With all the traveling, entertaining and shopping, the holiday season can put a strain on your cash flow. To avoid a rough, debt-burdened start to 2013:
Thinking about your mortality is anything but pleasant. What's worse? Leaving your spouse or loved ones to face the legal obstacles of settling your estate because you didn't have a plan. You can make your survivors' jobs much easier by working with a qualified attorney to create a legacy plan that includes these documents:
Depending on your needs, your attorney also may recommend the creation of a trust, which is a financial planning tool that holds your assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.
Don't forget to update your beneficiaries on life insurance policies, annuities, IRAs and other retirement accounts.
Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is your chance to join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If you already have a Medicare Part D plan, this is also the time to review your coverage and decide if you should stay with your existing provider or make a change. You can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, or from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or vice versa.
The Medicare Plan Finder helps you compare Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area. In this tool, you can check a plan's star rating, a federal measure that evaluates plan performance based on more than 50 attributes.
If you're happy with your Medicare choices, you don't have to take any action to renew your coverage for 2013.
If you have a mortgage, you probably have a mortgage escrow account. Depending on your lender and your personal situation, you might not even have a choice about it – having an escrow account is most likely a condition of your mortgage. In my opinion, mortgage escrow accounts are a smart idea, regardless of whether [...]