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Also see Money Links for more savings!

Tip from  80 year old SeniorArk reader  who found money.   # 11 below.

"The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and keep it in your pocket."

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Explore our many tips and links pages at www.SeniorARK.com. Many of them contain information about how to save, stretch, and obtain extra money for retirement expenses.



 Seniors, be very careful with your computers. Scam artists send a constant flow of bogus and dangerous requests. Just today, I have received 5 overseas emails offering me millions if I will just contact them about something. It might be a business offer, a lottery, a long lost relative who has left me a fortune, or some other enticing offer. I have also received, almost on a daily basis, notices that the IRS has a sum of money to refund to me. Don't fall for any of it. Their ultimate goal is to take your money, and give you nothing but an empty bank account. They use actual company, or bank, or IRS logos that look totally real. Never give out account numbers, Social Security numbers, or anything else to an unsolicited request. 

The same goes for mail or phone solicitations. Give them nothing. Call their parent organization to see if a request is real. You have not won a prize or money. There is no inheritance. Ebay does not have a demand for cash or clarification of an order. You do not need to deal with

bank fraud online, or on the phone---unless you have called your bank. Be safe.

1.Take a long hard look at your checking account. If it has been at the same place for a long time it may have had fees added for regular services. Many banks are offering absolutely free Senior checking.  Go to this page for more information

2. Here is money directly in your pocket.  1-800-411-METRO offers FREE directory assistance from any phone in the U.S. You can also get connected to the party you are calling for no extra cost.. This will save about $1 to $1.5 per information call !!   Try it.  It Works!!

3. Instead of paying $3 or $4 dollars for hand washing liquid , buy a big bottle of bubble bath from the dollar store and use it to refill your empty hand washing liquid bottle.

4. Consider having prescriptions for contacts or glasses filled by online discount companies. Give them your prescription and you will save BIG bucks.

5. Two sites to save you money are. www.cairo.co, and www.dealtime.com . You can find sales, and the dealtime site will comparison shop the same product at many sources.

6. If you're buying an airline ticket, booking a hotel room, picking out a computer or even shopping for an unusual book, something small and obvious sounding may surprise you. Try the manufacturer. Article

7. If you receive an email request related to an inheritance or a transfer of money into their account to help someone from a foreign country you should forward the entire message, including the message's header, to the Secret Service. This is the government agency in charge of investigating these fraudulent activities, including the ones that originate in Nigeria and the UK.

8. Read CNN article : "Dumb money moves people make"   "Some people don't need crafty ID thieves to wreck their finances, they're all too happy to do it themselves".

9. 15 Dumb Money Moves          50 Smart Money Moves

10. Get a free booklet on reverse mortgages.        Order it toll free at 1-866-264-4466 or http://www.reversemortgage.org    ( National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association )

11. I just received two checks for over a thousand dollars from two insurance companies I had long forgotten about. I clicked  on the unclaimed money link on the Senior Ark links/money page (unclaimed money), and clicked on the Maryland office. And would you believe, there I was listed two times. I am 80 years old later in 2006, and I want to tell you I sure was able to use that money. Thank you , thank you "a thousand times"  Senior Ark.

I once lived in South Carolina, and my name appears there too. It could be someone else with the same name. I'll let you know.   M.M. Silver Spring, MD 20910  ,    April 3, 2006

Response--M.M.  We are so happy for you.        Lunch?  lol , Senior Ark Editor.   

  12. Financial safety tips
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED".
2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.
4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

Unfortunately, I, (the author, A LAWYER) have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

 5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
 6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

 But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)
7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

 By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.
8. Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, etc., has been stolen:

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

 Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

And SeniorArk adds for ID theft: click Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Help


13. One of the best comparison shopping sites on the internet: http://www.mysimon.com/   Bill M., 5-11-06

14. One of the cheapest online book sellers: http://www.alibris.com/   Bill M  5-11-06

15. I have broadband internet access.  So I was able to replace my old telephone service (over $60 a month) with the following phone service which uses my existing broadband connection (for about $15 a month):  http://www.vonage.com/                   Bill M  5-11-06

16. 5. Mortgage and amortization calculations. Kiplinger Calculations

17. Coverage for retirement savings increases. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. raised the deposit insurance coverage on retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s, to $250,000 from $100,000. But note that basic insurance coverage for other deposit accounts remains at $100,000.  Kiplinger.com

18. Mutual fund companies that sell annuities: www.fidelity.com, www.tiaa-cref.org, www.vanguard.com

 Ever notice how money you had in your purse or wallet disappears overnight---while you are asleep? I seem to have the same problem. Take a small notebook (3 x 4) and keep it in your purse or pocket. Write down EVERY PENNY you spend for a week (or longer if you are not out regularly). You may find out what is happening to that money that "disappears" when you are not looking. S.N. Brown, Oklahoma

20. This may be something many of you know about, but just in case you missed it, here goes. All cell phones, including old ones, can be used to make emergency calls to 911. Without a subscription to a calling plan. Just find one at a thrift store, I got a nice little Nokia with a charger and case for only $4. I took it to the police station and had them test it for me. I didn't want to make a false emergency call, and they might have been busy. It works. Get one for a loved one. It is really cheap peace of mind. Cheers,  Lee O.

21. Alir, is a national financial services company that uniquely specializes in the brokerage of senior life settlements - which allow individuals to redeem their life insurance policies, convert them into a cash settlement for immediate use - and for any purpose desired. Keep in mind that you will be selling at a deep discount, so seek advice from family or a lawyer.

22. Invest in a couple of "senior survival" books for great tips on living "bold, not old!" as one book says on its cover. I suggest these three to start with. You can find them on Amazon.com most likely; if not, check bookfinder.com for a GREAT resource for used books (I myself have found a number of books from my childhood there!): 

Living Poor/Cheaply with Style, by Ernest Callenbach. ("Poor" was published in the 70s; he updated the book and renamed it "Cheaply" in the 90s. Though originally geared for kids heading out into the world in their 20s, the principles apply across the board to all people regardless of age.)

Living Well on Practically Nothing, by Edward H. Romney. (Although, once again, some of his tips about where to live are dated, the basics are timeless.)

The Senior Citizens' Survival Manual, by Bill Kaysing. (This guy is amazing! He has published a number of cheap-living books, including "Eat Well for 99 Cents a Meal", which I have and which truly teaches how to eat WELL--not tuna fish and macaroni--for very little a day with just a bit of effort.)

 There are many "survivalist" books on the market. Even if you don't agree with their apocalyptic viewpoints, many of them offer solid advice on surviving cheaply. Open your mind and look thru them!    Rivahcat - VA

23. Agitate for a "trash-picking" day in your community! There are many communities which have days where you put out your unwanted items at the curb for anyone to take. After a certain time (normally, by the next morning), whatever is left is taken to the local landfill or dump. But in the meantime, people can scavenge for things they might need that you no longer want!

24. Many banks charge their customers between 50 cents and $1 for the privilege of using their debit card in any PIN-based transaction. The American Bankers Association estimates only 13% of consumers pay these fees, but critics say the practice is on the rise and consumers are often unaware of these charges.
25. See tips on how to keep Senior car insurance rates down.

26. Sit down with your checkbook and copy to a piece of paper everything you spent for the past 90 days. Many of these expenses may be recurring, but write them down anyway. Then look at each expense on its own, very carefully. Think about how you could save a few dollars on each one. If you save $4 on a monthly recurring expense, that's $48 per year. Look at your TV cable lineup. What would you miss if you went to the next lower package? (could save $240/yr). Are you paying for phone service beyond what you need? Do you really use call-waiting or caller ID? Did you buy a too expensive long distance package? Shop around. Are you grocery shopping at the right store? Could you buy more generic. Is there something wrong with that water bill? Leaky toilet? Did you spend a lot of money on car repairs at a dealership? Ask friends and neighbors for a great recommendation of an independent. Are you paying too much for internet access? Do an online search, and read carefully. Do you see large "impulse" purchases during that 90 days? A little impulse is ok, but $86 at the dollar store, when you went in to save 50 cents on toilet paper.....hmmmmm.  You get the idea. Question everything for 90 days, and let SeniorArk know how much you found to save each month!!!

27. You can get a $500 tax credit  ( Better than a tax deduction ) on certain energy saving purchases between January 2006 and December 2007. Get details at:: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_tax_credits#chart

28. Have you ever noticed that when you are buying a product online, and you reach the checkout line, it asks for a "promotional code"? These codes save you money when you get your final total. Well, believe it or not, there are websites that exist to collect known codes and publish them for your use. Sometimes the retailer even wants you to see the code on these sites, because it may bring you to their product. But you will save money. One caution is that sometimes if you use a code for saving money, it negates a free shipping offer, so assess that for yourself. Some places to look for these promo codes include Coupon Cabin, Coupon Craze, Current Codes, CoolSavings, and KeyCode

29. Very similar to #28 above. So you are shopping online for some kind of product. Before you go to the checkout page, or before you physically get in your car and go to a store, go to a search engine (MSN Yahoo, Google, Ask, etc) and type in the name of the store or business, followed by the word "coupon".  In other words, if I needed something at Home Depot, I would type in HOME DEPOT COUPON. Check a few of the results you get to see what is available. You would be surprised at how many companies make coupons available at various places online as a way to attract extra customers. We are talking some big bucks savings here.

30. One of my favorite websites is www.coupons.com. On that website you can find over a hundred coupons for many of the products you buy. They're fairly easy to find. Once I spot the coupons I want, I print them, cut them out, and head to the store. l.l.k.

31. MPG versus Money  The conventional wisdom about many things is often not very wise. Tips on how to battle high gas prices, for example, can sometimes end up costing you a fortune.

32. This may sound grotesque, but if it means heating the house or buying the medicine you need, all things are possible. If you're looking to make some quick cash you can always donate your plasma, the clear yellowish fluid portion of the blood that transports water and nutrients to all the cells in the body and is used for transfusions to people who have suffered shock, burns or trauma. Although your body quickly replenishes its supply of plasma, there are a few precautions you should take before using yourself as an organic ATM. Here's how.   Submitted by HP, Nebraska (SeniorARK strongly suggests speaking with your doctor before doing this. We HAVE heard that as Seniors we tend to build up a harmful level of iron in our blood, so selling or donating blood may in fact help this condition???)

33. Eight Ways to Save Money When Buying an Insurance Policy

34. Pay your credit card balances in full each month.
Do not use credit card for things like groceries or dining. If you cannot afford to pay cash for it, you cant afford it, period.

35. The Better Business Bureau warns Seniors about a potential annuity scam.

36. Get rid of those annoying--- and dangerous if found by the wrong person---unsolicited credit card applications. Call 1-888-optout and stop them from coming.

37. Need extra cash, now? Look around the attic, basement, closets and drawers. You may see cash in there after reading this article.

38. Always some great money-saving tips at Consumer Reports Money Advisor

39. Phony telemarketers and Internet schemers aren't the only groups ripping off older Americans' hard-earned money. The most common culprit is closer to home. Family members are the abusers more often than any other group. Elder Financial Abuse: The Signs

40. Here is a very useful site for tips on saving money at home.

41. Many states have reduced fees for seniors, sometimes associated with income levels. My wife just applied for a reduced auto registration fee of $10 in Pennsylvania. The regular rate is $36. Finding this reduction was not easy on the state web site. But we were alerted by our state representative to this benefit. We will also qualify for a multi-hundred dollar reduction in our real estate tax. A PA senior may also qualify for reduced dog license fees, hunting and fishing license fees. Talk with your state government representative about benefits for seniors in your state.

42. For years, banks have charged customers hefty fees for overdrawing their checking accounts. Now a  growing number of institutions are charging customers such fees even before the transaction

overdraws their account. Bank of America and TD Banknorth started doing it earlier this year. SunTrust, among other banks, has been doing it for a few years.

Here's how it works: If you pay with your debit card, some banks will now charge you a fee -- $35 or more -- if you don't have funds in your account at the time you sign for the purchase.

43. There may come a time, when you are in or entering retirement, when the bills are overwhelming. You have wondered how you can possibly live on a meager retirement with all of these debts. Look into declaring bankruptcy. This should NEVER be done casually, but without it, it may be impossible for you make ends meet in retirement. Overwhelming bills can accumulate from uncovered medical disasters, business difficulties, uncovered natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, or landslides. If you have entered unwillingly into debt, or have tried to cover other debt in good faith, there is NO shame in bankruptcy. It exists just for this purpose. It is a serious move, however, and should be considered only with competent counseling. We don't know much about the Bankruptcy Network, but their site might be a good place to start a consideration.

Seniors are waiting for your tip here.     Or submit a useful link for a links section.

 If you are trying to put together a frugal retirement, you may want to read especially:

Food tips,   Utilities tips,  Transportation tips Retirement Housing on Less than a Shoestring

But remember, there are money saving tips in many more of our sections.

These tips have been submitted by seniors who wish to share what they have done to help navigate retirement. SeniorARK is unable to verify that these are good tips, or that they will work for you. We try to eliminate tips that clearly serve no purpose, or that appear to be misleading. Please let us know if you find objectionable tips or links, or if a link is not working. Please submit your tips to seniors: SeniorARK@aol.com

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