explored possible solutions, including forming financial book clubs and taking advantage of employers' automatic enrollment or automatic escalation for retirement savings." http://www.nextavenue.org/wisest-retirement-solutions-women/
Author Kerry Hannon writes: "From my research, I’ve found that the root of the money quandary many women face is their own attitude. And that’s manageable. You can control how you approach your finances. You can stop the negative mental chatter. You can put an end to procrastinating. You can choose to make understanding your own financial decisions a priority. And you need to." Amen! My research also found that women put themselves last, often supporting adult children who need to be cut off the parental gravy train.

September 28, 2017

Medicare Advantage Shopping: 10 rules

The Squared Away Blog offers some excellent advice on shopping for Medicare Advantage Plans: http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/medicare-advantage-shopping-10-rules/
Comparison shopping for Medicare Plans starts October 15. Don't wait to educate yourself and don't just stick with your current plan out of inertia.

Help Navigating the College Debt Jungle

"Using this interactive map, parents can compare the average debt levels for 2016 graduates and the odds of graduating with debt reported by more than 1,000 U.S. colleges." Check out this great resource from The Squared Away Blog to get info on college graduates' debt levels. The blog post explains what to look for in the data. http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/help-navigating-the-college-debt-jungle/ 

September 22, 2017

So you think you don't need flood insurance?

Unaware and in Need of Flood Insurance

Just because you don't live next to the ocean or on a river bank doesn't mean your house is safe from flooding as too many Houstonians discovered. For the vast majority of Americans their house is their biggest financial asset and often the bedrock of their retirement plan.
It's time to face the facts of global climate change and take personal action as well as insisting that your legislators take their heads out of the sand and start taking collective action to address global warming. The storms are getting worse and more frequent; we all suffer from climate change denial.
"Millions of U.S. homeowners may not realize they’re at risk of flooding, due to outdated flood plain maps and even less information about dam and levee “failure zones” and urban storm-water hazards like the river running through downtown Miami during Hurricane Irma." Read this valuable article from the Squared Away Blog and ACT on the information! http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/unaware-and-in-need-of-flood-insurance/
P.S. I just called my insurance agent to update and increase our property insurance.
Financial Planning for Women does not sell, rent, loan, lease or otherwise provide any personal information collected at our site to any third parties.