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Spring Clean Your Finances

Greetings!

Most of us find ourselves stuck at home while we continue to practice social distancing measures. Consider using your time at home to work on spring cleaning your financial picture. Like many others, you may have several “to do” items that you have been too busy to complete or forgot about entirely.

With so much uncertainty about the stock market, employment, and the general state of affairs, you might not want to spend a lot of time looking at your investments, budgeting, or related items. There are, however, plenty of other things you can do to help improve your financial foundation. Here’s a list of a few ideas:

Check Your Credit Report

Take advantage of your free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com . This will let you see if companies have made an error in their financial reporting or if anyone has been adding accounts under your identity.

Protect Your Identity

You may also want to contact the major credit bureaus to freeze or restrict your credit. That could help prevent someone from being able to take out a new credit line in your name-just don’t do this if you’re in the middle of applying for a new mortgage or refinance (we suggest waiting until the loan is closed before freezing your credit as to not disrupt the application process).

Each agency may charge a fee for freezing and unfreezing your credit unless you are already the victim of identity theft. However, some credit agencies provide a free service that is similar to freezing your credit. Keep in mind that the time and cost for setting these up are minimal compared to the time and cost of resolving identity theft.

Visit these sites to learn more about freezing your credit:

https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze2

http://www.equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance/?/CreditReportAssistance

https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

https://www.innovis.com/securityFreeze/index

Update Your Passwords

With so many sites requiring passwords, people often create one that they can easily remember and use it for every site they can. The problem is that easily remembered passwords are also easily hacked, and passwords used on multiple sites create more opportunity for thieves. Take the time to create complex passwords and update them every few months. Also, don’t use the same password for all websites. If you’d like to have all of your passwords in one, easily accessible place, consider doing some research for a password manager.

Also, consider using two-factor authentication for all of your accounts (financial, email, Apple/digital products, social media, etc.). With two-factor authentication, you typically get a text or email with a code after you enter your password online. This helps to verify that you are the one trying to access your account. If someone else tries to access your account, you should be immediately aware as you’ll receive a text or email with a verification code.

Check Your Beneficiaries

Yes, it’s a depressing subject during depressing times, but you might need to update the beneficiaries on one or more of your accounts. If the primary beneficiary on all of your accounts continues to meet your estate objectives, consider adding a contingent (or back-up) beneficiary to your accounts in the event your primary beneficiary predeceases you. Consult your financial advisor and estate attorney for tips and strategies to use when selecting beneficiaries-especially if you plan to incorporate charitable giving.

Donate to Charity

One of the provisions of the CARES Act is an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for charitable donations. If you currently are unable to itemize your deductions and have a little extra cash, it might be a great time to give to a charitable organization. Many organizations are doing great work to help people impacted by the coronavirus or its economic impact. Many other organizations are struggling to stay afloat as individual, grant, and corporate donations are drying up. See your tax advisor about the deductibility of your charitable donations.

Set a goal of completing at least one of these items a day. It will help keep this from becoming overwhelming and will help you feel productive about working to improve your financial picture. Contact us with any questions you may have and stay well.

The opinions voiced in this material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice to any individual. Consult your legal, tax, and/or financial advisor to determine what is appropriate for your situation.

PWM


In the News

In case you missed it on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, Woody was recently highlighted in an article by his alma mater about his advocacy and charitable work with the LGBT community as well as his own nonprofit, Paws for a Cause ! Check out the article here.

Away from the Office

May 4th – May 8th

Woody will be out of the office. If you need anything, please contact Debbie at  debbie@partnershipwm.com  or by calling the office.

May 26th – May 29th

Woody will be out of the office. If you need anything, please contact Debbie at  debbie@partnershipwm.com  or by calling the office.

May 25th

Our office will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.

We are always accepting donations for the local animal shelters – toys, tennis balls, collars, leashes, food, cat litter, cardboard trays, office supplies, cleaning supplies, towels, mats, washcloths, etc. We will accept donations Monday-Friday between 9am & 5pm.

Family

Obviously, this has been a difficult time for everyone. Our family included. One bright spot has been a gift that Elise recently received from one of her aunts: a butterfly garden.

A butterfly garden is a kit that includes a jar of five caterpillars with food and a small tent to transition them to as they develop into butterflies. Elise has been watching her jar of caterpillars hourly. We’ve been asked a lot of questions about caterpillars and butterflies over the past week. The most popular question: can I touch them (or some variation) is easily answered-no you may not. Others have required the use of the internet. It’s been a learning activity for the entire two-legged family (Fenway & Roxy aren’t impressed).

Most recently, the caterpillars set in and created their chrysalis. Not remembering basic science from elementary school, I was surprised to learn those are made as the caterpillar sheds its skin. Gross.

They’ll soon become butterflies, live a few days inside their little tent, and then we’re to set them free. Our new house has a screened-in patio, so we’re considering keeping them another day or two in there to create our own butterfly pavilion. In case you ever try this at home, there’s an important safety tip for release-make sure there aren’t any birds in the vicinity. I guess that doesn’t go so well for the butterflies.

Elise is so excited with this that she’s already asked to do it again after her butterflies are set free. Maybe we’ll try tadpoles next.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter!

Best Wishes,

Woody Derricks, CFP®, ADPA®

President

CA Insurance License #0C40217

As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Partnership Wealth Management is committed to providing our clients with financial planning and wealth management services to help them work towards their financial goals. At Partnership Wealth Management, we have a long history of working with the LGBT community. Among the many services we offer are financial planning and estate planning strategies for gay and lesbian couples. Financial planning is an important part of preparing for the future; contact us today to get started.

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Partnership Wealth Management (PWM), is a registered investment advisor located in Maryland. PWM and its representatives are in compliance with the current filing requirements imposed upon registered investment advisors by those jurisdictions in which PWM maintains clients. PWM only transacts business in those states in which it is registered, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements.