Moneymentals | Our Blog


How Do I Check My Credit Report?

credithistorySeeing a doctor for a checkup usually isn’t something to look forward to, and going to the dentist can be just as bad! Hopefully we get a clean bill of health and move on with our lives. Yet many times it becomes obvious that the routine visit was worth it. It’s the same with doing a credit report check.

Checking your credit report allows you to make sure your records are accurate and look for credit-related fraud. Your credit report directly impacts your credit score, which I’ll discuss in a later blog.

Three Free Reports Each Year

The three consumer credit reporting agencies - TransUnion®, Experian® and Equifax® - are each required by law to give you a free credit report once a year. You can use AnnualCreditReport.com to order your credit report from any of them. The site also allows you to order credit reports by phone or mail.

Other sites might provide free credit reports, but they’re usually not truly free. Offers are often linked to trying a certain credit-monitoring service.

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How Do I Rollover My 401(k)?

401kGood-byes aren’t always pleasant. Some people prefer to avoid them. However, when it comes to leaving an employer, one very positive thing is money you’ve accumulated if you’ve participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Whether you have a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 retirement account, that money is part of your financial freedom.

Perhaps you recently left your employer. Maybe you have old retirement accounts with previous employers or are now working past retirement age. If so, you’re eligible to roll your employer-sponsored retirement plan over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Why Do a Rollover?

Any time you have the opportunity to roll over a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan, take advantage of that. You get more flexible investment options, more control and usually lower expenses.

I’ll be referring to 401(k) accounts in this blog, but the same or similar guidelines apply to 403(b) and 457 accounts also.

 

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How Do I Set Up Automatic Investing for My IRA?

smartpigLife is full of to-do lists, whether they’re electronic, on paper or in our heads. If you’re not contributing regularly to your IRA, why not get that off your list? Take the opportunity today to set up an automatic investment plan.

This is the promised sequel to my blog How Do I Open an IRA? Once your IRA is open, it’s human nature to make a few contributions, then either forget, procrastinate or have difficulties finding the time. I encourage people to “save mindlessly and spend consciously.” Automation is all about making saving your default option.

Automatic Investments: More than Transferring Money

With automatic investments, you automatically transfer money and invest it in the market in a single step. Most firms allow for automatic transfers from your bank to your IRA, but only some will automatically invest that money for you at the time of the transfer. Financial institutions offering automatic investing are usually mutual fund companies and larger brokerages.

Whether or not the money is invested, your first objective is setting up automatic transfers from your bank account to your IRA account on a regular basis. This might be weekly, bimonthly or every quarter, but in this blog we’ll say monthly. If you transfer money without investing it, it will likely go into your IRA’s money market account and earn minimal interest until you invest it manually.

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