Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Safe is Your Money? Answers from Kiplinger's

Are you wondering about the safety of your checking or saving account? This item from Kiplinger's is timely.

"So far this year, 11 banks have gone belly-up. By year-end, a few dozen more could likely follow. The question on consumers’ minds these days is: Is my money really safe? In the October issue, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance offers frank answers to questions about bank accounts, including:

· Should I worry about the safety of my bank accounts? In most instances, your money is insured by the FDIC, which is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, up to a limit of $100,000 at each bank. Add up all the accounts in your name at a bank, including checking, savings and money-market accounts as well as certificates of deposit. If your funds total more than $100,000, move the excess to another bank.

· My retirement-savings accounts are with my bank. What is the maximum coverage for them? Certain types of retirement accounts are covered by FDIC insurance, including IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs and Keogh plans. All deposits in these types of accounts are added together and insured up to $250,000 per person.

· I have a bank money-market account. Are those funds insured? Yes, but your money-market deposit account is lumped with all other accounts bearing your name, and together they are insured up to $100,000. Money that you keep in a money-market mutual fund is not insured.

· If the FDIC takes over my bank, as it recently did with IndyMac Bank, how long will it take for me to have access to my money? IndyMac's depositors had continuous access to their funds through ATM and debit cards. After federal regulators seized the bank on a Friday, some customers did not have online or phone access for a weekend, but everyone had full access to all their insured money by Monday morning.

· How can I check to see if all my money is insured? Both the FDIC's Web site and the National Credit Union Administration's site have a calculator that allows you to plug in all your accounts and the amounts deposited so you can find out whether any of your money is uninsured. Go to and click on the Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE), or go to and use its Share Insurance Estimator Report.

The article in its entirety is available

Here's how to buy my book:

@ Barnes & Noble
@ Borders

No comments: