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31 Steps to a Financial Tuneup
Old 04-17-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
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31 Steps to a Financial Tuneup

"Taking time out to put your personal finances in gear can reap both immediate and long-term benefits, from cashing gift cards to reallocating investments. This checklist can help you formulate a strategy, providing tips, the time needed to achieve them, and links to additional resources. For each category, Ron Lieber, the Your Money columnist, offers his insights on video. You can customize your list by removing items to suit your strategy, and then print a personalized list of the items you plan on tackling today. "

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...list.html?_r=0

I found the "Planning" and "Insurance" sections interesting.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:11 AM   #2
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Thanks for the link - useful.

I would add an enduring power of attorney to the list.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:47 AM   #3
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Thanks, very helpful. Right now I usually just throw money at problems, and I don't take the time to shop around. I am working on changing that mentality.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:58 AM   #4
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Good article with some decent links. Helps to have the friendly reminder from time to time.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
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Nice checklist.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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Nice article...but I don't necessarily agree with all of it:

Make an extra mortgage payment - I am not a fan of paying extra on a mortgage. I think it is preferable to set aside those potential extra payments and then when you can pay off the mortgage pay off the whole thing. There are people who made extra payments on mortgage then had something bad happen, got behind and still got foreclosed on. I would not want to have that risk.

Seek a lower interest credit card - Maybe. If you have an old balance to pay off, sure. But, if you have no ongoing debt then it can be more important to get a good rewards card regardless of interest rate.

Cash in your rewards - The article says the rewards only lose value over time. That can be true. But, for example, I often use my Amex Blue Cash rewards to buy dining out gift cards when they are on sale. For example, get a $50 dining out card for $45, or even $40. By waiting, I get a better financial deal.

Check your credit reports for free - This implies you should check all 3 reports at one time during the year (which you can do for free). It is usually better to check them 1 at a time, every 4 months. That way you know what is going on over the course of the entire year. There might be exceptions, but most of the time I find it better to check one every 4 months.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #7
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It looks like a good resource. I was interested in seeing a few of the checklists, but it didn't allow a print preview. Has anyone printed any of this? I don't want 20 pages...
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
It looks like a good resource. I was interested in seeing a few of the checklists, but it didn't allow a print preview. Has anyone printed any of this? I don't want 20 pages...
You could print it to a PDF writer like Cute Writer. Then it is only electrons.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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It looks like a good resource. I was interested in seeing a few of the checklists, but it didn't allow a print preview. Has anyone printed any of this? I don't want 20 pages...
I saved it to Evernote, which preserves the links for future use.

While every item may not be the right thing for every person to do, they are all at least worth thinking about. For example, on the AMEX rewards, I take mine as cash back because I know from experience if I get gift cards, I don't always use them so getting $50 for $45 isn't worth anything to me. But I did think about it when I did a cash back request yesterday.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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For example, on the AMEX rewards, I take mine as cash back because I know from experience if I get gift cards, I don't always use them so getting $50 for $45 isn't worth anything to me. But I did think about it when I did a cash back request yesterday.
I think the key there is to only use it for gift cards that are for places that you really go to. For example, last year they had a sale at one point on Panera gift cards and DH and I often eat there so I had no fear they would go to waste.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:35 AM   #11
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Check your credit reports for free - This implies you should check all 3 reports at one time during the year (which you can do for free). It is usually better to check them 1 at a time, every 4 months. That way you know what is going on over the course of the entire year. There might be exceptions, but most of the time I find it better to check one every 4 months.
We were told that married couples can do it every other month, alternating spouses, so each still does it 3x/year.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:07 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing the piece...most of the tips are ones I try to keep in mind throughout the year...I would have liked to see some tips for healthy habits that promote a quality retirement....
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:17 AM   #13
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Here you are, from AAFP : http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/seniors.html

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Thanks for sharing the piece...most of the tips are ones I try to keep in mind throughout the year...I would have liked to see some tips for healthy habits that promote a quality retirement....
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #14
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Thanks again OB... the prevention/wellness pull down menu looks interesting to me...busy now... but will drill down further on it later today.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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Ron Lieber, the author, is widely hated around other financial forums, because he has killed a lot of deals. Perhaps most notably, the US mint selling coins at face value with free shipping, which he wrote about in the newspaper.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #16
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In the Planning Section: "Consider a financial planner"

I though this was supposed to improve your finances
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:02 PM   #17
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We just did the shop for a new policy step. While our auto policy has been level, our homeowners has gone steadily up with each major hurricane/storm/tornado, which will never affect us. I finally got around to checking on new policies and we've been able to almost cut the cost in half for both auto and homeowners. We were actually ahead on the homeowners as the refund was larger than the new premium. To top things off, the coverage was better with the new policies.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #18
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We just did the shop for a new policy step. While our auto policy has been level, our homeowners has gone steadily up with each major hurricane/storm/tornado, which will never affect us. I finally got around to checking on new policies and we've been able to almost cut the cost in half for both auto and homeowners. We were actually ahead on the homeowners as the refund was larger than the new premium. To top things off, the coverage was better with the new policies.
I always find it a hastle comparing apples to apples policies.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:55 PM   #19
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We were told that married couples can do it every other month, alternating spouses, so each still does it 3x/year.
That is true, spouses are done independently. However, not all accounts may be on both accounts. For DH and I we have a lot of common accounts but we each have a couple of credit cards that the other isn't on (mostly accounts we had pre-marriage which would be over 20 years ago).

Also utility accounts and cell phone accounts are generally in only one name and only reported to on one account.

Still I agree it would be best to space out married couples so that they alternate
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