Financial Planner Boise ID

Financial Planner Boise ID

What to Do If Your Personal Data Is Stolen

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on What to Do If Your Personal Data Is Stolen

What to Do If Your Personal Data Is Stolen Follow these easy steps to protect your accounts online by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin JAMES STEINBERG/THEISPOT.COM Say yes to added security when protecting your personal data. En español | Almost every transaction you make — be it using a credit card, getting a blood test, posting on Facebook or collecting a paycheck or retirement benefit — gets captured in cyberspace and stored in databases operated by corporations, health care providers, government agencies and other organizations. That data is a treasure trove for identity thieves. It’s no wonder, then, that hackers are relentless in their attempts to break into the computers that store it. When they succeed, the result is a “data breach.” There was a record number of such breaches last year, with 2,644 documented incidents exposing some 267 million records, reports the Open Security Foundation, which tracks information security risks. Last year was also a big one for identity theft: One in 20 Americans was hit by this crime — that amounts to one every three seconds — at a total cost of about $21 billion. Half of known fraud victims had previously been subject to a breach, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Get investment advice and money-saving tips in the AARP Money Newsletter. Sign up now! Although you can’t prevent data breaches, you can minimize your personal risk. Here’s how: Be sparing with your data. If you’re asked on an application to provide your Social Security number, ask why. It may not really be needed. It’s always safest not to store financial account information online for bill paying. But if you do, credit cards offer better protections than most debit cards or bank account numbers if compromised. If the hacked company has your address, expect breach notifications to come by U.S. mail. Be suspicious of notification emails, especially those containing links or attachments (they may contain computer-infecting malware). If your Social Security number was taken in a breach, your risk of ID theft is five times greater than the average consumer’s. As soon as you can, place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report at the three big credit-reporting bureaus. Sid Kirchheimer Learn more about scams expert Sid Kirchheimer and read recent articles. Lottery rip-offs: when winning means losing Protecting your parents from scams Scams to avoid Say yes to added security. If the breached organization offers you a free monitoring service, take advantage of this extra layer of security. Only 20 percent of breach victims do. Protect your medical records, which are especially prized in breaches because they fetch more on the black market than financial data. Read every letter you receive from medical insurers and providers — including those that say “this is not a bill” — to ensure that no one’s been masquerading as you to get treatment. To be extra safe, ask for a listing of medical insurance benefits paid out in your name each year. Keep tabs on recent breaches by going to sites like privacyrights.org/data-breach or idtheftcenter.org. Remember: Not all breaches are reported to victims. Monitor your accounts, including your Social Security earnings record. Ask your bank or credit card issuers to set up free email alerts to notify you about activity on your account, including change-of-address requests. Change your passwords frequently and order, for free, your credit report once every four months — once a year from each agency — at annualcreditreport.com. Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP...

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You’re positioned for retirement. Is your nest egg?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on You’re positioned for retirement. Is your nest egg?

You’re positioned for retirement. Is your nest egg?

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Savings: Does Your Desire to Save Match Your Reality?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Savings: Does Your Desire to Save Match Your Reality?

Savings: Does Your Desire to Save Match Your Reality? “The only money that’s really yours is the money you spend. Everything else goes to somebody else.” – Teddy Chafolious That piggy bank we remember from childhood wasn’t just a place to store our birthday money and spare change: it was a lesson, a way our parents encouraged us to get into the habit of saving. Many parents even go so far as to deposit half of any monetary gifts their children receive directly into a savings account, just to drive the point home. Adults who took that lesson to heart might set up automatic deposits into long-term savings or retirement accounts from their paychecks every month – a modern mechanism for implementing this age-old lesson. But the quote from Teddy Chafolious raises an important point: What are we saving FOR? Many new investors come to their financial advisors with a number in mind: “I want to save $1 million before I retire.” There’s even something of a fad among millennials who work as hard as they can, save as much as they can, and try to retire before age 50. But why? After all, “you can’t take it with you.” It’s important to have financial goals, and committing to a regular savings plan is good first step towards achieving them. But if you treat your long-term financial planning as just a series of targets to hit, or numbers you have to drive up as much as possible, your return on investment is going to be a lot higher than your Return on Life – the feelings of happiness and fulfillment that your financial planning should provide you. How much are Americans saving? According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans today are saving a lot less than they have in years past. Personal savings in the United States averaged 8.29 percent from 1959 until 2017. The rate for 2017 is hovering around 3 percent. Experts tie this historically low savings rate to increased household spending, and high levels of revolving debt, like credit cards. Figures like these drive many people to the opposite end of the spectrum: they save as much as they possibly can, especially if they’re nearing retirement. Finding balance. We tend to think that the person saving more is doing a better job of managing his or her money than the person saving too little. But neither extreme is going to maximize your Return on Life. Spend too much enjoying the now, and you might end up having to work much longer than you want to – maybe even all the way through retirement. Save too much too early, and you and your family might miss out on the experiences that you deserve to enjoy with your hard-earned money: big family vacations, a new home, creature comforts, entertainment and culture that will enrich all of your lives. Worse, new retirees who have spent their lives stuck in “savings mode” often have trouble transitioning to the reward mentality that should provide for a meaningful retirement. These retirees worry so much about running out of money that they often neglect their own wants and needs, to their emotional and physical detriment. Reality check. So how do you find that balance between enjoying today and preparing for tomorrow? First, ask yourself if your rate of savings is in line with your reality. Are you saving so much that you’re not enjoying life as much as you could be? Or are you hovering around that 3 percent savings figure, telling yourself that you’re putting enough money away when you...

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Social Security

Posted by on Mar 27, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Social Security

Social Security  

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What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!

What you need to know about tax identity theft this tax season!     Tax identity theft has been a massive threat for years. Recently, however, the IRS has made progress on catching fraudulent tax returns before money is paid out. Last year, the IRS stopped $4 billion in fraudulent tax returns. This year, it may be a different story. Experts worry that this tax season could bring more fraud than we’ve seen in recent years. The reason? The Equifax breach exposed 143 million consumer’s Social Security numbers and other personal data. That other personal data was just discovered by Congress to include tax identification numbers. Protect Yourself The amount of personal data exposed makes it easy for tax identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns in your name, collecting your tax refund check for themselves. The best way to protect yourself from this threat is to file your taxes as early as possible—before the thief has time to file in your name. If a tax return has already been filed with your information, the IRS will alert you. If you file your taxes online, you will be notified right away. If you send your documents in through the mail, you will receive notice via a mailed letter. If someone has filed in your name, be sure to alert the IRS of the fraud immediately by filling out Form 14039.   Be On The Lookout But it’s important to be on the lookout for other tax scams as well. The IRS is already reporting on a multitude of scams this season. For example, in one scam, a fraudulent tax return is filed in the victim’s name and the check is deposited in their account. The victim is then contacted by a thief posing as a debt collector who informs them that the deposit was a mistake and the funds must be paid back immediately.     Scammers Are Calling Scammers claim to be calling from a company called DebtCredit and have created a realistic-looking website that they direct victims to visit. The website includes a video that explains the frequency of mistake payments from the IRS and references personal information of the victim such as Social Security number and bank routing information. The webpage also shows details of the debt collector, including a photo, name, telephone number, and email address. This scam, in particular, is believed to have begun with phishing messages targeting tax preparers’ offices. Experts believe that malware was loaded onto tax preparers’ computers and was designed to steal information saved on the device.   IRS Will Only Contact You Via Mail It’s important for tax preparers and individuals keep an eye out for scams over the next few months. Remember that the IRS will only contact you via mail about an issue. If you receive a call or an email and you are unsure, hang up and call the IRS directly to inquire....

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Highs & Lows of America’s Pastor

Posted by on Mar 3, 2018 in Financial Planner Boise ID | Comments Off on Highs & Lows of America’s Pastor

Highs & Lows of America’s Pastor   Who knew Billy Graham would become America’s pastor with his humble beginnings on a dairy farm in North Carolina. Who knew Billy Graham would provide prayer and council to 12 presidents beginning with Truman. His advisor at Bob Jones University told Billy Graham he wouldn’t amount to anything. Yet Billy Graham persisted. He changed colleges attending Florida Bible Institute where he enjoyed open discussions of theology. He continued his education at Wheaton college where he met his wife Ruth Bell daughter of Chinese medical missionaries. Beginning in Chicago at Wheaton college, exposed Billy Graham to new people and opportunities. As Graham finished college, he was asked to preach for Youth for Christ. This began his traveling ministry. He held 417 crusades in 185 countries and territories.   Bridge Building It was on a crusade in Germany, that the Kennedy family saw Billy Graham preaching. After Kennedy became president, he reached out to Billy Graham. This began the bridge building between Protestants and Catholics in the U.S. Billy Graham also built bridges among the churches in communities, calling on their help with crusades. He was an ecumenical preacher.       Politics and The Press Billy Graham learned the hard way not to enter the political arena.  His Crusades had received excellent coverage by William Randolph Hurst’s newspapers and Time Magazine. He was not prepared for the press’s ambush after visiting Truman’s White House.  The press asked questions about their discussion and if they prayed for the president. The press had Billy Graham ‘pose’ in prayer for pictures. Front page news was not very flattering to Truman or Billy Graham. Billy Graham strived to be apolitical being better able to serve the nation as needed. Joining Bill Clinton in Oklahoma City after the bombing. Being invited by Bush to preach at the National Cathedral after 9/11 to give solace to a grieving nation. Fighting the Segregation Battle However, Billy Graham did not see segregation as a political issue. He felt hatred and racism was a moral and spiritual issue. While raised in a Jim Crow state, he searched the scriptures for truth. Billy Graham developed a relationship with Martin Luther King. He desired to know more about the issues colored people were facing. When asked how he could help the cause, Marin Luther King opened doors for Billy Graham to preach at black churches. Martin Luther King said he would take the fight to the streets with marches. Billy Graham could fight from the pulpit – preaching to white and black. Billy Graham removed segregation from his crusades in 1953 before Brown vs. Wade decision. He received death threats for this action. Yet he continued to proclaim that Christ belonged to ALL people.  Humanitarian As Billy Graham traveled the world, he saw vast poverty and travesty of floods & earthquakes. He began humanitarian efforts under Samaritan’s Purse; putting hands and feet to the message of God’s Love. Billy Graham’s service has been honored with a Congressional medal, receiving a unanimous vote from the senate. He is also one of few citizens that has laid in state in the capital rotunda. Regrets Even with such honors, meeting dignitaries, impacting millions of people worldwide, Billy Graham still had regrets. Graham had moments he wasn’t neutral on policies. He learned quickly if he was going to be a trusted pastor & counsel to leaders of nations, he needed to restrict conversations publicly and privately to spiritual concerns. Perhaps the biggest regret is all the traveling. He spent months on end away from the family. His children’s...

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