Keeping track of your money — expenses, investments, insurance, etc. –- are all important if you want to keep your finances in a healthy state. In most cases, if you take care of your money, your money will take care of you. The best way to avoid bankruptcy – don’t spend more than you make. Whether you sell shoes or appliances, perform by-pass surgery or are a rock star, if you spend too much, you take the risk of needing to file personal bankruptcy. While the attorneys at Client First Bankruptcy are here for you should you need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we would rather you keep your finances in “apple pie order”. Here are just a few tips paraphrased from an article by Eileen Ambrose for AARP The Magazine.
• If you lose track of U.S. Savings bonds that have matured, cash them in and invest them somewhere safe where you can realize a higher interest rate.
• Make a perpetual note on your calendar, electronic or paper, to make your IRA contribution every January. By contributing $5,000 each January instead of April, you could see an additional $12,600 after 20 years. An investor 50 years or older can invest a maximum of $6,500 into an IRA each year.
• If you “drop the ball on ‘catch-up’ contributions to tax-deferred accounts”, Ambrose writes, “At 50 or older you can add an extra $5,500 a year to a 401(k). That will lower your annual tax bill, reduce how much money you have to spend, and boost total savings at retirement.”
• If you neglect to change beneficiaries in your will, you may inadvertently be leaving assets to the wrong people. “Spouses are entitled to 401(k)s and pensions, unless they opt out.” It is crucial to keep beneficiary forms updated as a will won’t override the rights of an ex-spouse named on the forms. “Don’t forget to name secondary beneficiaries”, Ambrose avers.
• Be wary of making your children joint owners of your bank accounts since a co-owner can spend the money in whatever manner s/he chooses. The author opines that you should keep only the funds you need for daily expenses in an account with joint ownership; keep your life savings in a separate account.
The trained and caring professionals at Client First Bankruptcy think that financial education for everyone sounds like a great idea. If you are considering filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy due to extreme financial distress, please call us right away. The Client First Bankruptcy attorneys are among the most knowledgeable consumer bankruptcy attorneys in the U.S., representing thousands of clients in consumer bankruptcy matters. Call us toll-free at 800-383-6004 Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Central Time. For vital information on filing your personal Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy anytime, log onto our easy-to-navigate, interactive website at www.clientfirstbankruptcy.com.