Thursday’s need-to-know money news

services_billToday’s top story: The pros and cons of automatic bill payments. Also in the news: When it’s time to sell a mutual fund, what you need before you file your taxes, and when to consider locking your Social Security number.

Pros and Cons of Automatic Bill Payments
Convenience could come at a price.

5 Reasons to Sell a Mutual Fund
The five signs that point to sell.

What you need before you file your taxes
Gather all your documents.

Should You Lock Your Social Security Number?
Guarding against identity theft.

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  1. please don't print says

    Hi, Liz. Is this where I ask a question for your LATimes column?
    We are looking to get umbrella insurance coverage to increase the personal liability limits in our homeowners and auto policies. Is there a rule of thumb (or Liz advice) on how much umbrella coverage is appropriate? Enough to cover one’s entire net worth? Or a portion thereof? Granted, no amount of coverage would prevent a lawsuit exceeding that coverage. We have never had a liability claim, but are looking for an extra degree of safety and peace of mind. The house (no mortgage) is worth about $2.5MM and we have financial assets of another $3MM. The maximum our carrier, Safeco, offers in umbrella coverage is $5MM, with a premium under $1K/year.

    • Liz Weston says

      You can submit questions using the “contact” tab at the top of this site. Insurance experts generally recommend liability coverage equal one to two times your net worth. Attorneys typically settle for a policy’s limits unless someone is grossly underinsured.