Financial Tips for Snowbirds ... Present and Future

Print Story | Email Story

Winter is here again – which may make you wish you were somewhere else. You might be thinking how pleasant it would be to become a snowbird and move to a warmer climate for the season. Of course, your stage of life will help determine if you are prepared to be a snowbird now or if you’re just hoping to be one in the future. But in either case, you'll need to be financially prepared.

So, let's look at what it would take to be a snowbird – tomorrow and today:

Snowbird tomorrow

The further ahead you plan, the more options you're likely to have when you embark on the snowbird life. If you're going to be retired, you'll need to review all your sources of retirement income – Social Security, your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan, your IRA, and so on – to determine if you'll have enough money available for your yearly snowbird trips without jeopardizing your retirement lifestyle. Your calculations will depend on what sort of snowbird existence you have in mind. Do you want to buy a second home or just rent? Will you be gone just a few weeks each year or several months? Clearly, to ensure a successful snowbird experience, you'll need to identify your goals and create a strategy for achieving them.

Snowbird today

If you've reached a point where you can indeed make your snowbird dream a reality, and you're ready to pack your bags, you'll need to take action on some practical matters, such as these:

Secure your home. If you have a security system, make sure it's armed and working properly. Stop your newspapers and magazines, forward your mail, ask your neighbors to remove any stray papers, flyers and advertisements from your porch or entryway, and arrange to have your snow shoveled.

Notify your bank. To fight theft, the fraud departments of many banks are getting more aggressive in spotting and denying unusual charges. That’s why it’s important to give your bank your temporary address and contact information before you leave. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of your account being frozen temporarily if your financial institution can’t reach you with questions about charges from an unexpected location. You also might find it useful to open a bank account at your snowbird site.

Pay your bills. If you already pay all your bills automatically through bank authorizations, you may not have to do anything when you leave. But if you still pay some bills the old-fashioned way, with checks and envelopes, look for these bills in your forwarded mail.



Track your investments. You can probably track the progress of your investments online, and it’s a good idea to do so, just as you would at your permanent address. Even if you’re only gone a couple of months, you may need to make some investment moves, so stay on top of your accounts and contact your investment professional, as needed. As always, though, don't overreact to sudden market swings – ideally, you've got long-term strategies in place that can serve your needs in most investment environments.

The life of a snowbird can be a pleasant one. So take the necessary steps before you leave – and enjoy your days in the sun.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see EdwardJones.com.




 

 

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

'Late Night': Funny Business

By Michael S. GoldbergeriBerkshires Film Critic
Somewhere between my wild youth and the acquiescence to middle-class mediocrity if not respectability, there was my bachelor pad era. The Cohens, a childless couple who had no designs on a single-family home until they inherited one, had relinquished their pink apartment on Pingry Place. And thus, after a bribe, unbeknownst to me, from my Mom to the super, the digs were mine. 
 
I later learned that said financial inducement was followed by regular sub-rosa gratuities in return for information on yours truly's comings and goings. In Mom's defense, I think she had a FISA warrant. And yes, this indulgent preamble has everything to do with director Nisha Ganatra's smartly funny "Late Night."
 
You see, my best friend Bob and I spent the better part of several weeks in the newly acquired apartment, aided by the creativity-stimulating sources of the day, arduously trying to figure out how best to transform the space from Cohen Pink to Goldberger, well, just what? Finishing second in the sweepstakes was an Italian restaurant motif, wherein several square tables with red checkered table cloths would be complemented by walls adorned in murals depicting the food-famous landscapes of Tuscany. The thinking was that since I had no etchings to show should a
young lady wish to visit my chambers for an après-theater glass of Chianti, my bistro would surely prove an appropriately adequate conversation piece.
 
View Full Story

More North Adams Stories