We talk with Consumer Reports’ Senior Money Editor Tobie Stanger about timely financial resolutions for 2019.
Consumer Reports published a great article on smart money moves for 2019. On The BIGG Success Show today, we talk about them with Tobie Stanger, Senior Money Editor at Consumer Reports. Here are the highlights of our conversation…
Financial resolution #1: Protect your nest egg from inflation
The best way to do this is to make sure your portfolio is broadly diversified. You should own both stocks and bonds. Consider TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) for a portion of your bond holdings.*
Financial resolution #2: Freeze your credit report
Thanks to Consumer Reports lobbying on behalf of we the people, you can now freeze your credit for free. If you do not anticipate needing applying for credit in the near future, freeze your credit by contacting each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.
Then, even if a scam artist gets your personal data, they won’t be able to open a new credit account in your name.
Of course, when you want credit yourself, you will just need to contact each of the three majors to unfreeze your credit. While it may not be the case, assume there will be a time lag between your request and the actual unfreezing.
Financial resolution #3: Safeguard against cell-phone account fraud
This is a new scam. But with the number of breaches which occurred last year, there’s a lot of personal information floating around. A fraudster uses that info to get a cell phone account in your name. Now, they can set up a new credit account, even if it requires two-factor authentication.
You can minimize the risk of this happening to you by setting up a PIN on your cell phone account. Note that this is a separate PIN from the one you use to unlock your phone. It provides you with another layer of protection from fraud.
Financial resolution #4: Rethink how you pay for doctor’s visits
Direct primary care (DPC) or concierge medicine is growing rapidly as more and more people discover its benefits. With this arrangement, you contract with a doctor directly, rather than through a health insurer.
In this case, you will actually pay more for medical care. But you also get premium service for about $100 a month. Do you:
– frequently visit your doctor’s office?
– need 24-hour access to a doctor?
– have diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension?
– need frequent tests?
– need regular checks on your vital signs?
– have a high-deductible health insurance plan?
Note, though, this is NOT health insurance. Nor does it reduce the need for health insurance (although, you may be able to afford a higher-deductible plan and, therefore, reduce your premium).*
Financial resolution #5: Get maximum returns on your savings
Interest rates are going up. Just a couple of years ago, you could only collect something like 0.01%T on your savings. Now, you can find savings products paying 2% – 3%. Visit the article on Consumer Reports for a great table of your options
*One final note before we go – As with all things financial, we highly recommend that you consult with your financial advisor about the specifics of your situation.
Here’s to your BIGG success!
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
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