Daisy's Notes

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Renters insurance

Just noticed that purchasing renters insurance is a good idea for person who rents, whether from a house owner, a property manager, or a university (as a student living in a dorm).
The good reasons to buy renters insurance are:
1. It can be obtained at little or no extra cost -- If you get your renters insurance from your auto insurer, you may get a multipolicy discount, which may cover most of your renters insurance premium.
2. It covers damage or loss to the property of yours and protect against liability or medical bills of guests injured in your place.

Here are some basic examples of personal property to include in your inventory, but remember that coverage varies by state, company, and type. Items not listed here may still be insurable; ask agents about customizing your policy with more options.

Property typically covered:
--Stereo systems, VCRs, and television sets
--CDs, DVDs, videos, and tapes
--Cameras and other photography equipment
--Movable appliances, including microwave oven
--Sports equipment
--China and glassware
--Property typically covered with limitations:
--Home computers
--Cash, including coin collections
--Checks, traveler's checks, and securities
--Jewelry and watches
--Precious and semi-precious stones
--Comic books, trading cards, and stamps, including collections
--Antiques and fine art
--Goldware and silverware (theft)
--Rugs, wall hangings, and tapestries
--Firearms (theft)
--Furs or clothing trimmed in fur
--Boats or other watercraft, and related equipment

Natural hazards coverage
Again, natural-hazard coverage varies by state and company, but most policies protect your property against losses created by the following:
--Water damage from failure of plumbing or appliances
--Frozen water pipes
--Vehicles or aircraft

Monday, March 20, 2006

What to Do with Your 401K When You Change Jobs

Changing jobs? What should you do with your 401k? There are 4 options.

1. Leave your 401k alone
If your vested 401k funds total $5,000 or more, your employer is legally required to allow you to leave your funds in the company plan if you choose to do so. This may be a good option for you if you're happy with the performance of your employer's plan. However, many 401k plan administrators charge record keeping and other fees to manage your account. These fees can take a significant bite out of your future net worth, especially if you have accounts maintained at several different employers.

2. Cash it in
This is probably the worst decision you can make. Not only do you have to pay the income tax and 10% penalty for early withdrawal, you are losing a valuable retirement asset.

3. Rollover your 401k to your new employer’s plan
This option is available if you have a concrete job offer before you terminate your current job. In some cases, it may be the best option as it is simple. How do you know if it is the right choice? The decision should largely be made based on the investment options of the new 401k plan. If you are unsatisfied with the choices available to you, completing a 401k rollover to an IRA may be a better option.

4. Rollover your 401k into an IRA
Of all your options, this is probably the best and least cumbersome option if done right. You can go to nearly any bank or financial institution and open a rollover IRA. With a rollover IRA, you can invest your funds in virtually any stock or mutual fund. You should choose a direct rollover and have the distribution sent directly to the financial institution who will manage your IRA. If you decide to have the distribution sent to you, you must contribute it into an IRA within 60 days or it will be considered a withdrawal and you will be subject to the early withdrawal penalty plus income taxes.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Annual Free Credit Report

You are entitled by law to request a free credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
A credit report provides you with all of the information in your credit file maintained by a consumer reporting company that could be provided by the consumer reporting company in a consumer report about you to a third party, such as a lender. A credit file disclosure also includes a record of everyone who has received a consumer report about you from the consumer reporting company within a certain period of time ("inquiries").
You can order all three credit reports at the same time or order one now and others later.
The advantage of ordering all three at the same time is that you can compare them.
On the other hand, the advantage of ordering one now and others later is that you can keep track of any changes or new information that may appear on your credit report.
You can see your free credit report instantly online at www.annualcreditreport.com. Or, if you call them at 877-322-8228 to request your free report, it may take 15 days to receive it by mail.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Open a New Bank of America Checking Account and Get $75

Open a new Bank of America checking account and get $75.
You can get the needed coupon by going to USPS and picking up a change of address packet.
Offer expires on 6/15/06.

Here is the link to a printable PDF coupon and you can get detailed info from it.