Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Check The Facts

If you want to check the truth in journalism and not get fooled, check the facts with the following web sites:

  • - Provides careful analysis of claims made by politicians and other newsmakers. Its scope is national.
  • - It rates politicians' claims.  It has links to 11 affiliated state fact checking organizations.
  • - Awards "Pinocchios" for political falsehoods.  It is national in scope.
  • - Debunks political and other misleading claims.  It is national in scope and has photos and videos.
  • - debunks all sorts of myths, including those spread by viral emails
  • - Features an interactive website where you enter your address and the issues most important to you and it responds with an array of candidates for national offices that you are eligible to elect with their photos on campaign posters.  The larger the poster, the closer that candidate's positions are to your own.
Source: The Costco Connection, November, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Car Insurance Premium Savings

See the link below for a possible way to reduce your car insurance premium by considering telematics. According to the article, the good news is that your car insurance rate probably will not go up even if you are lousy driver. You would need to check with your insurance company to see if your insurance company offers this device, and if so are there any disadvantages or costs to you associated with this program.
Source:  Chicago Tribune October 28, 2012


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


If you get spam texts on your cellphone, it would be a good idea to forward the texts to 7726 (SPAM).  This will alert your cellphone carrier to block future texts from those numbers.

IRA Precaution

If a child inherits an IRA from a parent, the child cannot roll the IRA into their own name to preserve the deferral of tax on the income generated within the IRA.  The best way to preserve the deferral mechanism is to retitle the IRA as an "inherited IRA."  For example, the retitling could go something like this: "John Jones IRA (deceased August 1, 2012) for the benefit of Joan Jones beneficiary."  If the money will be divided among heirs, each recipient should retitle his or her share.  So the key here is retitling an inherited IRA.  Correct titling is critical here.  If you get the titling wrong, the heir(s) could be taxed immediately on their whole share.

An Inheritance Nightmare

If you add a child's name to a parent's bank account to allow the child access to funds in case of crisis, you may be creating a financial burden to the parents.  The reason for this comment is that in some states, this situation could trigger an inheritance tax payable by the parents if the child dies before the parents do.  For example, in the above case, the parents may be considered to have inherited a third of the money in the bank account and have to pay an inheritance tax on this deemed inheritance.  This may be the case even if the child had none of her/his own money in the account or never even visited that bank.  Currently, 7 states tax inheritances of this type - Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  Four states - Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland and New Jersey -  appear to currently exempt parents of decedents from this inheritance tax law nightmare.  Granting the child a power of attorney instead of adding the child's name to the account could have averted this liability.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Scrap Recycling - Help The Environment & Yourself

Recycling is beneficial to the environment, and in addition can be financially beneficial to you also.  Consider taking scrap metal to a scrap dealer who will take the scrap metal off of your hands and keep the scrap metal out of landfills.  The scrap dealer will give you money for your scrap regardless of the condition of the metal.                                                                                                                   

 I took an old dead battery to the scrap dealer that could have cost me $10 to recycle, and I received $5.00 for the battery.  So I helped the environment by keeping the battery out of landfills, and I came out potentially $15 ahead by getting $5 and not having to pay around $10 to discard of the dead battery.