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Before You Take a Bite Out of Bitcoin…

Thinking of investing in bitcoin? You might want to think again.

The first rule of investing is – don’t invest in something you don’t understand.

Bitcoin is a bunch of computer code that its backers insist is worth “real money.” Yet, the currency is literally backed by nothing at. There is no government nor really any financial institution that stands behind this “currency.” Yes, there a bunch of speculators, idealists and, frankly, criminals who insist it is a valid currency. Yet, its value against the world’s hard currencies swings wildly (which simply reflects demand for bitcoin). Finally, do you know any place you can exchange your bitcoin holdings for a loaf of bread, college tuition or a new car?

If some “financial advisor” starts talking about bitcoin being based on “blockchain” technology – this is also just computer code. It's not magical.

Remember, if you don’t understand it, probably not smart to put your money there. Just ask the people who didn’t really know how the internet function back in the 1990s and dumped their savings into dot-coms that went bust.

Don't Make an ATMistake!

We’ve all heard about “skimming.” That’s when you use your ATM card and some scam artist has inserted an additional piece of card-reading hardware that will steal you ATM card information. The people that monitor this sort of thing say incidents of skimming were up 500% in 2015 over the previous year.

Here’s how you can reduce the risk of someone getting you valuable information:

  1. Stick with the Chip – Digital chips are harder to hack (not impossible, but harder). Try to avoid using card readers where you still have to swipe the cards magnetic strip.
  2. Use a Bank Machine – While not perfect, bank ATMs are more secure. They are better maintained and have 24/7 surveillance cameras. Machines at gas stations and convenience stores account for the majority of card information theft.
  3. Inspect before Swiping – If the machine doesn’t accept your card smoothly, walk away. Newer machines also have a flashing light in the card slot. If you don’t see one or it’s partially obscured, you might want to find another machine.
  4. Always Check Your Card Statements – Make there are no unusual or unfamiliar charges.
  5. Talk with Your Bank about Alternative Solutions – You might open a separate account with a smaller amount of money just for ATM purchases or you can lower the daily limit for ATM withdrawals.

4 Free Ways to Protect Your Identity

No-Cost Ways to Keep Safe from Scammers

Security Freeze – If you are over 65 or have been a past victim of identity theft, you can contact the major credit reporting agencies and request a security freeze. This restricts access to your credit history. If businesses can’t see your report, they won’t approve new financial accounts in your name. But beware, if you apply somewhere for credit, they won’t be able to see your report either.

Read more: 4 Free Ways to Protect Your Identity

Avoid These Retirement Mistakes

Still working? Great! You avoided the first mistake many Boomers make – retiring too early! The longer you work, the more secure you can make your retirement years.

Here are a few other common mistakes:

Taking Social security Benefits Too Soon – Sure, you can start getting your Social Security at age 62, but the experts say that can reduce yourt benefits by as much as 25%!

Retiring With Credit Card Debt – If you can it pays to pay off all your credit cards before you retire. If you can pay off your car loan and pay down the mortgage, so much the better.

Underestimating Your Life Expectancy – People today are routinely living well into their 80’s. The experts say it’s better to over-estimate than to underestimate; so to be safe, plan on living well into your 90’s!

Using Your Smartphone to Save

In the age of apps (does anybody even remeber apps is short of applications?), ther are a few that can save you money when you're shopping.

Coupon Sherpa will search for coupons online and send them directly to your smartphone for scanning at the checkout.

CardStar can store your retailer loyalty cards on your phone, so you won't have to dig in your purse or wallet to get the added benefits they bring.

There are may others, Do a little searching on the internet and see if you can one or more that are perfect for you.

What Beatles song was partially inspired by the Who's "I Can See for Miles?"

"Helter Skelter"
O'RyanCordes Marketing