Newsletter for October 2002

Before doing business with you, mortgage companies and other lenders review the personal credit reports that one or more Consumer Reporting Agencies have compiled under your name. Protect your financial future by reviewing these reports for fraud and error - this month's Featured Question shows you how. Browse the Article Briefings to survey highlights from recent retirement and financial news, including proposed changes to social security, employee education, diminishing health benefits for retirees, the "solo" 401(k), and one source of the unexpected shortfall that many retirees are facing.

Featured Question of the Month
Monitor and Correct Your Credit Reports

Article Briefings
Social Security's Future on Voters' Minds
Back to Basics
Health Insurance Cuts Hurt Retirees
401(k) Scramble; Is (k) for (k)aput?
Repairing the Damage to Your Nest Egg
Can DC and DB Plans Offer Actuarial Fairness? Absolutely!

Resource Link
The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Q: How is my credit history report generated? What is in this report, and who has access to the information it contains?

A: Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) collect and release information on nearly everyone. If you have ever applied for credit, insurance, or a job, a file exists with your credit profile and possibly your medical profile as well. The most common type of CRA is the credit bureau.

Insurance companies, creditors, employers, and other businesses purchase information about you from CRAs. Therefore, it is important to monitor these reports for inaccuracies and evidence of identity theft. By law, CRAs must provide you with a full copy of your report if you request it. This usually includes the sources of the information, as well as everyone who has requested a copy of your report within the past year. The reports may be free of charge or require a nominal fee.

To locate consumer reports in your name, begin by contacting the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion:

You should also check with the companies listed under "credit reporting agencies" in the yellow pages. If you find problems with your report, see this month's Resource Link for steps to correct errors or review the September issue of the IRA.com Newsletter for ways to deal with identity theft.

*NOTE: Some Internet email programs do not maintain links to extended web addresses. If you would like to read the full abstract, and the links below do not work for you, try copying the entire link and pasting it into the address window in your Browser.

Social Security's Future on Voters' Minds
Social security is a big issue in the election race, and President Bush's proposal to establish personal investment accounts within the system has lost support due to the drop in the stock market.

Read the full abstract at: http://www.ira.com/news/tax/1e7414da17c366979f5a797d785848f3.html

Back to Basics
According to ACLI, about five to seven times an annual salary represents adequate life insurance coverage, but employees are largely unaware of what constitutes appropriate life insurance coverage.

Read the full abstract at: http://www.ira.com/news/prof/dd145a84679a31513812035fce1c06f8.html

Health Insurance Cuts Hurt Retirees
People reaching retirement age are increasingly discovering that fewer companies provide health insurance coverage after workers retire.

Read the full abstract at: http://www.ira.com/news/insure/c32da15c39b42356b665178b2e8a4a12.html

401(k) Scramble; Is (k) for (k)aput?
Companies are not paying enough attention to how their 401(k) plans are being managed and are increasing their risk of being sued by disgruntled plan participants.

Read the full abstract at: http://www.ira.com/news/prof/f6e64d5a5242ece040d2ec05080b0adf.html

Repairing the Damage to Your Nest Egg
The solo 401(k) allows those with consulting jobs, freelance work, or other small businesses to sock away up to $40,000 for retirement. However, the plan also has some pitfalls.

Read the full abstract at: http://www.ira.com/news/tax/44d7ed7a3a36c6f84a6f28aa8f75311d.html

Can DC and DB Plans Offer Actuarial Fairness? Absolutely!
According to the federal government, the number of defined benefit plans has declined significantly as the number of defined contribution plans has increased, causing many retirees to have less money for retirement than expected.

Read the full abstract at: http://www.ira.com/news/prof/b19016ea35e0f6a3221529c08443eaea.html

The Fair Credit Reporting Act
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fcra.htm

The Fair Credit Reporting Act promotes the accuracy and privacy of information collected in consumer reports. The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces this act, provides this web site to answer basic questions about how consumers can access and correct the information that is collected about them. The site also describes the legal use of such information and steps to take if those parameters are violated.


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Abstracts (c) Information, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland 301-215-4688. Redistribution is prohibited.

The material and information herein is obtained by from a wide variety of sources. The Internet Retirement Alliance (IRA.com) believes this information is accurate, current, and authoritative, but it may not be. The Internet Retirement Alliance (IRA.com) provides the information "as is" without any express or implied warranties.

The Internet Retirement Alliance (IRA.com) does not provide legal, accounting, investment, or other professional services. If the reader requires legal, accounting, investment, or other expert assistance, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

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