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Ponderings For the Week of October 16 to 22, 2017

Top Five Reasons You Know it’s Time to Trade in Your Car

Cars can be a huge drain on our finances, so I have long advocated holding onto a car for as long as possible. But cars don’t last forever so there will come a time when you have to consider disposing of your old friend. Here are some situations that may call for such an unhappy event:

  1. Instead of an air bag, a whoopee cushion is taped to your steering wheel
  2. 15 Minute Jiffy Lube needs to keep your car for 3 days.
  3. Thieves repeatedly break in your car just to steal the "Club."
  4. Traffic reporters start referring to you by name when discussing morning tie-ups.
  5. While standing at a stoplight, people keep running up to you and asking if anyone was hurt.

A Pair of Money Saving Ideas.

We can all relate to a remark of Errol Flynn: My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.  Here are two ideas to ponder:

  • Move in with your parents. If you get along reasonably well with your parents, consider moving back home. If you are young, you will enjoy a higher standard of living by returning to the homestead than you do now. A word to the wise: Later on this year I will recommend that your parents kick you out of the house to save expenses, so you had best move back in with the express intent of paying your fair share of household outlays.
  • Appeal your property tax assessment. Surprisingly, a large percentage of people who appeal their property tax assessments end up with a lower bill. It may take a little digging to gather the information to advance your case, but it could be time well spend.  

 

Smart Money Tips

  • IRAs for all. Anyone who qualifies should be making IRA contributions, even if you are fortunate enough to have a very high income that precludes you from making either a nondeductible or a Roth contribution. You still qualify for a nondeductible IRA which allows the money to grow tax-free until you have to withdraw it. But a lot of workers of all income levels don’t make IRA contributions and haven’t for years. You should break that bad habit now and you have over five months to do so for this year (until the April 16, 2018 deadline).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Where to store your will. Although it is advisable to make photocopies for your files and for family members, there should be only one original copy of a will at any time. Deciding where to keep the original is a vexing problem. Options include a home safe, a business safe, a bank safe-deposit box, your lawyer’s office, a trust company (if one has been named as an executor), or the clerk of your local probate court who will hold it for safekeeping in a sealed envelope. Where you should store your will depends in part on state and local probate law. For example, many such laws automatically seal the safe-deposit box upon death, possibly making the will inaccessible pending a court order and creating a messy complication. Wherever you decide to store your will, always be sure that family members or close friends know its location.  







                                                                                                          

    

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