With the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey, the nation seems (once again) to be on edge, and the news channels are (once again) analyzing non-stop the ramifications of it all, what should have been done, what could be done, etc. Fear can run rampant within us if we don’t guard our mind.
I’ll leave the analysis to others, when it comes to how best to secure against these kinds of attacks, and stay in my lane as the person who gets to help you secure against different kinds of dangers (of the financial and taxation kind).
And we pray that justice is done, and the perpetrators of this terroristic garbage are dealt with properly.
In the meantime, let’s do what *we* can do to shore up against those other kinds of thieves I mentioned, about which I have some thoughts today.
But before I get there, a couple reminders:
1) October 17th is the due date for extensions. Less than a month out, so let’s make sure everything on your end is handled. If we’re waiting on you, get your information to us ASAP.
2) That day (10/17) is also the deadline to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for tax year 2015 if you requested an automatic extension of time to file. It’s also the deadline for “recharacterizing” a Roth IRA that you converted from a traditional IRA, back to the traditional format for tax purposes. If you converted one this year, we can take a look at whether it might make sense to undo that conversion.
Now, back to financial security. I’ve written in the past about personal online security, but keeping your affairs secure involves more than simply not falling for online scams. Here’s what I mean (and it’s short and sweet) …
Seven Free Tips For Identity Theft Protection For Southwest Louisiana Individuals & Families
“Not until the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change will you embrace change.” -Dave Ramsey
Yes, commonly-advertised identity theft protection services for regular Southwest Louisiana families can seem like an easy button. But the problem is that many of these products are unnecessary or ineffective, or they duplicate things you can do yourself — for free.
Here are some basic things you can set into place right now, which will cover you in the vast majority of circumstances:
1) Please don’t carry your SSN in your wallet. Ever.
2) Don’t post your full DOB on your social profiles. If you really like the messages on your wall for your birthday, just take out the year at least. (Besides, it makes you more mysterious.)
3) Don’t check your bank balances on public wi-fi.
Even if you do it on a secure connection, hacker programs to “snift” your info are as commonly-accessible as pirated video on the internet. This includes your mobile phone.
4) Um, don’t let your wallet get stolen.
5) In case it does, keep a photocopy of every important item in there.
(Except cash, of course. That’s, well, against the law.)
6) Check your credit annually.
www.AnnualCreditReport.com is the one where you don’t have to pay for it.
7) Shred important stuff you don’t need — including credit card solicitation offers. In fact, you can stop those solicitation offers for good by going here: www.optoutprescreen.com or calling 888-567-8688. Opting out should stop most offers, and it’s free.
There. I said it would be short, sweet, and full of common sense.
Don’t forget — we’re only a phone call or email away, and our consistent question for you is this: “What more could we do for you, to help?”
Joshua L Ortego, CPA