Springtime Financial Cleanup

The weather is finally warm again, and here comes spring cleaning. Clean up your finances, too, before the hectic activity and recreation of summer.

Start with these pointers:

Discuss main financial goals with your spouse or significant other – and write them down. Whether saving for a down payment on a house, paying off outstanding debt or creating a rainy day fund, everyone has a financial goal or two for the year. Writing down your goals helps you think through the details and outline a plan to meet those goals.

Financial Spring Cleaning

Finally it’s springtime, and we can open the windows and enjoying the sunshine. The snow shovel is in the corner of the garage. It is time to clean up the yard and toss out unneeded stuff that accumulated in the house. But it also is time to give our finances a good spring cleaning.

4 Procrastination Mistakes

We’re all busy. There is always some new item on our constantly growing to-do lists. Some tasks are fun to take on; others are tedious, boring, long or all the above. But some of the most important to-do’s in our lives often get overlooked because – well, let’s face it – they’re not all that fun.

Here is the top four, in declining order. See if you are dragging your feet in any of these areas. If so, quit putting off making the necessary fixes. You will be glad you acted.

Umbrella Policies: Good Deal

Is a personal liability umbrella policy worth the price? Generally, yes. The price remains reasonable even as the expense of just minor accidents continues to skyrocket.

Personal liability umbrella policies cover above and beyond the underlying liability limits on your auto or homeowner’s insurance. You can also buy umbrella policies if you hold renter’s insurance or condo policies.

Picking the Right Medicare

As you approach the golden age of 65, your conversation always seems to turn to Medicare. This government health-care program can be confusing, leaving you afraid of not having the information to make an educated decision. When applying for Medicare benefits, decide if traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan works best for you.

Avoiding Insurance Fallacies

Young adults starting out in life, especially newlyweds, need insurance. But what kind? As a start, a good term life policy likely is a smart move. Other types of insurance may not be. And as they age, what other varieties of coverage make sense? A good deal of misunderstanding surrounds insurance protection planning.

Escaping a Bad Annuity

Signed up for an annuity that went sour or never was for you in the first place? Here’s how you get out – sometimes even with a profit.

Annuities invest funds and then issue payments to you. They work well as a secondary tool to support your retirement saving, though – as critics point out – they lock up your money for a set period, often come with stiff maintenance fees and eventually incur income tax on earnings.

Pet Financial Planning

Are you a good pet owner? Owning an animal means more than feeding it and loving it. Pets aren’t cheap, so doing right by Fido or Tabby involves financial planning.

Newlywed Protection

The ceremony is over. Mom and dad paid the tab for the wedding, you are back from the honeymoon, you wrote your thank you notes. You are settling into a married routine midst the glow of newness. Time to think about financial planning? You bet.

Navigating Medicare’s Maze

It’s amazing how many people think that Medicare is free. It is anything but: You must pay premiums for part of it, and it does not cover everything. Make sure you avoid some traps signing up for this health-care plan for older Americans.

Here are the broad outlines. The program’s website,, has a lot more details.


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