What To Do If Social Security Card Is Stolen

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

I have a friend who insists on carrying her social security card in her wallet. I have (repeatedly) tried to warn her of the dangers of that practice. I have explained to her that the social security card is the single biggest piece of information that could do damage if someone gets a hold of it. So, for her, the question of what to do if social security card is stolen may come true sooner rather than later.

There are many steps you can take to protect your precious information, including your social security number. If you take the precautions you may never have to worry about what to do if social security card is stolen.

Here is the number one way you can protect your social security card, as well as all your important information:

1. Never carry your social security card in your wallet. Why would you want to anyway? You don’t need it. You can just memorize the number and put the card away.

2. Put your social security card, as well as all important documents and unused credit cards, in a safe place. That safe place may be a safe deposit box or a safe right in your own home.

These small water proof and fire proof safes don’t cost very much but they can be very valuable in protecting your information.

If possible, bolt the safe to the floor so it is difficult to steal.

3. If you have any insurance or Medicaid cards that use your social security number as your identification number, you need to be careful with that too. Unlike your social security card, which doesn’t need to be carried with you, you do need to carry these insurance cards with you.

For that reason it is important to make sure that the ID numbers on those cards, that are actually your social security number, will be kept safe.

One thing you can do is make a copy of the front and back side of your insurance or Medicaid card. Then you can black out or cut out the last four digits of your social security / identification number.

Then just keep that piece of paper in your wallet or cut out both sides and tape or glue them together to make your own “card”.

The government, as well as top insurance companies, are starting to realize that this can put your social security number in danger and will eventually do away with using these numbers as ID numbers.

Until they do though, you can use this method to protect that number and still have your cards with you.

If your social security card is lost despite all your best efforts, you need to contact all 3 credit bureaus since the number can be used to steal your identity. Also, contact your local police department and file a report about your loss.

Hopefully, the information in this article will help you keep your social security card from being lost or stolen. And failing that, will help you know what to do if social security card is stolen.

Stock Market Terminology You Must Know

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Whenever you get involved with anything new one of the first things you need to do is to learn the terminology associated with that activity. All businesses, industries and even most sports have their own lingo. You can’t be successful if you don’t even know what people are talking about. For that reason you need to know stock market terminology.

In order to participate in the markets you need to know stock market terminology. This needs to be your first step when you are starting off learning about investing. If you don’t even know what a given word or phrase means, you will never be able to learn everything you need to know in order to be successful.

There are many places you can turn to not only learn the lingo but also learn far more complex aspects to investing in the stock market.

As a matter of fact, using more than one source to gain your education can be a great idea. Much of what you learn will be the same from one platform to another, but many people have added their own unique spin on some of the information.

Having more than one viewpoint may help make you a better investor since it will allow you to get a broader picture of how everything goes together.

This knowledge will set you off on the right path. As you gain experience you will no doubt add your own personal ideas and ways of doing things to the mix.

So, where do you turn for this information in the first place? Well the answer will depend largely on who you are, how you prefer to learn as well as how much you want to learn.

If you only want to learn the lingo there are many books or websites that will have such basic information available.

If you want to learn about the best ways to actually invest and you want to know how the successful investors of the day are making money than you should check to see if those highly successful investors have a website or a course for others to learn from.

Otherwise a trip to your local library might be in order. There a many books, audios and even home study courses that will walk you through the basics. As you get more advanced you can also find many of the same types of resources to take your knowledge to the next level.

And of course, you can always check with your local college to see if they offer any classes on investing.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a lot of different types of investing and you may not want to learn all the lingo for every type of investing. For example, buying stocks will have terminology that doesn’t relate to buying real estate.

Once you have a basic understanding of some of the terms you may even want to get in the habit of reading some of the top investing papers and magazines. This repetition will allow it to sink in more completely. Just immerse yourself in the world of investing to learn all you can in addition to your other educational resources.

It will likely take time to know stock market terminology since it will be similar to actually learning another language, but the education is crucial. You can’t learn anything more if you don’t even know the basic language.

Money Market Savings Account

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Today it seems that more and more people are taking more responsibility with their finances. One of the big changes we see is that many people are getting clear of debt and are trying to save more. One way they are saving more is to open a money market savings account.

But what is a money market savings account and how does it differ from a regular savings account or certificates of deposit?

Well, for one thing, a money market account is a form of savings that is not nearly as safe and secure as a traditional savings account.

With a traditional savings account your money is insured by the federal government up to a certain limit. You know it is safe. But it won’t earn you much in the way of interest.

A money market is when the bank takes the money you have deposited and invests it in the stock market. As you can imagine, there is the possibility that you can earn a lot more than you would with a traditional savings account, but there is also the very real risk that you can lose your money if the stocks that your money is invested in takes a dive.

Another big different between a traditional savings account and a money market account is the amount you will need for your opening balance.

Most savings account can be opened for around $100, but a money market will need between $1,000 and sometimes more in order to open the account. This might be yet another possible reason why a money market account is not right for you at this point in time.

A money market can be pretty liquid. Most banks will allow you around 5 or 6 withdrawals per month. Compared to a cd, for example, that is liquid. Of course the number of withdrawals you are allowed monthly will vary from one financial institution to another.

That is yet one more thing you will need to compare from one bank or credit union to another. With a money market account you are also allowed to write checks on the account. Though the number of checks you can write monthly is pretty limited, usually only 3 per month.

You will also be likely to get an ATM card with your money market. This makes it easier to get your money when you need it. Check with your bank to be sure, but generally any ATM transactions will be counted in your total number of allowed withdrawals.

Money markets will also require you to maintain a minimum balance. If your account ever gets below that amount you will be assessed a fee. Make sure you inquire as to what the minimum balance needs to be as well as what the fee will be if you fall below that point.

A money market savings account does have a lot of advantages but it comes with risks too. Make sure you ask questions so that you fully understand this type of savings vehicle.