Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime and you are particularly vulnerable during a divorce.  The Federal Trade Commission reports that more than 8 million Americans are victims each year. Criminals are getting very good at stealing your personal information to open new credit accounts or use the information for other crimes. Divorce is a legal process that usually involves filing documents that are considered “public records.” Unfortunately the divorce process can substantially increase your exposure to identity theft.  The bottom line is you can spend significant money and numerous hours trying to resolve these issues if you are a victim. Avoid this by protecting yourself now. Here is how.

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Financial Changes Affecting Retirees

Along with the volatility in the economy there have been significant changes to the rules regarding retirement benefits. The government has changed rules on retirement taxation and will not likely provide a cost-of-living increase for social security recipients this year.  Pre-planning is important to take advantage of these changes. Here is important information to know if you are retired or planning to retire within the next year.

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Build Up Your Emergency Fund

The traditional rule of thumb is that everyone should have three to six months cash on hand in case of an emergency.  In a down economy like we are experiencing now, I am recommending having at least six months in reserve because it is taking people much longer to find work today that in the recent past. Here are some answers to basic questions like how do you build it up? How much should you have? Where should you keep it?

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