Members Advantage E-Newsletter
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Even people who hold cars forever should pay attention to this metric.
By Miriam Cross
When you’re shopping for a new car, dickering with the dealer to lower the sticker price may be your main concern. But even if you drive the car until the wheels fall off, overlooking resale value could be a costly mistake. “Depreciation is the largest cost in owning a car, more so than fuel and repairs,” says Tim Fleming, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Even if you don’t plan to sell it anytime soon—or ever—how your vehicle retains its value is important. For example, if your car is totaled in an accident, insurers will cut you a check for the value of the car at the time of the incident.
Midsize pickup trucks and midsize and large SUVs hold their value best, according to KBB. That’s because cheaper gas and improved fuel economy have boosted their appeal. Electric vehicles and subcompact and luxury cars depreciate the most over time. (Porsches are an exception because low volume fuels demand from status-conscious buyers.) Sleek “performance” vehicles, such as the Volkswagen Golf R and Subaru WRX, fare best after the bulky SUVs and trucks.
Resale values can vary widely among models within the same brand. For example, the Toyota Tacoma truck was named KBB’s resale winner for 2017, holding 67.5% of its value after three years and 57.5% of its value after five years. The 4Runner SUV came next, with a resale value of 62.2% after three years and 52.5% after five. But the tiny Prius C and Yaris models held only about 30% of their value after three years and 20% after five.
KBB and Edmunds.com both offer “cost to own” tools, which allow you to enter a make and model and calculate additional costs of vehicle ownership—including depreciation—over the course of five years. The higher the depreciation figure, the more value it loses over time.
One way to make depreciation work to your advantage is to buy a used car instead of a new one. Thanks to a glut of off-lease vehicles, prices for used cars have declined. Fleming says he expects the bargains in used cars to last another two years.
© 2017 The Kiplinger Washington Editors
Brought to you by NEA Member Benefits.
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As you consider purchasing a car, here are some related links on the NEA Member Benefits website you may want to check out:
- NEA® Auto Buying Program: https://www.neamb.com/shopping-discounts/nea-auto-buying-program.htm
- NEA Auto Buying Research Center: https://www.neamb.com/automotive-buying-research.htm
- Calculator: What vehicle can I afford?: https://www.neamb.com/shopping-discounts/vehicle-loan-calculator.htm
Is your vehicle protected? Well, NEA Member Benefits can assist in providing bumper to bumper coverage:
The NEA Vehicle Protection Program offers you the peace-of-mind that comes from not having to worry about the high cost of unexpected auto repairs. Backed by CARCHEX, an A+ Rated BBB Business and nationwide leader in automotive extended warranty protection, the NEA Vehicle Protection Program provides you with the highest level of extended auto warranty coverage at the lowest possible price. By extending warranty coverage beyond the term of your original manufacturer’s warranty, the NEA Vehicle Protection Program lets you steer clear of the high cost of major auto repairs.
Purchasing and Using Extended Vehicle Protection is Easy
- Choose the coverage option and pricing plan that best meets your needs
- You choose the repair facility—you can use any licensed repair facility in the US or Canada
- After satisfying any applicable deductible, the repair facility will submit your claim
- Your claim is paid directly to the repair facility
NEA Members are eligible for a $100 discount on any extended vehicle protection policy and also receive the following benefits:
- We Pay Your Vehicle Repair Bills
- 0% Easy Payment Plans
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance
- Car Rental Coverage
- Hotel and Lodging Coverage
- Lock-Out Service
- Emergency Fuel Delivery
- Flat Tire Change Service
- Battery Jump Service
Equifax has announced that cyber criminals have exploited a vulnerability in their website, allowing them to gain access to certain files. The data breach appears to have taken place from mid-May through July 2017. The company discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 of this year.
Cyber criminals stole names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses. In some cases, driver’s license numbers and even credit card numbers were accessed. During the company’s investigation of this breach, it was also found that there was access to some personal information for some UK and Canadian residents.
How do you know if you have been involved in a data breach?
Usually, data breaches are disclosed via the company’s press release, which reaches news outlets in no time. If you hear about a breach involving an institution you do business with, contact the organization in question to check whether your data has been compromised. You can visit the organization’s website to see if there is a statement about the breach with any instructions about what to do next, or you can call the company’s customer service phone number.
Helping protect yourself in the event of a data breach
You may not know if you have been affected by a breach, so your best action is to be proactive. You can use the tips below to stay ahead of the bad guys and know what to look out for.
- Routinely monitor all of your financial accounts for suspicious activities, such as transactions you did not make. If your institution offers account activity alerts via text or email, sign up for them.
- Cyber criminals can now use these data to access other online accounts you may have via password reset questions. These questions usually ask your personal information about yourself such as a parent’s maiden name, previous addresses and other details. If you have used any of these data in those security questions, you should change those questions immediately.
- If the information that was leaked in the breach was a Social Security number or other personally identifiable information, you may want to consider putting a security freeze on your credit report. This will prevent other institutions from accessing your report entirely, which will prevent opening any new credit lines or credit extensions under your name. Also, be sure to contact the Social Security Administration about next steps if you’re dealing with a data breach that involves your SSN.
- If you do encounter suspicious activity on your account, contact your bank immediately and inform them of the activity as well as the fact that your information was exposed in a breach. Secondly, contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and file a report.
- If a password was involved in the breach, change it.
These are just a few of the precautions one can take to help protect against identity theft.
Breaches are more common these days, and the payoff for cyber criminals may be lucrative. As a result, it can be helpful if you add another layer of protection to your digital life by using an identity theft protection service. Such services can help protect your personal information by sending you alerts if suspicious activity is identified within their network, or if new accounts are opened with your Social Security number†.
As an IEA/NEA member, you have access to the NEA Identity Theft Protection Program powered by LifeLock®. NEA members receive 30 days of LifeLock identity theft protection at no-cost and 10% off* LifeLock membership.
This article is authored by an employee of Norton by Symantec.
No one can prevent all identity theft.
† LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
* Credit card required at enrollment. At the end of the no-cost 30-day trial period, if you do not cancel, your card will be billed automatically on a monthly or annual basis depending on what you elect at the time of enrollment. Offer is for new LifeLock members only. Offer is available for LifeLock Standard™, LifeLock Advantage™ and LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ memberships only. Not combinable with other offers.
Symantec, the Symantec Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, Norton by Symantec, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2017 Symantec Corp. All rights reserved.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s will be here before you know it. Heed NEA Member Benefits’ advice for flight reservations, day-of-travel tips and tactics that will help you plan a low-stress holiday trip.
The holiday season may be, as the song says, “the most wonderful time of the year.” But everyone who travels knows that it brings added stresses because of winter weather, heavy traffic and flight delays. Planning ahead is the key, and using a travel checklist can keep things calm. The following list offers tips and strategies to help you save time and money as well as conquer seasonal travel-related hassles. So make your list and check it twice—you’ll increase the number of holiday smiles, including your own.
Plane and Train Tips
- Research and book flights early. For Christmas, the year’s busiest period for air travel, book about 80 days ahead to avoid rising fares. For Thanksgiving, you’ll get the best price by buying 5 to 6 weeks ahead.
- Travel early or late. Flying early in the morning or late in the day can mean better on-time performance.
- Score holiday savings. Check alternate airports, connecting flights rather than a nonstop and traveling at different times of day. If you can do it, flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day may save you money. Check flight prices at NEA Vacations.
- Book holiday trains early. Reserve a month ahead, especially for Thanksgiving, the busiest time for train travel; some trains sell out. Prices increase substantially closer to the travel date at any time of year. Amtrak’s booking tool is handy, and you should look at the site’s Deals section.
- Study car rentals. Book about 6 weeks ahead to avoid a limited choice of vehicles during the holidays. To save money, use your NEA member discount at 1 of 5 rental car companies or check general travel sites as well as car-rental agencies. You can even call to ask about discounts. The number of days counts, too: It may be cheaper to pay for a weekly rate rather than rent for a few days.
Road Trip Strategies
- Think safety first. Get your car checked (brakes, tires, oil, etc.) before you head out. Be sure to pack an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, blanket and small shovel.
- Pack your trunk. Plan ahead for how you will transport holiday gifts and any winter sports gear.
- Gas up. Start with a full tank to avoid lines and higher prices on the highway.
- Make smart stops. Save time and money on mid-travel stops by downloading iExit interstate highway guide to locate gas stations (with prices); it also has restaurants (with ratings) and ATMs.
- Book city parking. An app such as ParkingPanda saves time and money on spaces in city lots. Parking on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas? Call the lot even if you have a reservation—to be sure it’s actually open.
Keeping the Kids Happy
- Get kids involved. It’s always best to talk with your kids about your travel plans and what to expect well in advance. First-time fliers will benefit from a step-by-step rundown. Ask for kids’ vacation suggestions, and keep a countdown to the big day.
- Take favorite stuff. A few toys and snacks are essential, and don’t forget the video game or tablet to keep kids occupied. Take earbuds and headphones. Books and audiobooks make great travel companions, too.
- Consider childproofing. If you have small children, check with your hosts about specific concerns, or speak with your hotel. Take along any childproofing items (outlet covers, for example) as needed.
Gift Guide for Travelers
- Keep gifts unwrapped. TSA rules mean gifts go through security screening, so plan to wrap items after you arrive at your destination. It’s a good idea even if gifts are in your checked luggage.
- Consider shipping gifts. The holidays challenge the lightest packers, so check luggage weight restrictions. An extra checked bag may cost you $35 or $40; shipping can be more convenient.
- Bring an extra bag. An easily foldable bag may be useful for gifts you want to carry back.
Ready, Set, Go: Advice for Your Travel Day
- Check in. Confirm your flight’s status; you can check in online up to 24 hours before you fly. Print your boarding pass or keep it on your phone.
- Keep travel documents handy. Be sure any boarding passes, identification and other material are in a convenient place.
- Leave early. Whether you’re driving or taking a plane or train, allowing plenty of extra time will keep everyone less stressed. If you’re parking at the airport, factor in time in for that.
- Charge your devices. Be sure your phone is fully charged, and keep chargers handy during travel.
California Casualty has been a business partner with IEA since 1988 and provides auto and home insurance to IEA/NEA members. California Casualty is awarding Syringa Middle School in Caldwell a $650 check due to IEA’s nomination of member Melyssa Ferro for the 2018 NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence. IEA Member Melyssa Ferro’s good work has triggered this award for her school.
The California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence (CCATE) $650 award stems from the NEA Foundation award and is to recognize instructional expertise, advocacy for the teaching profession, community engagement, attention to diversity, and leadership in professional development. Recognizing that Melyssa’s success is due in part to supportive colleagues and the school environment, this particular CCATE award will go directly to the school in Melyssa’s name.
The free NEA Works4Me e-newsletter has been a staple of teachers’ professional lives for years, providing ideas and tips for student success across all subjects and grade levels. Every other week, you’ll receive a sampling of the best tips, along with best ideas on classroom management, teaching techniques, curriculum content, peer & student relationships and more. These tips are all archived and are searchable on the NEA Works4Me section of nea.org. The web site contains more than 2,000 tips searchable by topic.
Where do our tips originate? From you and from NEA edCommunities members – expert practitioners in the field who choose to share best practices with other educators.
NEA edCommunities is a place where teachers, school support professionals, and community members share ideas and resources to improve student success. It is free and open to all!
For more information on NEA Works4Me or NEA edCommunities, go to www.nea.org/tools/Works4Me.html.
All revved up for the new school year? NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for September!*
*Note: Up-to-date information on merchant discounts, shipping terms and WOWPoints appears on the NEA Click & Save Web page at www.neamb.com/clickandsave and may change at any time. Don’t forget to use your WOWPoints—they’re just like cash (100 WOWPoints = $1; plus, no blackout dates and no expiration)!
Anthropologie.com: Exclusively for teachers: 20% off full-price items until September 11, 2017!
Container Store.com: Get your classroom and office organized with the latest products and free shipping on orders of $75 or more from The Container Store.
YogaOutlet.com: Find apparel and accessories to get fit and set your mind and body at ease—without breaking the bank—plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more from The Yoga Outlet!
BlueApron.com: Incredible Ingredients = Incredible Meals! Prepare gourmet meals at home and save $30 on your first order with Blue Apron—plus get free shipping on orders of $75 or more.
DiscountSchoolSupply.com: Stock up now on classroom essentials, from arts & crafts materials and school supplies to educational toys and classroom furnishings. Get free shipping on orders of $79 or more.
The Walking Company: Check out the line of specialty footwear, including the latest in foot scanning technology and orthotics for all-day comfort at work, at play, or for a night on the town! Free shipping on orders of $100 or more.
Be sure to check C&S often for unadvertised, limited time offers, including discount dining certificates from Restaurant.com. Join the 427,000 NEA members already registered for NEA Click & Save. Go to www.neamb.com/clickandsave or http://www.neamb.com/shopping-discounts/nea-click-and-save-retail-discounts.htm and start saving today!
Cut the cost of out-of-pocket classroom expenses with these savvy money saving tips.
Shopping for all the things you need to get back to school—books, supplies, clothes and more—can put a serious dent in your budget. For the 2015-2016 school year, educators spent an average of $487 on out-of-pocket classroom supplies, according to the most recent survey of K-12 teachers conducted by SheerID in partnership with Agile Education Marketing.
It pays to look for deals, coupons, special offers and tools that help you trim the cost of shopping a little—or a lot.
Try these 9 tips to get you back to school without blowing your budget!
- Use your NEA member benefits.Save on your back-to-school needs—get discounts on brand name clothing, electronics, books, computers and other merchandise and services from hundreds of leading companies and local retailers through the NEA Click & Save program. You can also earn WOWPoints on purchases that you can spend later in NEA Click & Save stores. It’s easy to use and well worth the time. As of May 2017, NEA members have collectively saved over $12 million!
While you’re back-to-school shopping, get the most out of purchase rewards with the NEA Cash Rewards Card. You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% cash back on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery store, wholesale club and gas purchases each quarter. And there’s a special incentive for new account holders: You can qualify for a $150 cash rewards bonus by using your new Cash Rewards credit card to make at least $500 in purchases within 90 days of your account’s open date.
And don’t forget to check out our extensive Teacher Discounts list for books and magazines, clothing and jewelry, classroom supplies and teaching aids, professional development, electronics, food and much more. We’ve scoured the stores and done the deals-searching for you!
- Share your wish list
If you hand out a classroom “wish list” to tell parents what you need, save on time and copying by posting your list online, suggests Kathryn Lagden, who works for TeacherLists.com and is vice president of strategy for the site’s parent company, School Family Media.
“Declining school budgets make it more and more necessary for teachers to figure out creative solutions to keep try to their classrooms supplied,” Lagden adds. She says TeacherLists.com is a free service that makes posting and sharing wish lists “really simple and effective.”
Right now, there are more than 800,000 (teacher) lists on the site, Lagden says. The most often requested items are basic supplies such as tissues, markers, paper towels and re-sealable bags.
Lists can be posted for individual classrooms or the entire schools. Make your list, post it once, then maintain or update it as needed. Parents can access your list instantly on their computers or smartphone while shopping in stores, or on any device, any time.
- Ask for donations
Join a gifts-in-kind organization like the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources, suggests NAIER president and CEO Gary C. Smith. NAEIR collects donations of new merchandise from US corporations such as Microsoft, Stanley Tools, 3M, Rubbermaid and many others, and redistributes them for free to their not-for-profit members, including teachers and schools.
The donated items include free class materials, office and art supplies, janitorial supplies, sporting goods, tools, toys, software books and media, personal care items, party goods and more, Smith says. Teachers browse catalogs of available supplies and ask for what they need. Typically, members pay “a modest annual membership fee, plus nominal shipping and handling costs,” Smith says. (At time of writing, NAEIR was offering educators free membership.)
- Go social
Shop for supplies and classroom needs online, suggests frugal living, shopping and travel expert Jon Lal, founder and CEO of BeFrugal.com. “Sign up for emails from your favorite stores, or follow them on social media, to hear about sales as soon as they’re happening,” he suggests.
Try free tools to manage those emails. Kristen Strem, spokesperson for Unroll.me and Slice, says people save money when their promotion and deal emails are organized in one easy-access place. Your “roll-up” (screen) on Unroll.me shows all your special offers, sorted and saved daily, so they’re not forgotten, lost, or buried under the crush of spam.
- Opt for apps and online coupons
Or, before you buy, search “coupon code” plus the item name, adds Brad Hines, a lesson plan creator on Teachers Pay Teachers and personal finance blogger. “There is zero excuse” not to look for coupons on every online purchase but if you don’t have time, he suggests an app called Honey that finds coupons for you automatically at the time of purchase.
For shopping on your iPhone and Android phone, a mobile app called Shopular can help you save money by delivering “geo-targeted coupons” to your phone while you’re shopping, at the retailer’s doorstep. See who else is selling the product and who has the best price (including tax and shipping fees) with the PriceGrabber app.
Use RetailMeNot‘s mobile app to get sale information, find discounts and load coupon codes to your phone while you shop. Show the code on your phone at the checkout counter to redeem your coupon.
- Take advantage of free shipping. Look for free shipping offers and plan your purchases to take advantage of the savings they provide, suggests Lal. Many stores offer you free shipping when your order totals a certain dollar amount. If you want to buy one item but it doesn’t cost enough to qualify for free shipping, don’t check out yet. Save your cart and keep shopping until you’ve added enough items to the order to get free shipping.
- Comparison shop
Use price comparison tools to make sure you’re getting the best deal. “When shopping for school supplies, don’t buy the first thing you see. Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price” or use a price comparison tool like Priceblink.com, suggests company founder and Savings Expert Karl Quist. He says Priceblink finds best deals, free shipping, coupon codes, and more, saving users time—and an average “15 to 20 percent” on everything from highlighters to printers to office equipment including printers, tablets, laptops, and more.
For example, Quist found a Canon MB2020 all-in-one printer priced at $129.99. The deal sounded good because the price was “marked down from $179.99” at Office Depot. But when Quist checked the same printer through Priceblink, it showed “several other stores have it available for $89.99—that’s a difference of $40,” he says.
- Save after the fact
Saving money after your purchase with tools like Slice that monitor price drops, suggests Strem. The app makes it easier to get a “price match refund if that backpack you bought recently went on sale,” she says. And its handy receipt tracking feature “is great for teachers who buy classroom materials out of pocket and plan to expense later” or claim as a deduction on that year’s tax return.
- Time your shopping.
Just as holiday products are cheaper after the holiday, school supplies are cheaper after the school year begins. “If you can, wait to buy school supplies until after Labor Day,” Lal says. “Prices will drop severely late in the season.”
Bonus Tip: Be super-organized and shop a year ahead!
Hines takes timed shopping a step further. “Buy with next year in mind” to save even more. When you find a sale or special price on something your classroom will need next year, buy it now and store it for later instead of waiting until you need it, when it may not be on sale. Bonus: if the price goes up during the year, you’ll save even more by buying now.
From National Education Association and Idaho Education Association Member Benefits, welcome to the beginning of another school year. Your dedication to educating America’s next generation is greatly appreciated by your professional organization, from the national to the local levels.
NEA Member Benefits is proud to offer all kinds of “starting the school year” resources that will be valuable to you personally and professionally. Looking for classroom resources? We have some for you. Wellness resources, shopping resources, financial resources? Likewise. Visit the NEA Member Benefits website (neamb.com/BTS) to learn more. There is also information about limited time offers you might want to check out.
Monthly, during the school year, you will be receiving another edition of this electronic newsletter that will bring to you information about the benefits available to you because you are an IEA/NEA member. Plus, you will receive some valuable tips (see following stories.) Be sure to think about taking advantage.
Once again, WELCOME BACK!!
USE YOUR EDUCATOR ACCESS DISCOUNT PROGRAM!
This is IEA’s most popular discount program: in the past year IEA members took advantage of 3,236 discounts with this program and saved a total of $127,370 as a result. Plan ahead to save money wherever you go this summer. Where can you save? Hotels, dining, condos and resorts, golf, movies, recreation, entertainment, cruises. You can also save on shopping.
Go to IEA Member Benefits website. Find and click on the picture of the IEA membership card to take you to the Access website. If needed, register with the last 7 digits of your membership number, your personal e-mail address, and create a password. You only need to register once. Each time thereafter you sign in with your e-mail and password. Browse the site and DISCOVER the thousands of ways to save!
You want to hear some testimonials, you say:
- “I saved $50 a night which was 75% off the normal price on hotels in Portland.” – Shannon N, Boise;
- “Roosevelt Bed and Breakfast – wonderful room and delicious gourmet breakfast for half the price.” – Jan S., Boundary County;
- “I used the Access benefit when I went to Orlando one summer and was able to save over $400 in my hotel bill alone.” – Erlinda M. What Erlinda doesn’t tell you is that you can also save on theme park costs such as DisneyWorld, etc.
Find any Red Box and get DVDs, two for the price of one (use the app described below.)
Every time you eat at Chili’s you can get a free serving of chips and queso (with the app again.)
We don’t have the room and you don’t have the time to learn of the over quarter million discounts available nationwide.
There is a GPS friendly app that accompanies this Access benefit. The Access site will guide you to the app or you can download the “My Deals” app from the app store, register using your home email address and mobile password (1006 – [last 7 digits of] your membership number.) Wherever you are, the app will show the discounts in that vicinity.
More ways to use your association benefits and save this summer:
NEA CLICK & SAVE – This a very popular discount purchasing program when you shop on line. You and your family can save on brand name merchandise from hundreds of top retailers, restaurants, online stores, and local merchants. Just register and sign in on neamb.com to start shopping. New offers are added every day and you can set email reminders for your favorite merchants so you’ll be notified in advance of upcoming sales and discounts.
TicketsatWork.com – Here’s a great way to save money and take advantage of discounts and special offers for many theme parks and attractions nationwide (should you plan to leave town and Idaho and see the rest of the country.) We’re talking about places such as
- Walt Disney World Resort,
- Universal Studios,
- Disneyland Park,
- Sea World,
- Six Flags,
- Cirque du Soleil,
- Las Vegas and New York City shows and performances,
- Busch Gardens,
- Kennedy Space Center,
- Orlando Balloon Rides,
- Orlando Dinner Shows (oodles of other Orlando attractions)
- Gray Line Grand Canyon Tours,
- Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours,
- Las Vegas Hotels (save as much as 50%) (oodles of Las Vegas attractions)
- Knott’s Berry Farm,
- San Diego Zoo,
- Legoland (oodles of other California attractions)
- Gray Line NYC sightseeing,
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (save 15% and skip the line),
- New York City Explorer Pass (save 45%) (oodles more NYC attractions)
And then there is the latest association benefit: NEA Vacations. Save on hotels and resorts, air fare, cruises, guided vacations, vacation packages. Earn NEA Travel Dollars to give you even more discounts. A member has reported that she saved $400 on two plane tickets!!
California Casualty has been a business partner with IEA Member Benefits since 1988. Over 3000 IEA members (it is the most used benefit of all the association benefits available) will testify that this is a great insurance company with competitive pricing and outstanding services.
Plus, there are extra perks (most at no extra charge) you may not find with any other auto insurance company:
- $500 personal property coverage,
- deductible waiver if your auto is vandalized at or close to your school,
- summer or holiday skip payment option,
- ID defense,
- rates locked in for a full year (California Casualty had a rate reduction in Idaho this past September),
- towing and roadside assistance, etc., etc., etc.
See the ad and get a quote for great coverage.
Through the NEA Home Financing Program, with financing provided by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, NEA members, their parents and children have access to a wide range of home loan options to meet a variety of needs and receive a special benefit after closing.
Spring is a great time to take a fresh look at what needs to be done around a home and consider any home financing goals you have for the future.
Things to check around the house
No matter where you live, now is a good time to take inventory of what to take care of at home, to ensure that you’re ready for the months ahead. Be sure to check off the following items:
- Check the batteries in the smoke alarms and flashlights
- Replenish any emergency items like water
- Have your air conditioner inspected by a professional
- Check exterior doors and windows for cracked or broken glass
Review insurance needs
It’s important to evaluate homeowners insurance coverage on a regular basis. This will help make sure that coverage keeps pace with the cost to repair or rebuild a home and replace its contents, including any upgrades made over time. While this could lead to higher premiums, it helps to be more adequately insured and less vulnerable to high out-of-pocket expenses.
The following are just a few items that can affect insurance and the premium being paid:
- Home remodeling project
- Installation of a pool or trampoline
- The age of a house and roof—and the materials
- A home-based business
To ensure that you’re properly covered, contact an insurance agent and review coverage every year. In addition:
- Consider combining your policies. Many insurance companies offer discounts for bundling policies.
- Purchase umbrella liability insurance to protect yourself against claims that may exceed your current coverage limits. Umbrella policies generally offer $1 million or more in additional coverage at reasonable rates.
Think about your future home financing needs
A regular mortgage check helps you think about whether your mortgage still aligns with your current goals, such as making renovations, buying your next home or a vacation property, refinancing your current mortgage, or helping one of your children buy their first home. Checking in with your home mortgage consultant to evaluate your current situation only takes a few minutes and is a great opportunity to help ensure you’re making the changes necessary to meet your goals. Even making a small adjustment, such as changing your payment schedule, could benefit you in the long run.
Add to your list a look at the NEA Home Financing Program. You can buy a new home or refinance with this Association member benefit. After closing on a loan through the NEA Home Financing Program, you’re eligible to receive a MyMortgage GiftSM award from Wells Fargo approximately 6 weeks after closing — $500 for buying a home, or $300 for refinancing your home – for use at participating retailers. 1
To learn more, call the NEA Home Financing Program at 800-632-4968 or visit us online.
Eligible individuals can receive the Wells Fargo My Mortgage GiftSM award approximately 6 weeks after closing on a new purchase or refinance loan secured by an eligible first mortgage or deed of trust with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (“New Loan”), subject to qualification, approval and closing, when identifying themselves as eligible. The My Mortgage GiftSM award is not available with any Wells Fargo Three-Step Refinance SYSTEM® program, The Relocation Mortgage Program® or to any Wells Fargo team member. Only one My Mortgage Gift award is permitted per eligible (“New Loan”). This award cannot be combined with any other award, discount or rebate, except for yourFirstMortgageSM. This award is void where prohibited, transferable, and subject to change or cancellation with no prior notice. Awards may constitute taxable income. Federal, state and local taxes, and any use of the award not otherwise specified in the Terms and Conditions (also provided at receipt of award) are the sole responsibility of the My Mortgage GiftSM recipient.