What the experts say
Flood insurance premiums rising
Many homeowners will pay more for flood insurance this year, said Ann Carrns in The New York Times. Premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program are up by an average of 6 percent after increases that took effect April 1, bringing the average annual premium to roughly $878. “Some properties, however, may see much higher increases,” including second homes, houses in high-risk areas, and properties that have had multiple flood claims. With costs rising, it’s worth shopping around. “Private policies are increasingly available in some areas,” even though most flood policies are sold through the federal program. “They may be more affordable than the government ones and may have shorter wait times, sometimes as little as 10 days.”
Target-date funds, post-target
Target-date funds “are good options for retirement savers who are building their nest egg,” said Nellie Huang in Kiplinger.com, but they may not be the right choice for investors who’ve already retired. Target-date funds automatically adjust their asset mix to become more conservative the closer an investor gets to retirement. But that approach “may not be nimble enough” for some, “especially considering that retirement might last for decades.” For instance, the typical 2015 portfolio, which is designed for those who plan to retire within a few years of 2015, has 40 percent of assets invested in stocks, according to investment research firm Morningstar. But the range for all 2015 target-date funds stretches from 15 percent in stocks to almost 60 percent.
Know your airline seat rights
“Airlines have a lot of leeway when it comes to denying passengers entry onto an aircraft,” but passengers should know their rights, said Megan Leonhardt in Money.com. If you’re involuntarily bumped on an overbooked flight, the airline must provide a written statement “explaining why you’re being bumped and your rights to compensation.” The Department of Transportation requires airlines to compensate passengers up to $1,350 if they’re involuntarily removed and arrive at their destination more than two hours later than planned (four hours for international flights). They also have to pay by check, if you ask, which you should be able to collect at the airport at the time of your removal. “You don’t have to accept vouchers.” But these rules only cover involuntary removals. “If you accept a voluntary offer, you’re on your own.”