1) Quake tax relief
Happy to report a good tax news story whenever I can. Lord knows I could use one.
Lawyers Chapman Tripp, in their latest brief counsel, outline the circumstances under which tax relief can be claimed on earthquake damaged properties.
2) 8 hardest retirement decisions
Putting aside the question of whether to kick the adult children out of the house (do you have a KIPPER?), prospective retirees face a number of other challenges; when to give up work, where to live, whether or not to downsize the house.
Here Investopedia notes the biggies that would be retirees will want to give some thought to, sooner rather than later.
3) Travel insurance, what is it good for?
I've heard some nightmare stories in my day, about how useless travel insurance has proven to be and conversely what a horrendous mistake it is to go without.
One of the worst cases I heard involved an expectant Canadian couple who travelled South for a holiday and went into labour early. The medical costs associated with the U.S.born preemie were astronomical. Personally, I usually give it a pass on domestic trips but when travelling with my kids overseas, bite the bullet. A broken arm is bad enough without having sell a kidney to pay for it.
4) Free advice and financial mentors
I'm not sure what I did right in a past life but I am blessed with the most excellent friends and family many of whom I regard as mentors.
While it's true that some well-meaning advice from those close to you can be misguided, you can usually sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff by looking closely at the source's circumstances. The trick is applying those nuggets of shared financial wisdom to your own situation and not trying to become a mere carbon copy. Easier said than done sometimes. Filtering is the key.
5) Paperless personal finance
Having spent 20 years in the newspaper industry, the transition to online was a shock to the system. Paper has been a fixture of my working life since it began and giving it up hasn't come easy.
As my boss will attest, I've come a long way even if I am the only one in the office with a filing cabinet.
For the benefit of others trying to embrace digital ash over recycling and save a tree or two (for the benefit of that baby monkey pictured above who belongs in one), here's a how-to-go paperless guide from Wealth Informatic$ that includes a component on managing personal finances.