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Updated 10/10/2017

by Corey Callaway

Here is an Eye Opener!

If you have a child over the age of eighteen, your child is considered an adult.  That is an obvious statement.  And you are probably thinking, “Tell me something I do not already know”.

Well, here it is.  If your “adult” child is off to college away from home, on a trip out of town, or out of state.  And your “adult” child is taken to the hospital due to an injury or sickness.  You will not have access to any medical records, medical decisions, or any access that concerns your “adult” child’s health and welfare.

Stop and let that sink in.  Your child who you more than likely still support financially.  Are still paying for their education.  Is in the hospital injured or sick and you have absolutely no input nor control of the wellbeing.  Let us take it a step further, your child is incapacitated and unconscious.

Your child’s life is in the hands of the doctors and the hospital.  And you can do nothing about it.

I was just made aware of this recently.  My son is nineteen and type one diabetic.  There are many things that could happen to him while he is at college or at work.

Due to HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, our medical information is kept private.  This is something that everybody wants.  But, as usual, our legislators do not read between the lines.  And due to that, the aforementioned problem(s) can occur.

Your adult child has rights to privacy.  And due to the law, and of course our litigious society, the Doctors and the Hospitals will not over step their bounds due to the possibility of future lawsuits.

What can you do about it?

There are three documents you need to have.  As of this writing, my wife and I have one.  We need to get the other two completed.

  1. HIPAA Release:HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) requires health care providers and insurance companies to protect the privacy of patient’s health care information. Those who violate HIPAA are subject to civil and criminal penalties, including jail time, which makes them reluctant to share protected health information without an authorization. While it’s true an agent under a Medical Power of Attorney has the authority to view the principal’s medical records, the Medical Power of Attorney does not grant authority to the agent until the principal is incapacitated. If capacity is questioned, then HIPAA regulations would prevent access to protected health information. This means that even parents may be prevented from accessing their children’s medical information without an authorization. By signing a HIPPA release your child can authorize doctors to share diagnoses and treatment options with you the parent.

 

  1. Durable Power of Attorney:The Durable Power of Attorney will allow your child to authorize you to manage his or her financial affairs either immediately or in the future should he or she become mentally or physically unable to do so. This would authorize you to handle tasks such as paying bills, applying for social security or government benefits and opening and closing accounts if necessary.

 

  1. Medical Power of Attorney:The Medical Power of Attorney allows your child to authorize you to make medical decisions if he or she is incapacitated and unable to do so. An agent acting under a Medical Power of Attorney is authorized to see the principal’s medical records to make informed medical decisions on his or her behalf.

 

Another note you may need to be aware of.  When you are completing these documents and God forbid need to use them.  Be aware of the difference between “consent” and “authorization” under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

The Privacy Rule permits, but does not require, a covered entity voluntarily to obtain patient consent for uses and disclosures of protected health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations. Covered entities that do so have complete discretion to design a process that best suits their needs.

By contrast, an “authorization” is required by the Privacy Rule for uses and disclosures of protected health information not otherwise allowed by the Rule. Where the Privacy Rule requires patient authorization, voluntary consent is not sufficient to permit a use or disclosure of protected health information unless it also satisfies the requirements of a valid authorization. An authorization is a detailed document that gives covered entities permission to use protected health information for specified purposes, which are generally other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or to disclose protected health information to a third party specified by the individual.

An authorization must specify a number of elements, including a description of the protected health information to be used and disclosed, the person authorized to make the use or disclosure, the person to whom the covered entity may make the disclosure, an expiration date, and, in some cases, the purpose for which the information may be used or disclosed. With limited exceptions, covered entities may not condition treatment or coverage on the individual providing an authorization.

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 26, 2013

These three documents are easy to prepare and are relatively inexpensive. If you have a child that has headed off to college this year or out and about traveling the U.S., it’s important that you discuss the importance of these documents with him or her.

Please be aware I am not an attorney.  I suggest that you consult with yours.

Lastly, if your “adult” child is traveling outside of the U.S., you should consult with someone knowledgeable of the rules in the countries being traveled.

Be safe.

Corey N. Callaway
Investment Advisor Representative

 

 

Updated 09/22/2017

SEPTEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER

by Joni Wilson

ADVICE CENTER

STAY SECURE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

www.staysafeonline.org

SOCIAL NETWORKS

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other social networks have become an integral part of online lives. Social networks are a great way to stay connected with others, but you should be wary about how much personal information you post.

HAVE YOUR FAMILY FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO SAFELY ENJOY SOCIAL NETWORKING:

Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.

Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. Recent research found that 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.

Your online reputation can be a good thing: Recent research also found that recruiters respond to a strong, positive personal brand online. So show your smarts, thoughtfulness, and mastery of the environment.

Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking.

Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages. If you’re trying to create a public persona as a blogger or expert, create an open profile or a “fan” page that encourages broad participation and limits personal information. Use your personal profile to keep your real friends (the ones you know trust) more synched up with your daily life.

Be honest if you’re uncomfortable: If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or you think is inappropriate, let them know. Likewise, stay open-minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them respect those differences.

Know what action to take: If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them, and report them to the site administrator.

PROTECT YOURSELF WITH THESE STOP. THINK. CONNECT. TIPS:

Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.

Own your online presence: When applicable, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.

Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!

Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

Post only about others as you have them post about you. The Golden Rule applies online as well.

Updated 09/20/2017

by Corey N. Callaway

Don’t Rely on the Lottery for Your Financial Plan

See how my video compares to Fox Business’ video news segment.

In the last two month’s I have been running an advertisement on Facebook.  I have a video of myself comparing many people who are betting on the lottery for their financial future versus planning a financially sound future.

If you go to the following link, http://my.accessmobilewebsite.com/m/41630, you will see my video and if you would like, continue to my financial planning tool that is located on my website.  Or you can watch the video for comparison only.

When I say watch the video in comparison, I am referring to the Fox Business news segment that details the same comparison of winning the lottery vs. a sound financial plan.  See the video link below.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/5547895831001/?#sp=show-clips

The Fox Business video appeared a month after my advertisement began.  I find it amusing and coincidental Fox Business is thinking along the same lines as me.  Or me as them.  But I was first.

To wrap my message up, you need to start planning now and stop wasting your money on the lottery.

Some of you are a spending a part of the $73.8 billion each year on the Lottery with virtually no chance of a successful outcome.  Your odds are much better to start a sound financial plan today.

I do have a planning tool available online.  It also has a debt planning module for those of you who may be upside down and do not think you can ever begin to save for your future.

Start planning for your future today

 

Updated 08/22/2017

by Corey N. Callaway

Rules to Live by When Investing in Real Estate

Over the years of my career I have had clients discuss with me their desire to invest in real estate.  In most cases rent houses and or duplexes.  For those of you who do not know I have owned rental properties and have had my fair share of experiences both good and bad.

I the other day was visiting a realtor friend, Dick Gann a member of Arlington Business Professionals, and I asked him for a list of his rules of investing in real estate.  Here is a synopsis of what he gave me.

  • When do you make money on real estate? You make your money when you buy it.  If you don’t buy it right, your investment will take much longer, if ever, to pay off.  This does not necessarily mean you buy for pennies on the dollar…, it may mean you buy at the right time, right interest rate, or right location.
  • Do not listen to “Uncle Joe”, your brother-in-law, or other friend that does not have any money. Find an EXPERIENCED professional and get good information, then make informed decisions.
  • Decide up front before entering the transaction whether you will manage the property yourself, or if you will hire a property manager.

If you manage the property yourself, you will invest your time in addition to your money, and you will recoup your investment sooner.  If you do manage the property yourself follow a pattern and be consistent.

  • Do your background checks – Check their employment, check their previous rental history, check their credit. Get written permission to do so.
  • Deposit Money – If they don’t have enough money for the deposit & the first month’s rent, do not rent to them. . . Just Don’t!
  • Lease Agreement – Know what your Lease agreement says, know what it means, and enforce it.
  • Important – Write into the Lease that you will pick up the rent check every month. You will do so while you are changing the Air Conditioning filter. You will advise them that you will check all of the plumbing fixtures and you will change the AC filter every month.  Tell them that you do so to protect your investment.  Tell them you will inspect every room while you are there.  Lastly, tell them they need to advise you of any needed repairs beforehand.

(if you are not willing to take the 1 or 2 hours per month to protect your investment, do not get into the business)

  • Know the relevant laws – From time to time some of the judges in the civil courts will hold a landlord and tenants meeting. This is done to clarify the laws regarding the proper and legal management of a rental property and the laws and remedies for the tenants.
  • If property management is not your cup of tea. It is perfectly acceptable to use a property manager.  You need to make sure they will make the monthly visits as detailed in Number 5. The property manager needs to earn their money and protect your investment too.  Otherwise they are not the right manager for you.
  • Know the money – The best way to buy is to pay cash. Yes, pull that $150k out and pay cash. You will make more money from one month’s rent than you will earn in interest all year, and if you take care of your property it will increase in value, and pay you dividends every month. Eight to ten years later you will have recouped all your investment, and own a property that is worth more than you paid for it.

If you use a management company, it will take 12 to 14 years to recoup your initial investment.  But that is not bad.

  • What if you don’t have the money to pay cash? Buy it right, take care of it, manage your tenants (be kind but manage them), and eventually you will have allowed the tenant to purchase the property for you.

The following are my additions to Dick Gann’s very important list.

  • Leverage – If you do borrow money to purchase the property, be careful of being over leveraged. Too much debt will strangle your cash flow.
  • Be your own handyman – You will save a fortune if you learn to repair most of the basic mundane repairs. Repairs such as paint, simple plumbing and electric, and cabinetry.  Also, when the tenant turns over do you own clean up and make ready.  Another note about doing it yourself.  If you screw up the repair, you can learn from your error and repeat the repair, have spent less money that hiring someone and cover the cost of your tools.  I have plenty of tools.

By being your own handyman, you keep more money that goes straight to your bottom line profits.

  • Learn the eviction process. If you go to your local court house and request the kit, you will have all the forms, instructions and procedures you need to complete the eviction yourself.  Personally, this was the one thing I hated the most.  It is gut wrenching to me to stand before the judge and must listen to the half-truths and out and out lies a soon to be ex-tenant will say about you.

But you must know that bad things happen to good people.  And many people are one financial hardship away from not being able to pay their rent.  When that happens, no matter how good your relationship with the tenant is or was, you are the bad guy (the landlord) and many times the tenant will take their anger out on the property you own.  There are legal remedies for damages to your property, but if the tenant has nothing you will get nothing.

  • Have a working capital account for the in editable bad tenant. Do not get me wrong, there are some great people out there and they are wonderful tenants.  But if you own property long enough, you will rent to a bad one.  Therefore, have money set aside to deal with a month or two or three of no rent.  Also, have money for cleanup and repairs.  You will need this even if you do the work yourself.
  • Have a belly full of ice cubes, a strong fortitude. You will need it.

I do not want to end on a sour note.  If you ever read the list of Forbes Magazine’s wealthiest people, you will find many made their fortune in real estate.  In fact, I believe our current president did so too.

And if investing in real estate does not suit you I can help you with traditional investments and securities.  If real estate does suit you and you need a place to put your cash and profits until you buy another property, I can assist you too.

 

 

Updated 06/06/17

by Corey N. Callaway

Do Not Forget to Mention Those Nondeductible IRA Contributions to Your Tax Preparer

There are many of you who still contribute to your IRA annually.  And there are those of you who continue to contribute to your IRAs whose income falls in and around the Modified Adjusted Gross Income Limit.

This is the IRS limit where the taxpayer that is covered by an employer sponsored retirement plan begins to lose the deductibility of their Traditional IRA contribution.

The Modified Adjusted Gross Income Limit of a single tax filer is $56,000.  The income limit of joint tax filers is $98,000 for the tax year of 2016.

This complicates saving for retirement and many times dissuades savers from contributing to an IRA.  In addition, the income levels change every so often due to the cost of living adjustments.

Thus, making things ridiculously complex.

There are those of you who fall in this category who fail to mention to your CPA that you have made an IRA contribution despite not being able to deduct the contribution. Then there are those who file their returns themselves may often ignore the over contribution and go their merry way.

Some of you may ask, if there is no immediate tax benefit for a contribution, why contribute to the IRA?  Because at least the growth on that amount can sheltered inside the IRA until it is withdrawn.  Therefore, if you are a saver, this is the first place to set aside some money.  A vehicle that earns tax deferred.

You also need to know that the growth (earnings) on nondeductible contributions are taxable when withdrawn.  Yet, the contribution itself (the principal) is withdrawn tax free.  The distribution is made on a pro rata basis with any pretax funds in the IRA.  That is the reason why you need to tell your tax preparer about the nondeductible contributions.  How else can the IRS know that there is after-tax money inside the IRA?

Also, the over contributions can be removed from the IRA without penalty, but many times are not.  Leaving the you the saver at risk of being taxed a second time on the same dollars’ years later plus a penalty if withdrawn prior to 59 1/2.  That gets very expensive.

IRA accounts spread across firms:

You cannot expect the IRA trustee or custodian to report the taxable and tax-free portions of IRA withdrawals.  The IRA custodian does not necessarily (if ever) know that the client did not take a tax deduction for his or her IRA contribution.  Even if they do know, the prorate rule applies to all IRAs owned by the taxpayer, so when IRAs are spread across multiple firms or custodians, there is no way a custodian could calculate the tax-free portion of the withdrawal.

The onus is on you.

This is where IRS Form 8606 comes in.  It is a form that serves multiple purposes.  First, it is used to inform the IRS you have made a nondeductible contribution to your traditional IRA.  It is also used to track those contributions over time by keeping a running total.  Every year you make a nondeductible IRA contribution, you need to complete this form.

Second, the form is used for the pro rata calculation which is needed to figure out the tax-exempt portion to the IRA withdrawal.  The form also assists in tracking the amount of contributions remaining in the IRA after each withdrawal.  And is used to recalculate the tax-free percentage each year.

If you have been making nondeductible contributions for years and have never filed, it is not too late.

IRS allows you to file form 8606 for prior years to catch up on your reporting.  But, you must use the form for the year the contribution was made.  This means digging for old IRS forms online.  Also, there is a $50 penalty for late filings.  But that penalty will probably be money well spent.

So, while you may think you are doing your tax preparer a favor by not mentioning the nondeductible IRA contributions, you are only hurting yourself.

I recently ran across an article discussing this dilemma.  I hope some of you have found this information useful.

 

Updated 05/11/2017

8 Tips for an Organized Financial Life

By Kent Couch of Paraclete Ventures, LLC

Organization is the key to a stress-free financial life. When you become organized, you will always know where you stand financially, there will be no worries about missed bill payments, and tax preparation at year-end will be a snap. We strongly recommend you plan your systems discussed below in advance and prepare ahead to start at the beginning of a calendar year.

Tip #1 Dedicate a Personal Finance Work Space: Gather all of your bills and other financial documents and find a place you can call their home. A desk or workspace dedicated just for personal financial activity is ideal. You should locate your personal computer and a handy shredder in the same area as well. Have an “Inbox” for all financial correspondence. Bills, renewals, receipts, insurance EOBs, check copies, deposit receipts, paystubs, warranties and any other relevant financial correspondence should go in the Inbox so that they can be sorted, paid, recorded, acted upon and filed or scanned. Never toss financial documents on a table, countertop, or general catch-all space. That is how payments are missed and important documents are lost. Act on your Inbox at least twice weekly. Whatever you decide regarding cleaning your Inbox, make a regular schedule and stick to it.

Tip #2 Bite the Bullet and Go Digital: The best decision you can make is to first invest in personal financial software to track your budget, bank accounts, investments and bill paying. Automated account reconciliations make that grueling process a snap. We use Quicken, but there are other viable options as well, some completely in the cloud that you may want to consider. Also, consider beginning your financial organization process with a high speed digital document and receipt scanner like the ScanSnap made by Fujitsu. Scan every document from your inbox and shred or throw the paper away. We only retain and set up analog files for original contracts, tax returns, insurance policies, wills and similar documents. The scanners will recognize each character and word on a receipt or document and create a database that is searchable and fast for retrieval. The IRS accepts digital scans in lieu of originals.

Tip#3 Make the Most of Personal Financial Software: Personal financial software will help immensely to keep you organized and provide valuable and useful information if you take the time up-front to set everything up as your software vendor recommends. Record all regular recurring payments so you will be prompted in advance of their due date and never miss a bill. Categorize each payment and transaction when it is entered, so that at tax time, the numbers you need for your return are just a report away. As you set up your categories, think of the IRS 1040 when assigning category names and organize accordingly. The default settings in the software generally do this for you, although we have found it helpful to further break out medical expenses as requested on the IRS 1040 Schedule A.

Tip #4 Reduce the Number of Banking Accounts and Consolidate Institutions: Begin organizing by reducing to a minimum the number of checking, savings, money market, credit card and investment accounts into one or two institutions. We are proponents of credit unions or small local banks that offer full-service banking. You will save significant money on fees and interest rates over the long haul. Find one credit union or local bank where you can consolidate all of your accounts, except perhaps those managed by an investment advisor. There should be no need for more than those two institutions to hold and manage your working assets and loans.

Tip#5 Always Verify Direct Deposits: Before writing bills or making a bank transaction that depends on a direct deposit like payroll or government benefits for funding, always check your bank to verify that the required deposit has been made. Mistakes are made and failure to have funds in the bank can be a costly mistake.

Tip #6 Create and Continue to Build Information and Data Storage: Information and data are key to getting things done efficiently and quickly. Having the right person or company, login ID or Password info at your fingertips is critical to saving time and frustration. Each time you have to search for a company representative, phone number, website or address, record that in the contact manager of your choice and keep it handy. The same goes for personal friends and business associates. We recommend Google and its free suite of applications for maintaining contacts, email addresses, calendar entries and task lists. The information is stored in the cloud and accessible anytime you have access to a WiFi or Internet compatible device. We also strongly recommend the use of an encrypted password bank to store login ID’s, passwords, personal information, special codes, lock combinations, etc. One password is required for you to remember in order to access all of the other entries. Ours measure into the hundreds. We have successfully used MSecure on both the PC and iPhone platforms.

Tip#7 Pay Bills Using On-line Banking Whenever Possible: Almost all banks have now developed and implemented viable on-line systems that will allow for automated bill payments via bank issued check or funds transfer. Use the service whenever possible to guarantee payment when promised and fund any postage if necessary on the bank’s nickel. The service is generally offered at no additional charge to bank customers. See our previous blog at http://goo.gl/nfI2Rw.

Tip #8 Maintain Quality Data Backups: If you decide to go digital, organized and regular backups for all digital data are critical. Follow the software vendor recommendations for backing up program data and follow through regularly as instructed. A regular offsite backup is also recommended, whether you partner with another family member to store each other’s data via internet transfer (like CrashPlan), or use a paid on-line cloud service like Carbonite or SpiderOak. I am impressed with SpiderOak because of its excellent encrypted security features and inability for anyone (including SpiderOak!) to access the backup data stored in the Cloud.

Finally, if all this is overwhelming or just too much to consider, retain the services of a Daily Money Manager to handle it all for you. The time you would spend on personal finance could then be put to use as time toward your day job, an entrepreneurial endeavor, or better yet, rest and relaxation! …just a thought!

Kent Couch is the Principal Partner at Paraclete Ventures LLC, a Daily Money Management firm serving Seniors and Busy Professionals in the Arlington, Mansfield and Tarrant County, Texas area.

Updated 05/10/2017

Are you Prepared for Disaster?

We are very busy in our day to day lives and day to day tasks.  We easily ignore the many risks we face.  Have you thought of what would happen if a pipe or water heater busted and flooded your home, or in my recent case one of my office suites?  Do you have the right insurance?  Is the deductible too high?  What data could you lose if your computer got wet and shorted out?

My tenant and I have been working through this in the last week and a half.  Five a.m. I was called by my tenant to find that water was gushing from the ceiling.  It was not raining outside.

I rushed to get to the office, took a quick look at where the water was coming from and climbed into the attic and shut the water valve to the water heater off.  Lucky for me the valve worked.  I have been in situations where the valve was stuck.  It was great fun.  (Sarcasm)

We had an inch or more of water in the entire office suite and a small amount of water seeping into the next suite.

I contacted my agent who was awake and took my call early in the morning.  She gave me a name of an individual who owned a remediation company.  He showed up within an hour of the call.  His employees began to show up and started cleaning up the water.

My tenant lost one monitor but luckily did not lose any PCs nor the server.  As we all know loss of data can be disastrous if not very costly.

The office took five days to dry out with the use of fans and de-humidifiers after the water was vacuumed up.

The plumber was there on the first day and had the water heater replaced on the next.

The take away:

Look around at your office or home and determine what risks you may face in the event of a water pipe or water heater failing.  Even worst, a fire.

Make sure you have adequate insurance.  Also, make sure you can afford the deductible in the event you have a claim.

Make sure you have a backup of your data.  Preferably a dual back up.  One on site and one in the cloud, encrypted.

Make sure your electronics, most importantly your PCs are not on the floor.  Also, make sure the power supplies nor isobars are not on the floor.  My tenant had two PCs on the floor and was lucky that they did not short out.  Only one isobar strip shorted and took out a monitor.

Check the age of your water heater.  If you are not sure if it is too old, contact and consult with a trusted plumber.

If you are a renter and you rent your home or your office, purchase renters insurance.  It is cheap and it will cover your valuables and protect you from liability for incidents caused by your negligence.

Take time now to be sure you can withstand a disaster.

Corey N. Callaway
Registered Investment Advisor
CFS Advisors, LLC
http://cc817.biz

 

Updated 04/01/2017

 

You Need to Keep Track of Your Investments

The purpose of the title of this blog is to bring up a relatively new concern that you should be aware of.  The States, as in the State of Texas in our case, have added a new layer of work for us in the brokerage industry.  I am certain it apples to the banking and insurance industries as well.

If a statement of your account is mailed to you and the statement is returned to the sender.  If it is returned a second or third time, depending on the custodian holding the account, we the advisor or securities broker are notified and are required to contact you.  We are supposed to make sure you have not moved or determine if the mailing address is correct.

If we are unable to contact you and verify where you are, your investment account will be escheated to the State.  Which means our state government will take your money.

You may inadvertently be funding a Texas highway or bridge.

In the State’s need for more revenue, they have stepped up and forced us to become more proactive to determine if you can be found.

Our Post Office is part of the problem as well.

I have had one of my investment accounts put on restriction because a statement was sent back to the custodian.  I have not moved in 24 years.  And all of my other statements were delivered.  But due to the statement being returned to the custodian I had to go through the motions to prove that the address of record was correct.

What does this mean to you? 

If you have an old 401(k) account you have been ignoring, (many people have multiple 401(k) accounts residing at past employers), and you move to a new residence and have not changed your address of record.  You may potentially lose your money.

If you still read the newspaper, yes I said paper, you might get lucky and find your name on the list of those that have funds held by the state.

But, if it is a 401(k), an IRA, or even a regular investment account, you have not only potentially lost your money.  Upon recapture of those funds you have most probably triggered a taxable event.

Therefore, to add insult to injury, you incurred more expense in your time wasted and must pay an income tax on those funds.

Be proactive.  Keep track of your investment accounts.  Notify your advisor, broker or the Human Resource Department of prior employers that still hold your 401(k) account(s) that you have changed address.

And when you change jobs, it is our opinion that you should rollover your 401(k) to a self-directed IRA. It is the best action to take and maintain control over your money.  There are several reasons to set up a self-directed IRA in addition to the aforementioned.

When you change jobs and leave behind a 401(k).  In most likelihood no one is managing it for you.  Your allocation may be out of balance.  Your risk level may become higher due to your equity funds growing more than your bond funds.  As you age your risk tolerance may also change and your account may not be in sync with your new risk level.

These days many of you change employers often, you tend to leave a string of 401(k)s scattered amongst those employers.  That multiplies the amount of money you have left unwatched, unmanaged and ignored.  What do you think your rate of return, long term, will be?

The cost of having those multiple accounts will further erode your funds.  There are fees that are duplicated from 401(k) to 401(k), IRA to IRA.

By combining all of your 401(k)s and traditional IRAs into one account you will reduce asset charges, custodial fees, administrative fees and commissions.  You will also be able to better diversify your investments and create more latitude in types of investments that will now be made available to you within the self-directed IRA.

I call upon to you to find those old 401(k) and IRA statements.  And any other investment statements.  Make sure the mailing address is current on all of them and that you are currently receiving those statements.

If you are set up to receive them electronically, then be sure to log onto the account and verify that your information is up to date.

And lastly, if you have a number of accounts that need to be combined, by all means please contact us so that we can help you combine them and or roll them over to an IRA.

Corey N. Callaway
Registered Investment Advisor
CFS Advisors, LLC
http://cc817.biz