Archive for Family Finances

Insurance You Should Have by Paul Ferraresi

Most people try to buy the least amount of insurance in all areas hoping to save on premiums. But penny wise may be pound foolish…

Here is a short article written by Russell Hall. I suggest you share this with friends and family.

Most discussions of insurance and estate planning focus on the value of life insurance to your heirs. Not this one. Instead, let’s consider insurance to protect your income and assets now, and to shield your executor later.

What happens if you’re in a car accident with serious injuries or death – and it’s your fault? Expect to be sued, and to pay a large judgment. Every driver is at risk of losing bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, rental property, and other non-exempt assets to a lawsuit.

In Texas, you may keep your homestead, pension, retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance. However, cash distributions are not exempt, and may go to the alert creditor. You may have substantial non-exempt assets, but what good are they if you cannot spend them?

As a rule of thumb, carry liability insurance equal to your non-exempt assets plus five to ten years of income. Suppose you have a home, an IRA, a modest checking account, and $300,000 in CDs. The home and IRA are exempt from creditors’ claims. The CDs are not. That suggests at least $300,000 in liability insurance. If Social Security and IRA income total $50,000 a year, another $250,000 to $500,000 in liability insurance is indicated. Even someone of modest means may want $500,000 to $1 million in liability insurance.

The typical automobile or homeowners’ policy offers no more than $500,000 in coverage. However, our agent can often provide an inexpensive umbrella policy from the same carrier with limits of $1 to $5 million, which is more than enough for most people.

Suppose you stop driving, pay off the mortgage, and die, judgment-free, without any liability insurance. Who cares at that point? Your executor should. An executor is a fiduciary with the most dangerous, thankless task known to law. They must collect all your assets, pay all your debts, distribute the remainder to your beneficiaries and make no mistakes. As one summarized it, “Whatever happens, it’s the executor’s fault.”

Both liability and property insurance will go a long way to protect the executor, and, ultimately, your heirs. New executors should review the estate with an insurance agent. Existing policies may be adequate. If not, the executor may obtain insurance at the estate’s expense. Better though, that you yourself review your insurance, and develop a plan to protect yourself in retirement. Doing so minimizes everyone’s risk, and leaves one less task to be done when you’re gone.

Sales of Surplus Items by Paul Ferraresi

Here is a great way to save money on brand new items. Hope it is helpful.

Most of the online purchases that are returned each year get restocked by the original seller. But some are handled by online liquidators such as Bling or Bulq, which resell surplus and “gently used” apparel, household goods, electronics and other merchandise at up to 70% off retail. For pallets of goods or truckload-sized lots, find bigger savings from B-Stock Solutions, Liquidation.com and Via Trading.

Earning More

Check out these 11 ways to make money on the side.

Whether you’re unemployed, underpaid or simply want a little more walkin’ – around money, NerdWallet.com, a personal-finance website providing clarity about life’s decisions, compiled this list of flexible ways to earn more.

If you live in a large city…

1. Drive for a ride-booking service like Uber or Lyft.

2. Deliver something delicious. Try earning cash on your own schedule by delivering restaurant meals for companies such as DoorDash or Caviar.

3. Become a personal shopper. Companies (Instacart is one) will pay you to grocery-shop for their customers.

4. Do odd jobs. Consider signing up to be a “Tasker” who runs errands in one of the 19 metro areas where TaskRabbit operates.

If you’re good at…

5. Writing-try freelancing

6. Math-be a tutor

7. Photography-submit your photos.

8. Illustrating-do graphic design.

If you want to work from home…

9. Join a focus group

10. Sign up for Mechanical Turk. Taking on simple tasks-writing user reviews and answering business surveys, for instance-on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service is a simple way to make money on the side.

11. Complete projects on Upwork. Put the skills you learned in college to use on websites such as Upwork.

Money Saving Tips When it Comes to Travel

Try being a house sitter. The website TrustedHousesitters.com matched travelers with homeowners needing their pets and homes looked after.
Need a hotel? Book last–minute hotel rooms via your smartphone. Rooms will be cheaper than reserving through a personal computer, as hotels deeply discount a few days in advance to lure in mobile guests. You can also try the mobile app HotelTonight finds big discounts on hotels without having to book ahead of time.

Don’t Bank On It

If your bank is taking you for granted, that is, charging you for checking and paying nothing on savings, then, it may be time to move on.
Free checking is available at smaller community banks, credit unions and online banks. Many online banks pay more than 1 percent on savings for little or no minimum deposits.
Check out Federally insured online banks at Bankrate.com. Many are established community banks that use the Internet to market nationally.