Photo: Brian Bowen Smith
I know you've got the major risks in your financial life well taken care of: Your 401(k) is properly diversified to help you weather market volatility, and your reserve cash fund is on call to cover life's inevitable emergencies. Good work!
But I'm worried about your financial blind spots—those pesky threats to your security that lurk behind seemingly sound decisions. Here are a few common traps, and advice to ensure that you won't get taken by surprise:
The Perils Of Plastic
The Good News: You've sworn off credit cards. Goodbye insane interest rates and fees! You're sticking with your debit card from now on.
The Hidden Risk: Debit card transactions aren't reported to the credit bureaus, so if you don't use a credit card, you'll have less of a payment history—which hurts your FICO credit score.
How To Stay On Top: I love, love, love that you want to use your debit card. But to keep your credit score solid, you still need to keep a few credit cards and use them at least once every few months. Even if you think you'll never need to borrow again, your FICO credit score has a big impact. It can affect your auto insurance premium and whether a landlord will rent to you, and many employers even check it when vetting a job application. Cards issued by credit unions typically charge lower rates (generally limited to a max of 18 percent) and fewer fees. Check out CreditCardConnection.org to find the best options.
What to do about bonds and retirement funds