out. Opt out of credit card offers, phone solicitations,
and direct mail too. It's very easy to do. Just call(888) 5-OPT-OUT
or (888) 567-8688)o opt out of getting unsolicited credit and insurance
offers. Then scoot over to the FTC
site to register your phone numbers on the do not call list.
Finally, although it costs a buck, you can register with the Direct
Marketing Association to reduce the number of consumer mailings
you receive. It may be overkill if you've frozen your credit
report, but not getting all that junk mail and nuisance telephone
calls is a wonderful thing. Now if only the Sunday newspaper
had more articles than advertising.
on health. My junior high school health teacher, Mr. Andrew
Codispoti, was constantly telling his students, "Health is
wealth; all the money in the world can't buy health." As the
boomers who spent their youth in the 1960s approach their 60s it's
a good time to reflect on what all of us can do to improve our health.
Fad diets and best intentions aren't the answer. A healthy diet
and an exercise program that you can stick with through the year
works. Personally, I plan to schedule some long overdue appointments
with doctors to get a professional opinion on the state of my health
and work on that healthy diet and exercise program in months that
don't end in "a-r-y."
your portfolio. The stock market has been very good this
year. OK, not as good as the late '90s, but most of the major
U.S. indexes had double-digit returns year to date through mid-December.
Investment allocations in financial securities are
typically split between stocks, bonds and cash. Cash is financial
shorthand for money market debt investments with a final maturity
of a year or less. The investment allocation that's right for
you will depend on your risk tolerance, investment goals and market
outlook. You may decide that an allocation of 50 percent stocks,
30 percent bonds and 20 percent cash is right for you. If this year's
stock performance brought your stock allocation up to 60 percent,
then rebalancing the portfolio will get you back to your target
For the do-it-yourselfer, there are a host of asset
allocation work sheets available on the Web. SmartMoney.com offers two -- one for people approaching retirement and one for
Taxes and other considerations, such as estate planning,
can influence your desire and ability to rebalance your portfolio. It's
a good idea to consult with your financial planning professional
and tax adviser before reallocating your investments.
a list. Put together a list of your accounts, insurance policies
and other financial matters, such as where you keep your will.
Don't have a will? Find a way to get one. This list will be
invaluable to your family if you become incapacitated or die.
They'll have enough to deal with without trying to piece together
the puzzle of your finances. If you already have a list, take the
time to review and update it to keep it current.
Bonus! Be a part of your community. Everyone wants to live in a great community,
but people, not houses, make a community great. Be a better person and you get
a better community. Volunteer your time and get involved in your community. You'll
make a difference and feel great doing it.
To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask
the Experts" page and select one of these topics: "financing
a home," "saving & investing" or "money."