Tips and Tricks 2009

 


Stocks: I recommend that you keep them where they are at. Historically 75% of the gain happens in the first 60 days of the recovery. So if you miss the bounce it will be over before you can respond.

Systems failures: Make sure that yours are updated. www.drivers.com is a good start. But you can also go to the manufacturer and get it.

IRA to a Roth IRA: That will save you the taxes on the “before the fall” value of your IRA. You just need to wait 31 days to convert it again at a lower value. On a $150,000 IRA that is now worth $100,000 it could save $14K. (28% tax rate).

Simple” or “Regular” IRA: A ROTH IRA receives interest TAX FREE. This is important because if your income is above $25K (married couple $32K) you will have to pay income taxes on a portion of your Social Security income. Income from a ROTH IRA does not count toward this amount. So it saves you double.

Working while collecting Social Security: talks about how you will receive the same amount of income from SS in the long run. www.money.cnn.com/2007/11/13/pf/expert/expert.moneymag/index. It goes into great detail for those of you that are making this decision.

Unused Credit Card: You might want to put it in “rotation”. Some credit card companies are closing accounts due to the tighter restrictions on credit and cost reductions. Make sure that you pay it off every month.

Seattle-Bellevue: Real estate values is expected to drop only 10.1% in value between 2009 and 2010. (FORTUNE magazine December 22, 08. PP68). But that is better than the worst which is Los Angeles at 24.9% and not as good as New Orleans that is expected to grow by 0.6%. Really?

Sivy Seventy: Top stocks from America's top industries.Check them out @ www.money.cnn.com/data/commentary/sivy70/ Updated regularily.

Emergency contact: When there is an emergency the phone company restricts incoming calls to the disaster area to keep the phone service working. So calls within the affected area are not likely to be completed. Calls from the area will complete just fine. Make sure you tell them.

Money70: The best mutual funds you can buy updated every month. It lists Mutual Funds and ETF’s: www.money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestfunds/2008/actively.html
Vanguard funds and T.Rowe Price (not all) are frequently listed as top buys.

National Do Not Call Registry: If you signed up more than 5 years ago, (or don’t remember when) sign up again or verify that you are still registered at: www.donotcall.gov/ . It is quick and easy and might save you from getting up from the table at dinnertime. Make sure that you register all your numbers. Solicitors are now calling cell phones.

Save, Save, Save: Paying an extra $10.00 per month on your credit card debt will pay it off in 5 years rather than the 20 or 30 years the credit card companies would like. Remember, If you are “paying off” your credit cards STOP CHARGING ON THEM. The best idea that we have heard of is freezing them. It takes a while to thaw them out and by then the impulse has left you richer for avoiding the purchase.

Guaranteed 12 to 28% rate of return: Remember it is right there in your credit card statement. Pay them off NOW! Use your tax refund to jump start the process.

Home hardware firewall: A physical device that is located between the network (DSL, Cable, Modem) and the computers. Average time of infection of a computer directly attached to the Internet is 3 minutes. If you are connected to the internet without “protection” you are infected. You just don’t know it.

Online Banking: You can schedule payments so you are never late on a credit card or mortgage payment. We all get busy and having this little detail of life taken care of for you is wonderful. All of the major banks are excellent protecting your information online as are most of the credit unions. Bank Of America has recently won an award for their on line protection. Make sure that you use a complex password. That is the weakest link. We recommend that you use a “Pass Phrase” that is much easier to remember. An example is My 2 Girls Were Born in the Month January. This becomes M2GWBITMJ. Hard to hack but easy to remember.

Updated 02/08/2009

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