Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: Protecting your Social Security, how living trusts work, bad money decisions, tough talk and how it pays to be single.

Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. “Simple Tips to Protect Your Social Security Account — and Benefits”

[MSN.com] “The U.S. Social Security Administration is increasing security for SSA.gov accounts — but it’s not necessarily enough to prevent thieves from helping themselves to your Social Security payments.”

This MSN story is actually a Money Talks News story. We’re highlighting it in case you didn’t know that in addition to seeing our stuff on our site, you can also read and watch some of our most popular stories on some of the world’s most popular websites, including MSN, Yahoo, AOL and others.

So how can you protect your Social Security account? Apply as soon as you’re eligible so nobody else can, utilize new “extra security” procedures and put a freeze on your credit. If you’re eligible for Social Security, or soon will be, it’s a must-read.

2. “What Is a Revocable Living Trust?”

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Revocable Living Trusts go by many names, including, but not limited to, Revocable Trust, Living Trust, Inter Vivos Trust, and Personal Trust. Frequently, these types of trusts are called ‘will substitutes’ due to their avoidance of probate.”

We’ve written about living trusts in articles like “8 Essential Documents for Estate Planning,” but when it comes to estate planning, there’s always room to learn more. This article features a Q&A with an estate planning lawyer. It’s not super-simple reading, but will furnish you with a basic knowledge of this important planning tool.

3. “4 Money Decisions You Will Regret Later”

[AOL] “Have you ever made a decision, one that seemed like a good idea at the time, only to feel awful about it later? I think we all make these types of decisions in life. After all, it’s these kind of decisions that we are supposed to learn from, right? They end up making us better people in the end, but they also leave us with an overwhelming feeling of regret.”

I can’t count the number of articles we’ve written on money mistakes, but it’s a bunch. This article adds to the body of knowledge by suggesting you avoid things like spending money you don’t have, borrowing more than you need for your education, borrowing from your 401(k) and paying only the minimum on your debts.

4. “Tough Talk: Terminal Illness and Your Finances”

[Debt.com] “For two decades, Dean Sperantsas managed investments for a wide range of clients, handling millions of dollars. But his toughest job involved far smaller sums — caring for both his parents and his wife before they died, while also managing their money.”

This interesting article offers 10 suggestions for those dealing with a terminal illness, from revamping investments to discussing options openly. A sobering topic, to be sure, but an important one.

5. “6 Ways It Pays to Stay Single”

[Wise Bread] “[C]ouples aren’t the only ones enjoying economic advantages. Singleness has its rewards, too — like eating all the cookies without judgment, and many other perks that’ll make you appreciate your independence.”

We wrote a story years ago called “10 Ways Getting Married Will Make You Richer,” but I don’t think we’ve ever done anything on how staying single can do likewise. This story points out, among other things, that since singles don’t have to deal with relationships they have more time to work. While that may not sound like a great advantage to the single life, some of the other ideas ring true. Check them out.

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