RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Moving? How to Avoid Scams, Theft and More

May 7, 2015 12:30 am

The Census Bureau estimates there are three million moves from state to state each year, with 800,000 of those moves handled by professional movers. But those who rely on a professional are at a greater risk for scams and imposters pretending to be a moving company.

“Hiring a professional mover is a smart decision that saves time and effort while providing the best protection for your household goods,” says Scott Michael, president and CEO of the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). But how do you know you’re getting a fair, honest deal from your chosen moving company?

1. Do your research.
Get at least three written, in-home estimates so you can make an informed decision. Show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement and including any sheds, garages and storage areas. Avoid any unusually high or low estimates. If someone says they can give you an estimate over the phone or by email, it’s possible they’re trying to scam you.

2. Know your rights. Reputable interstate movers must, by law, provide you with federal publications that explain the moving process, as well as your rights and responsibilities during and after the process. Interstate movers also must provide the cost of full-value protection insurance for your possessions in their estimates. If a mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that may be a warning sign. And if a company says it won’t return your items to you without more money than you agreed to pay, contact the Better Business Bureau or local law enforcement for help.

3. Get all agreements in writing. Read everything carefully and make sure you have it all in writing, along with copies of everything you sign, especially the most important document—the bill of lading, which is the receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. Never sign any blank forms.

4. Take your valuables with you. Cash, coins, jewelry, photographs and important papers should be taken with you or shipped separately. Use a shipping service with tracking numbers, such as FedEx or UPS.

5. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If the moving company can’t or won’t answer your questions, you might want to look for another mover.

Source: AMSA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Is Life Insurance Right for You?

May 6, 2015 12:27 am

Choosing the right type and amount of life insurance is vital to a sound financial plan, but is it right for you? According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), there are two major types of life insurance: term and whole life. Term covers the policyholder for a specified period, usually from one to 30 years. Whole life, sometimes called permanent life insurance, covers the policyholder for as long as they live – even if it’s to 100.

To assess your insurance needs, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) suggests asking yourself the following five questions.

1. Does anyone depend on me for financial support?

Whether it’s a spouse or domestic partner, children, grandchildren, or even aging parents, you’ll want to make sure they’re left financially secure. Purchase enough life insurance to replace your income while also financing the expenses your beneficiaries will incur to replace services you provide within the household (e.g., landscaping, tax preparation). Stay-at-home parents, and those caring full-time for an adult family member, should also consider purchasing life insurance to allow for hiring professionals to undertake these tasks.

Your family may have other sources of income, such as Social Security survivor benefits, but this is rarely enough, particularly if you have children under 18 and want to fund their education.

2. Are my retirement and other savings alone enough to support my dependents?

Unless your savings and retirement benefits are substantial, the income they generate is unlikely to be enough to pay for the housing, education and other day-to-day needs of your financial dependents. Remember, they will also have to take on the cost of replacing your employer-provided benefits, such as health insurance premium payments and retirement contributions.

3. Will estate and inheritance taxes significantly reduce the amount my dependents receive?

Even if you are leaving a considerable inheritance, don’t assume that will be enough. Consult with your financial advisor or an insurance professional on how your tax situation impacts the type and amount of life insurance you should purchase.

4. What is my plan for covering final expenses?


Whether or not you have dependents, you’ll want to be able to cover the expenses incurred by funeral related costs, outstanding taxes and debts, and the administrative fees associated with “winding up” an estate. These expenses can total upwards of $15,000, and can be defrayed by having the right life insurance policy in place.

5. Will I be able to leave a donation to my favorite charity?

A beneficiary does not necessarily have to be a loved one; it can be a much-loved cause. If you have a favorite charity, foundation, museum, etc, you can use a life insurance vehicle to leave the organization a more sizable donation than you might have otherwise.

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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