Help curb web

By Jim Murphy

Are you guilty of forwarding inaccurate, unchecked or baseless emails to friends and neighbors?

Here’s a better idea. Stop. Think. And before you forward that email, go to to see if the information is accurate.

Spread truth instead of rumors and lies has been debunking urban legends and myths since 1995. It’s so popular that many bogus emails will try to tell you snopes has confirmed the authenticity of their emails. Don’t believe them.

Instead, fact-check the latest news, web rumors and lies at snopes. Review what the site calls “the legends, the mayhem, and the misinformation!”

Better yet, sign up for its free newsletter, the “Daily Debunker.”

Then before you bombard your e-mail friends with bad info, you can search out the truth.

Today, with phony news sites creating chaos across the globe, a little fact-checking before forwarding is the friendly thing to do.



Make sure you update
your beneficiary form

 Do you recall who’s listed as beneficiary on your Individual Retirement Account or IRA?

If not, it’s a good idea to check and update the form any time you have what the retirement industry calls a “life event.”

 For example, if you’ve divorced, remarried or had more children since you last completed the beneficiary form, it’s definitely time to update it.

Otherwise, upon your death, your account assets could go to your first wife, while your current spouse receives nothing.

That may be true, even if your will gives everything to your current wife. As I have heard noted IRA tax expert Ed Slott say, “The beneficiary form trumps all else.”

And, a blog on his website says, “The same holds true for annuities and life insurance that you own. Each retirement account that you have has a separate beneficiary form.”

Another tip from Slott’s website …

Update your beneficiary forms and keep a copy for your records. Companies can lose these forms. “After you submit the form, ask the company to confirm to you, in writing, who the beneficiary is on your account. Keep that response with the copy of the beneficiary form.”

Note: I’m providing general information here, not financial advice. How you complete your beneficiary forms can tremendously impact your estate. If you have any questions or concerns, seek out a professional financial advisor.

Fun Fact

 Many people think Pennsylvania was named for Philadelphia’s founder, William Penn. It wasn’t.

King Charles II, who gave the land grant to William Penn, wanted the area named for Penn’s father, Admiral William Penn. And so it was. Pennsylvania means Penn’s Woods.



flickr photo by Emertz76
shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license



Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. He also is a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.





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