Cotter Cunningham – Your Financial Action. Plan 12 Simple Step to Achieve Money Success
COTTER CUNNINGHAM – YOUR FINANCIAL ACTION. PLAN 12 SIMPLE STEP TO ACHIEVE MONEY SUCCESS
Your Financial Action Plan outlines twelve simple steps that will improve your level of financial literacy as well as help you forge the financial future you desire.
Today, financial knowledge means financial power, and in Your Financial Action Plan, you’ll be introduced to the important personal financial issues that affect your life.
WITH THIS BOOK AS YOUR GUIDE, YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO:
* Make the most of your mortgage
* Maintain a good credit rating
* Build your retirement savings
* Negotiate with your local bank to get the best deals
* Navigate the ins and outs of insurance
* Create a will
* Handle tax deductions and credits
* And much more
Filled with practical guidance and extensive expertise, Your Financial Action Plan will help you build the type of financial life you’ve always wanted.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: RAINY DAY FUNDS AND SUNNY DAY SAVINGS 1
Prepare for an Emergency
Understand Asset Allocation
Build a Financial Plan
CHAPTER 2: BILLS AND CHILLS 11
Gain Control of Your Expenditures
CHAPTER 3: BUDGET BINGO 15
Create a Comfortable Budget
Recognize Shopping Pitfalls
CHAPTER 4: HANGING IT UP 25
Build Your Retirement Savings
Understanding 401(k)s, Defined Benefit Plans,
Social Security, IRAs, and Other Pension Plans
CHAPTER 5: BANK ON IT 41
Check Up on Your Bank
Know What Records to Keep and Where to Keep Them
CHAPTER 6: WILLING IT 45
Decide Who Gets What
How to Give It to Them
A Look at the Deadly Business of Funerals
CHAPTER 7: GOT INSURANCE? 51
Disability Insurance: The Gory Details
Life Insurance: How Much Do You Need?
Other Insurance You Need—or Not
CHAPTER 8: DRIVING MR. WASHINGTON 63
Lease or Buy?
Insure Your Wheels
CHAPTER 9: TAKE CREDIT—CAREFULLY 73
Understand Your Credit Report
CHAPTER 10: DEALING WITH DEBT 85
Credit Card Bill of Rights
CHAPTER 11: APRIL 15 BLUES 93
Manage Your Withholding Better
Use Tax Deductions and Credits
CHAPTER 12: THIS OLD HOUSE 109
Should You Buy?
Create a Realistic Budget for Homeownership
Make the Most of Your Mortgage
Afterword: 12 Steps to Money Success 125
Appendix: Bankrate Form Letters 127
About the Author 193
G. COTTER CUNNINGHAM is an authority on personal finance. For over a decade, he has given consumers expert advice on their important finan-cial matters. Mr. Cunningham is the Chief Operating Officer of Bankrate, Inc., which operates Bankrate.com, the most-visited personal finance rate information Web site in the world. Mr. Cunningham and his colleagues provide consumers with comparative data and practical advice on CDs, mortgages, auto loans, banking, taxes, and financial planning. Bankrate.com helps consumers to select the best financial institution for their particular needs. Bankrate provides financial data and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo!, America Online, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
Cotter Cunningham has a unique background and perspective on personal finance. He has spent almost his entire career in finance, from working as a loan officer and running an Internet-based credit card program, to advising companies on financial strategy. Cotter believes the first step in financial independence is to foster a basic understanding of the who, what, why, where, and when of financial matters. In Your Financial Action Plan, he provides readers with the knowledge they need to plan their financial future.
He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with his wife and children.