AdviceIQ Articles

  • Cash in an Old Life Policy?

    Should you cash in an old life insurance policy? Maybe even one your parents took out for you when you were an infant? Sometimes, despite the emotions surrounding such a long-term holding, the answer is yes.

    When Susan came into the world in 1974, of course her parents wanted the best for her. At that time, one of the loving things many parents did for their children was to purchase life insurance policies on them.

  • A Coming Caregiver Crunch

    As the giant baby boomer generation enters old age, who will be their caregivers? A shortage looms, with possibly dire consequences.

    Most Americans are in the dark when it comes to understanding the true cost of health care. A collision between demographics, technology and the Affordable Care Act is a jarring trifecta that will affect multiple generations.

  • How to Store Critical Info

    Most of us make lists for groceries and weekend chores. Few write what’s likely the most important list of our lives and here’s what to put on it.

    Call it a life book: a notebook – or just a piece of paper – containing pertinent information your loved one must know to take care of you or your family if you suffer a serious accident, illness, emergency or death.

    To see the value, ask yourself how to answer these questions if something happens to your spouse or to another close family member:

  • Making $100 Fast (Part 2)

    A little extra labor ranks as one of your best and most convenient places to make extra cash. Try these ideas for starters.

    Volunteer for overtime. Most of your colleagues probably shirk from overtime because of the extra hours. If you need money, let your supervisor know you’re available.

    Contract for an ugly job. As an alternative to overtime, offer to contract for jobs that no co-worker wants. Offer to work for a flat fee beyond your regular pay.

  • Why to Be Cautious on Stocks

    What was I thinking when I told people to beware of the stock market, which has shot up like a skyrocket? Well, I stand by my warning, more than ever. What goes up will eventually go down – and very painfully.

    For good reason, over the past couple of years, I preached caution. Corporate profits were down and unemployment was up. The economy wasn’t growing, but the federal debt was. Iran was developing nuclear capabilities while the entire continent of Europe was going bankrupt. And investors were still shell-shocked from the 2008 financial meltdown.

  • The Value of Your Benefits

    When you select an employer, understand the real value of benefits offered beyond salary. Here’s how to figure out your total potential compensation.

    Let’s say you’re a 60-year-old married employee with two kids ages, 18 and 15, and earn $51,017, the median household income in 2012. What do you bring home when you account for benefits?

  • The Downside of Cruises

    Ocean cruises often are a real bargain, but sometimes you get what you pay for, as we found out in the scary waters off Somalia. When does frugality intersect with insanity? Maybe about the time the pirates show up.

    My wife and I are frugal. We are also fans of cruise vacations and just completed our 28th. With a little homework, thrifty vacationers discover that cruises represent a great value. Most cruise lines include food, lodging and transportation between ports, while you pay for items like liquor, specialty dining and shore excursions.

  • Variable Annuity: Protection?

    Annuities appear to guarantee retirement income, an appealing prospect when you live through a few market downturns. This type of insurance comes with caveats, though, and here are a couple to think about.

    Variable annuities with guaranteed living benefit riders help protect retirement income against the risk of a market catastrophe. For a moderate cost, you transfer the risk of a market decline to the insurance company while still staying invested in the market.

  • Calculating Social Security

    It pays to know all formulas you use to calculate your ever-changed Social Security benefits. Here’s a look at one of them, which affects how much you get, a seemingly abstruse yet crucial concept called bend points.

    The Social Security Administration’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2014 also allows for calculation of the bend points for the new year.

  • Why You Need Long-Term Care

    Long-term care insurance is something everyone needs, and the earlier they buy it, the more affordable it is. Not that it is cheap. But coverage generally gets costlier, year by year, and more so for those in their 50s and 60s.

    Most younger people probably do not think of LTC, as it’s called. It’s no surprise older people, who are retired or close to it, think about it: They want to prepare for what could be a huge financial burden. They fear the potentially corrosive power of LTC costs on their retirement savings.

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