Keeping Your Financial Records Secure

Computer on a desk.Photo by Ian Dick. Used with permission.

Watch this webinar recording Keeping Your Financial Records Secure and learn how to manage your financial records – paper, electronic, and web-based – to keep them secure and accessible at all times. 

WATCH WEBINAR

This webinar was presented by Sara Croymans, Lori Scharmer, and Steve Judd. Croymans is a family resiliency Extension educator with University of Minnesota; Scharmer is a North Dakota State University Extension family economics specialist; and Judd is manager …

Can I cancel my health insurance at any time if my premiums are deducted pre-tax?

Because your premiums are deducted pre-tax, this means that you purchase your health insurance through your employer and are responsible for paying a portion of the cost. Health insurance is canceled when you quit paying the premiums.

Assuming that you will be receiving health insurance from another source in the future, work with your employer’s human resources office (in a small company that might even be the person who handles payroll) to stop paying the health insurance premiums.

Make sure …

Credit Card Fees and Traps

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

There are two types of credit card fees: those that are charged to all borrowers to use a credit card or specific card features (e.g., annual fees and transaction fees for cash advances and balance transfers) and those that have been established to discourage, and indeed profit from, certain consumer behaviors (e.g., late fees and over-the-limit fees). Both types of fees increase the cost of borrowing money. Some credit cards with relatively …

Making the Right Move in Retirement: Where Will You Live?

Making the Right Move in Retirement: Where Will You Live?

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

 

family

Finding affordable, comfortable, and safe housing in later life is an important component of the retirement planning process. Along with health care, housing costs (especially property taxes) are often among the most expensive parts of a retired person’s budget. Are you planning to “age in place” and continue to live in your current home and/or community or do you want to move …

What You Need to Know About Your Credit Report

Man looking at his credit report

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

Remember those report cards that told you (and your parents!) how you were doing in school? Maybe you thought those days were over, but they’re not. Every day, millions of people are “graded” with credit reports. The better your “grade,” the better your chances of obtaining a loan or credit card and obtaining lower-cost credit that can save thousands of dollars of interest. Credit information is also used in setting rates for …

Credit Card Rules for Young Adults

Credit Card Rules for Young Adults

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

teen with packages

There was a time, up until February 22, 2010, when college students and other young adults under age 21 were “easy targets” for credit card offers. In exchange for inexpensive freebies, such as T-shirts, pizza, hats, and highlighters, young adults were actively (and often aggressively!) sought after to sign up for credit cards. “Plastic for pizza” (or some other incentive) was widely practiced. Not anymore.

As …

The Pros and Cons of Secured Credit Cards

calculator

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

Secured credit cards are a good way to establish credit if you have no credit history or a history of prior credit problems (e.g., late payments, charged-off accounts, and bankruptcy). Secured credit cards are backed by money that cardholders deposit with the credit card issuer. In other words, the amount deposited serves as collateral (security) for the credit card limit in the event that a borrower misses payments. In this case, money …

The High Cost of Credit Card Minimum Payments

The High Cost of Credit Card Minimum Payments

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

When it comes to managing your money, compound interest can be your friend (e.g., through systematic long-term investing) or your enemy (e.g., by making minimum payments on outstanding debt). This article will focus on the latter; specifically, the high cost of credit card minimum payments. Of all the credit card traps that are out there, and there are quite a few (e.g., late fees, …

How to Select a Credit Card

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

The best way to select a credit card is to match it to your intended use and bill-paying habits. Are you a “revolver?” Revolvers are credit card users who rarely, if ever, pay their credit card bills in full and, thus, pay finance charges each month to carry outstanding debt. If you plan to carry a balance from month to month, select a credit card with a permanently low-interest rate; i.e., not …

How to Get Out of Debt and Repair Your Credit

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu

Got outstanding loan balances and credit card debt? Do monthly payments seem overwhelming? You are not alone. The ability to “buy now and pay later,” coupled with slick advertising, has made living beyond one’s means very tempting. As a result, many Americans, at all income levels, went on a credit-fueled “spending spree” during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now it’s time to pay back what we owe and get out of …