What To Do If Your Mail Is Stolen

Find Your Balance

sb10069719ao-001It’s easy to dismiss a missing piece of mail as just having gotten lost somewhere along the way. But if there is a pattern of lost mail or particularly sensitive correspondence has mysteriously gone missing, it makes sense to err on the side of caution and take protective actions.

Let the authorities know
Visit postalinspectors.uspis.gov and click on “File a Complaint” to alert the Postal Inspectors office. You should also file a police report at the nearest police station. Lastly, the Federal Trade Commission won’t necessarily help with your individual case, but you can fill out a complaint form at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov to help guide their national investigations.

Check your credit reports
If you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft – and if you have had your mail stolen it is certainly possible – you are entitled to additional free copies of your credit reports on top…

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Seventy percent of American’s over 65 will need long-term care

Dealing with Dementia

70%Wow. Ignoring the facts won’t make them go away. They seem unbelievable.

The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information reported that about 70% of Americans who live to age 65 will need long-term care at some time in their lives, over 40 percent in a nursing home. Learn more by visiting their website and to learn more about how you can plan.

The same report cited the averages: Those who are 65 today will need long-term care services for three years. Women need care for longer (on average 3.7 years) than do men (on average 2.2 years). While about one-third of today’s 65-year-olds may never need long-term care services, 20 percent of them will need care for more than five years.

The most important thing you can do today (at ANY age) is set up a Durable Power-of-Attorney. There may be situations in which even your spouse needs this…

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Can a marriage be saved?

Marriage Values

couplesintrouble

Many couples who are facing trouble and despair in their marriage opt quickly for divorce without giving it a second chance. Whether it has been infidelity, distrust, violence or emotional distress, a marriage should not be over just because one or the other believe there’s no hope. The truth is, there is hope and restoration “if” and only if both mates are willing to work at giving it a second chance.

The first thing to consider is: do you want to save the marriage? And if yes, are you willing to do whatever it takes to bring total healing and restoration?

Sometimes one spouse may want work things out and the other, not so much and that’s okay. The most important thing to consider is doing the right thing, even when you don’t feel like it. Eventually, you will see that if you stay doing what’s right for a long…

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Debbie Robinson: Legal Mistakes That Hurt Your Family

Eyes on Estate Planning

As an estate planning lawyer, I see costly mistakes made by people filling out beneficiary designations or co-owning real estate without understanding the consequences.

beneficiary

Minor Children as Beneficiaries: Children under age 18 cannot legally manage assets.  If a minor child is named as beneficiary of life insurance or retirement assets, someone has to be appointed as Conservator by the Probate Court to manage those assets.  The Conservator must pay for a bond, provide annual accountings to the Court, and obtain Court permission to sell or mortgage the property.

You can provide for a minor child or grandchild without these complications through a custodial account or a trust.

Failure to Change Beneficiaries: Many people with IRA’s, 401ks, and life insurance fail to change the beneficiaries when their circumstances change. Has your spouse named you as beneficiary of his or her life insurance, or is the beneficiary still the ex?

Beneficiary designations…

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What the heck is a financial plan?

Modern Centsability

Often when people ask me what I do, and I tell them I’m a financial planner, they automatically reply, “Oh, I have one of those”.  Patiently, I ask them to explain further what their ‘financial planner’ does for them and 9 times out of 10, get the same response: “Well, they invest my money for me.”  Upon further prodding, most people realize they do not have a written financial plan.

Has your advisor offered to do a written financial plan for you?

Likely, no.  Most advisors do not have the skill set to do a proper written financial plan, or their practice of investment management is already a full time job in itself.  If you are looking for an advisor who will develop a plan for you, look for someone with the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) credential.  This means that not only do they have the skill set to develop…

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Follow Up to Adobe Network Breach

IS&T Security FYI

Adobe-LogoLast month this newsletter announced that the Adobe network had been attacked.

On October 3rd of 2013 hackers broke into Adobe network and stole source code for a range of products, including ColdFusion and Acrobat family of products. The breach also affected what was at that time estimated to be 2.9 million users but later was revised to include at least 38 million users. Adobe said hackers had stolen nearly 3 million encrypted customer credit card records, as well as login data for an undetermined number of Adobe user accounts.

The breach happened in early October but the stolen accounts were not published on the web until early November. The published data includes 10s of millions of accounts with IDs, email addresses, encrypted passwords and more. (Read the full follow-up story.)

If you haven’t done so already, please update the password for your adobe.com account immediately. As…

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Don’t Be a Scrooge – Give, & You Shall Receive

EnJoyLaw

donateAs the holiday season approaches, the spirit of cheer and charity permeates the chilled air, reminding us of the importance of helping the less fortunate. When the solicitations for donations begin rolling in, remember that the generous population is not alone in there efforts to give back, as the IRS allows taxpayers to deduct charitable donations that are made to qualified organizations. Use the following tips to ensure that our government is successful in its efforts to pay it forward:

 

1. Itemized Deduction: First of all, you cannot make a qualified charitable deduction unless you itemize your deductions. Thus, you cannot receive these deductions when using the standard deduction.

2. Determine whether your donation is qualified for a deduction: To receive a deduction for your donation, it must be made to a “qualified organization.” The “Exempt Organizations Select Check” is an online tool provided by…

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