Pricey Liz: I divorced 32 years in the past. Not too long ago, I acquired calls from a group company a couple of debt that has not been paid. I found that my ex used my telephone quantity as certainly one of his contact numbers. My quantity is meant to be unlisted and unpublished, however he discovered it on-line. I’ve stopped receiving calls from the company, however how do I cease this from occurring once more?
Reply: Please verify your credit score stories to ensure your ex didn’t swipe much more delicate digits: particularly, your Social Safety quantity. If his credit score is dangerous, he could also be tempted to fake to be you with a view to get bank cards, loans or different accounts. That’s id theft, and there are steps you must take now to guard your self.
You’ll be able to entry your credit score stories free of charge at AnnualCreditReport.com. (In case you’re requested for a bank card quantity, you’re on the incorrect website.) Search for any accounts that aren’t yours and think about freezing your credit score stories at every of the bureaus. Credit score freezes forestall somebody from opening new accounts in your title. You’ll be able to thaw the freeze everytime you want credit score, additionally free of charge.
You’ll be able to’t forestall somebody from including your telephone quantity to their credit score purposes, however below federal legislation you possibly can inform a group company to cease contacting you, and it should comply. Make the request in writing.
Revenue sharing and retirement
Pricey Liz: I work for a beautiful firm that has a beneficiant revenue sharing plan. I’m 61 years outdated and plan on working till I’m 65 and eligible for Medicare. As a result of some well being points, I’m lowering my hours and it will considerably cut back my earnings for the subsequent 4 years. I believed this was an excellent plan as a result of it retains my medical health insurance intact, however now I’m questioning if the decrease earnings will have an effect on my revenue sharing once I retire. I do know the ultimate distribution is predicated on earnings and time on the job. Ought to I retire now, whereas my earnings is up, or ought to I wait till I’m 65?
Reply: There are numerous transferring elements to any resolution about retirement. How a lot will medical health insurance value and the way will you pay for it? How a lot do you will have saved and the way lengthy are these funds prone to final? What’s the perfect time to use for Social Safety and the way will that have an effect on your retirement fund withdrawals? (It’s usually greatest to delay Social Safety so long as doable and draw down retirement financial savings as an alternative, particularly for those who’re the first earner, however particular person conditions differ.)
Cash is a finite useful resource, however so are time and vitality. Each extra yr you’re employed may put you in higher monetary form, however means one much less yr by which you might be having fun with retirement.
Contemplate speaking to your human assets division to search out out precisely how your diminished hours are prone to have an effect on your revenue sharing payout. Then take these numbers to a fee-only monetary planner who can study the remainder of your funds and speak with you about the perfect glide path into retirement.
Revisiting a Medicare penalty
Pricey Liz: As a county worker of 44 years, I used to be supplied the choice to contribute to Social Safety within the mid-Seventies. It was not obligatory and I declined. Once I retired in 2004, I didn’t apply for Medicare as I wrongly assumed that I might not qualify. I’ve since realized that I can apply for Medicare however that I must pay $499 per thirty days as a late enrollment penalty on prime of the month-to-month premium. Have you learnt any approach that I can get a portion of the late penalty waived?
Reply: As your state of affairs reveals, not getting sound recommendation about Medicare will be costly. Failing to enroll in Half B protection, which pays for physician’s visits, can incur penalties of 10% for every 12 months you have been eligible however didn’t enroll. The penalties are usually everlasting.
There’s an appeals course of, however your probabilities of success might not be nice until you possibly can show that you just delayed enrollment due to dangerous recommendation you bought from a authorities consultant. Medicare has extra info on its website.
Liz Weston, Licensed Monetary Planner, is a private finance columnist for NerdWallet. Questions could also be despatched to her at 3940 Laurel Canyon, No. 238, Studio Metropolis, CA 91604, or by utilizing the “Contact” type at asklizweston.com.