Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts

Oct 3, 2020

Lump Sum or Pension Payments - Which to Choose

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I’m retiring soon and trying to decide whether or not I should take one time lump sum payment or a monthly pension payments until I die.  As with some of you, if I were to die first, my wife would continue to receive part of my pension until she dies. This is a tuff decision and I’m not sure which way to go, here’s what I’m thinking about. 

The big question of course is not knowing how long we are going to live. If you take the lump sum, how much money will you make by investing wisely versus the continued stream of pension payments.

About 20% of the people taking the lump sum, have it gone in five years.  30% of retires with lump sums also worry about running out of money. On the other side you know employers offer lump sum payments for a reason, the lump sum payments help their bottom line not yours.

Pros for Taking the Lump Sum Cash

  • Your Company’s has poor financials and might not back the pension
  • Maybe you have doubts about the management team
  • Are you and investor or work with a credible and trustworthy financial adviser
  • Maybe you don’t really need the money and have retirement covered. Lump sum can give you some fun money to play with

Pros for Taking the Pension

  • Your married and your pension plan offers survivor benefits
  • If you like to buy things and spend money… you can only spend what you have!
  • Significantly less anxiety

I’m going to keep adding to this list so send me your ideas.  My first thought is stay with the pension, but I still have a few weeks to decide.

Beware of Customer Service Scams

Be cautious if you are reaching out to customer service. Need to get a hold of Amazon, Google, Microsoft. We all have a tendency to to a quick Google Search or Siri Search. At the top of the search results screen is a toll free number to call. The problem is that the number is in a paid advertisement where the scammer pays to have their ads listed at the top of the search results. You don’t look carefully and quickly dial the number where you are quickly connected to the fake scam company. They are happy to help you and ask for your credit card number and social security number to verify your account. You’ve just been scammed!

Tips to Prevent Customer Service Scams

  • Go directly to that companies website and look for their contact information.
  • Look for the phone numbers on your paper statements
  • Don’t use Alexa, Siri or OK Google to find customer services numbers or information for you.
  • Check the URL for misspellings or text that just doesn’t look right.
  • Don’t agree to pay for any service that should be free.
  • Don’t EVER give anyone remote access to your computer
  • Reach out to one of your tech savvy relatives to ask any questions if you have suspicion

Some Examples of Customer Service Scams

  • You search for Amazon Customer Service. The link you follow connects to someone who asks you to buy gift cards and give them the numbers to pay for service
  • You search to buy and airline ticket on United Airlines. Follow the wrong link and they take you to a site where you buy a ticket using gift cards.
  • You search for help to fix your iPhone, don’t check carefully and are now dealing with a fraudulent repair center who asks for your credit card information before they start helping you.

Other Topics Relating to Scams:

Sep 10, 2020

Avoid Social Media Scams

Always beware of social media scams. While it’s fun to connect with friends and family, you need to beware of your online presence on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Next Door, Google Hangouts, Words with Friends and more, always keep your guard up. Here are a few social media scamps you should be wary of.

The Gift Card Scam

The gift card scam goes like this. You want to buy something, lets say a puppy and you find a great deal on one of the social media sites. Cute little puppy for a great value. You reach out and the seller asks you pay with gift cards from various stores. They come up with a great excuse on why they need the gift cards. You send them the gift card numbers and they’ll ship you the cute puppy. Your monies gone and guess what, the do never shows up.

The Celebrity Scam

The celebrity scam goes like this. A “Celebrity” reaches out to you and asks for a donation to their favorite charity. They do this through their social media sites. The issue is it’s probably not them and someone has created a spoof site making you believe it’s the celebrity. Before you know it, you’ve made a donation to a celebrity scam. Saw a stat that over 8,000 Americans lost $10,000 in scams in one year resulting in millions of dollars per year in scams.

New Job - First Month’s Pay in Advance

Your on Google Hangouts or Facebook and mention that you need a new job. Someone reaches out to you with a great new position. You talk for a while and they give you and interview. The best part of the deal is they offer to pay you a weeks advance that goes with the new job offer. All they ask is for you to send them a couple hundred dollars to handle the job processing fees and we’ll be good to go. Guess what, your out the money, their check will bounce and you never hear from the company again. Anyone offering a legitimate job will not ask you for money in advance. You’ll have to work first, for which you will receive a pay check.

Word with Friends… Not Really a Friend

My mom loves to play Word with Friends, she plays every night. If you didn’t know it, strangers can reach out to you and ask for a game. The same stranger reaches out to her time after time and before you know it she has a new “friend”. They continue to play and talk about their family. All of a sudden they have a family emergency, maybe they allege their grand child needs an emergency surgery, they ask Mom for $1,000 to help them out. She sends it, just helping a friend. Happens every day of every year. Don’t let this happen to you, don’t send money to people you don’t know!

NextDoor Social Scam

Great app to learn about what’s going on in your neighborhood. Picnics, parties all kinds of run with friends. Contractors also lurk on NextDoor looking for new business victims. They contact you them. They quote your job and ask for a deposit never to be heard from again. Beware!

Facebook Friend Requests

Really simple, only accept friend requests from people you know. If you friend someone you don’t know, they gain access to your profile. Once they know you and who you are, it makes it easier for them to spoof your ID and who your are. Certainly don’t friend a second friend request, could be someone you know who had their account stolen by a Facebook scammer.

More Advice with Online Scams

Online scams are prevalent and fraudsters will do anything to get into your accounts. Here are a few ways you can stop them:

  • Don’t click on pop-ups or attachments if you don’t know who they’re from
  • Never share your password with someone on the phone
  • Don’t allow anyone to control your computer remotely

Other Topics on Scams