Asset Planning, Inc Blog

The latest from the team.

Insurance Coverage Check Up

Watching the news coverage of Hurricane Dorian this past week as well as the fire in Murrieta, had us sympathizing for the people in their path, what they were going through and how their lives would be affected by these natural disasters. Naturally, this also made us start thinking of our own preparedness for a natural disaster. We recently posted about creating your own emergency kits for your homes. Another thing to think of is what happens to your home and other belongings that were damaged during one of these incidents. It's important to periodically review your insurance policies to make sure that your coverage is sufficient. Our lives are constantly changing, which means you could have recently done a remodel to your home or purchased a brand-new computer. Will your homeowner's insurance cover these new and improved items? One way to make sure is to keep an updated inventory of your personal belongings as well as any documentation for upgrades you have done to your home. Without this documentation your homeowner's insurance may just pay you the basic value of these items and you will not recoup the increased value. One tip I read about, and which seems like the easiest way to inventory your property is to walk around your home with your phone and take a video of each room with its contents. In the video you would show the items of most value and explain what they are. Not only will this prove the items existence, but most phones are hooked up to a cloud-based recovery system. So even if you lose or damage your phone in a disaster the video will be saved to the cloud. Obviously, you would not want to share this video with anyone and should keep it private. No posting to social media sites like FB or Instagram as this could make you a target for break ins. Even if you "know" everyone on your friend lists. We still recommend keeping physical documentation either in a fireproof box, safety deposit box or a flash drive but it never hurts to have more proof. You may also want to look into additional flood and earthquake policies.  Maybe you decided to skip these policies when you first bought your home because they can be pricey, or you went with a higher deductible. Now would be the time to get a check up to see if these supplemental policies are right for you.

Continue reading
  27 Hits
27 Hits

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day

In observance of Labor Day, our office will be closed Monday, September 2nd. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, September 3rd.

Wishing all of our clients a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

 

Continue reading
  28 Hits
28 Hits

Medicare: Traveling Abroad is Not Covered

If you're currently on Medicare and are planning a trip out of the country it is important to know that basic Medicare does not cover and health care services or supplies while you are out of the U.S. There are a few exceptions, like if you have a supplemental plan, Medicare Advantage or another Medicare plan. You can read all about what is and what isn't covered by your plan by clicking here.

Continue reading
  49 Hits
49 Hits

Equifax Breach... Were You Affected?

A settlement has been announced in the 2017 Equifax breach. Equifax has agreed to pay up to $700 million in compensation to the victims of this breach. If you were affected, there are three different settlement options. The 1st option is to sign up for free credit monitoring service. If you already have credit monitoring service, you can choose to be paid $125 for the value of the credit monitoring. Option 2 is to be reimbursed for any of the time you spent trying to clear up any issues that happened to your credit because of the breach. The 3rd option is to be reimbursed for any damages you incurred as a result of the breach. For the latter two options you will need to submit additional documentation to support your claim. It is really easy to check to see if you were affected by the breach and submit your claim. It took each of us in the office about 3 minutes to complete the whole process. Simply click on this link and follow the steps provided.

Continue reading
  53 Hits
53 Hits

Emergency Preparedness Kit

Considering the recent earthquakes we just had, we thought it was a good idea to send out a reminder about either updating or creating your home emergency kit. We know that this can be a time-consuming project and a lot of people put it off or don't don one altogether but this is something that can be a true lifesaver.

I found some really good checklists you can use as your starting pints. These checklists are not a one size fits all, so you should customize them for your family's specific needs. One of the checklists suggest updating your emergency kit each time we fall back or spring forward, I love this idea! Makes it really easy to remember.

Here are the checklists:

EEChecklist-Kits.pdf

stockpilingchecklist.pdf

The most common items that people forget to include in their kits are toilet paper and a bucket for peronal hygiene needs. Definitely two things you don't want to do without!

I was also able to find some premade kits on Amazon. I don't think that any of these kits will have everything that you need but it is an easy way to add necessary items to your kit without much work on your part.

Emergency Zone 4 Person Family Prep 72 Hour Survival Kit/Go-Bag

Rescue Guard First Aid Kit Hurricane Disaster or Earthquake Emergency Survival Bug Out Bag Supplies for Families

Mountain House Just In Case 14-Day Emergency Food Supply

Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply 29 lb 4.37 oz 8.5 Gallon Pail

 

 

Continue reading
  60 Hits
60 Hits

More Scam Alerts and Security Tips

We've come across a few more scams that we thought you should be aware of...

The first one is a scam where an unknown number will call you and only ring once or twice and not leave a message. Your first instinct is to call them back to see who it is. It turns out that it is a 900 number you are calling back and you get charged for the call. The phone companies are not reversing the charges for these calls so be weary on calling back unusual numbers. My thought is if it's important whoever is calling you will leave a message.

Next, a client alerted us to a company that is offering free cell phones to seniors with low income. They ask for all your personal information such as social security numbers, drivers license numbers, etc. There are some legit companies out there that do offer these programs but there are also scammers out there trying to steal identities. Before giving out your personal information be sure to do your research on the company or person who you're dealing with. You don't want your information getting in the wrong hands.

Lastly, stay vigilant with people calling or emailing you and asking for your personal information. Legitimate companies will never call or email you to get passwords or social security numbers. One way to tell in an email is by looking at the grammar. More times than not on a scam email the grammar will be wrong. Also, NEVER click on a link sent to you in an email from someone you don't recognize. If you are in doubt about whether a request for information is legitimate or not, always call the company back on a number that you have looked up yourself, so you know that you're actually calling the right place.

If you have any scams that you would like to tell us about, so we can alert our clients, please email me at melani@assetplanninginc.com

We hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Melani

Continue reading
  99 Hits
99 Hits

Spam Calls

In an earlier blog post, we told you about an app called NomoRobo that blocks unwanted robotic and spam phone calls. I've been paying a monthly fee of $1.99 and it has been totally worth it. I just learned however, that cell phone carriers offer this service for free. For AT&T subscriber's, you can download an app called AT&T Call Protect. Verizon's app is called Verizon Call Filter and for T-Mobile customers there is no app. You just need to turn on the Scam ID and Scam Block Service.

Even though I feel like paying for NomoRobo has saved me from getting all of those annoying unwanted calls, I'm definitely going to try the service from my provider. Why pay for something if you can get it for free? Hopefully this helps some of you who didn't know about these blocking tools from getting unwanted phone calls.

Have a great weekend!

Melani

Continue reading
  78 Hits
78 Hits

Wishing you a Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

Easter and Passover 2019.

Continue reading
  154 Hits
154 Hits

FSA Eligible Items on Amazon

There is now a whole section of Flexible Spending Account eligible items available on Amazon. In case you don't know what an FSA is, it is an account that you put pre-tax money into that you use to pay out-of-pocket health care costs with. The limit per person each year is $2,650 and most plans require that you use up that amount each year. Even though there is a limit of $2,650 a year you are not required to contribute that much. You can estimate what you think you spend per year and only contribute that amount. People use their FSA accounts to pay for copays, deductibles and prescriptions but there is a lot of over the counter products that meet the eligibility requirements ranging from blood pressure testers all the way to sunscreen and lotion.

Most of the time FSA owners will pay for these out of pocket expenses and then submit a claim form to be reimbursed but there is another option. You can now request a debit card for your FSA and pay directly for these expenses using that card. If you would like to order from Amazon, you would enter your FSA credit card information and select that card as your form of payment. When I was looking on Amazon I simply searched for FSA eligible items and was amazed at all of the products that were available and that I would be able to use for my family on a daily basis. This is a great way to use up the funds in your FSA account.

If you do not have a Flexible Spending Account, it may be something to look into. Not all employers offer them, but it doesn't hurt to ask your human resources department. Remember whatever you do contribute will reduce your taxable income because the contributions are made pre-tax. It's really a great way to pay for your out-of-pocket health care costs.

When googling FSA eligible products, I noticed that there were a lot of other stores that offer them as well. I just love the convenience and delivery options of Amazon, especially if you're a Prime member.

Continue reading
  118 Hits
118 Hits

Internet Security

Padlock

When browsing the internet and logging into certain sites, it's become almost habit to look for the little green padlock to make sure that you are entering a secure website. well, unfortunately a lot of phishing sites have started using the green padlock as well to try to fool the average user. These phishing sites try to copy a legitimate site, pose as an online retailer or other trusted site. Their goal is for you to trust them and enter your personal information, so it can be sold on the dark web and used for identity theft. It's important to always remember to look for the https:// displayed in front of the web address. The padlock by itself means nothing.

Continue reading
  114 Hits
114 Hits

Search Blogs Module

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
Roth IRA Asset Planning fun atmosphere National Ice Cream month app https ://seekingalpha wells Fargo FEMA website pet investment statements health care costs 23 andme family members privacy settings vacation client portal 2018 IRA contributions Fox News story identity theft Affordable Care Act 70 1/2. operations manager June 29 banking Medicare plan driver license phone card reader birth certificates money jury duty self-help topics Brexit vote opt-out credit monitoring service retirement accounts check lists debt cell phones tax season D premiums phone companies account numbers emergency kit estate information Federal Trade Commission website web address 2017 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference credit score chip-enabled EMV cards fees clients show support Shred paperwork portal checklists toilet paper Flexible Spending Account house sitter trust breach EEChecklist-Kits.pdf stockpilingchecklist.pdf IRA accounts clients home emergency kit media accounts DNA test kits Treasury Department Ice Cream Social rescue organizations VOIP landline phones vision screening Independence Day tax deadline home security partner /owner retirement plans pets Financial Planning Magazine Social Security July 4 https :// Healthcare gap insurance 2017 Equifax breach CFP ® Social Security Administration increase Victor Dergunov health care services trustee Joey Gonzales asset Planning president Trump spring cleaning settlement options Auto insurance non-prescripstion sunglasses April 15 Facebook profile hurricane Dorian Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment insurance policies clone counterfeits parking spots phishing scams California Lions Friends Kraig Mathias car loans relief efforts Supplemental Security Income earthquake app news coverage consumer spending phishing sites Wells Fargo customers home life saver Kiplinger Letter spam phone Medicare Part B drive /usb identity thieves privacy notices ID card Wells Fargo employees cell phone provider credit card fraud 20 year anniversary information Facebook Part D premiums . disaster areas assets flash drive credit card company estate planning direction Part B summer documents Mobile Banking Security Tips Erin Nelsen borrowing money official certification interest rates “ skimmer ”. blog post home mortgages paperwork clutter retirement emergency folder integral member April 11 Medicare question fun facts IRS deadline padlock Open House CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam Amazon cell phone carriers offer credit cards text messages illiegal robocallers prescription eyeglasses cell phone service provider Medicare Part B premiums notary services April 18 2017. 4 pm -8pm retirement planning ice cream event insurance policy home emergency preparedness kits team members policy bottom line 900 number pet industry home break-ins Orange County Superior Court Notary Public ice cream Retirement Contribution Limits estate planning Legal robocalls credit freeze Puerto Rico Medicare Two-Step Verification pet supplies email notifications 2017 IRA contributions October 1 2020. company emergency kits contribution limit Orange County FSA scams executive order memorial Day weekend 401K