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Important Update: FDIC Insurance Coverage Increased in Late 2008

In the fall of 2008, Congress temporarily increased the basic FDIC insurance coverage limit from $100,000 to $250,000 through December 31, 2009. In addition, the FDIC simplified the rules for the calculation of deposit insurance coverage for revocable trust deposits, including an expanded definition of the "eligible beneficiaries" for additional insurance coverage. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance may not reflect the current insurance coverage. For more information, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

Fall 2005 - A Special Guide for Seniors and Families

A Final Exam for Seniors

Take our quiz on money management for older Americans and their families, which is based on information in this special report

  1. You can begin receiving your Social Security benefits only after you reach your "full" retirement age (anywhere from age 65 to 67 under current law), not before then. True or False?
  2. If you pledge your home as collateral for a loan (such as with a home equity line of credit), you could lose your home if you can't repay the loan. True or False?
  3. If you borrow money using a reverse mortgage (a type of home equity loan for homeowners age 62 or older), you don't repay the loan in monthly payments. Instead, the principal and interest payments are due when you move, sell the house or die. True or False?
  4. In general, when you factor in the interest charges and fees, a reverse mortgage is a good choice for retirees to cover small expenses. True or False?
  5. If you purchase an annuity at an FDIC-insured bank, and the annuity loses value, the FDIC will protect your investment against loss. True or False?
  6. Suppose you receive a phone call or letter saying you've won a big prize. Before you can collect the prize, you must send a check or provide a credit card number to pay for taxes or shipping. You can be sure it's safe to go ahead with the payment to cover those expenses. True or False?
  7. Reviewing your credit report is one way to find out if you may be a victim of identity theft because these reports can tell you if a credit card has been wrongfully opened in your name. True or False?
  8. A new federal law entitles Americans to three free credit reports each year. True or False?
  9. If you're keeping records of bank accounts that are no longer open, clearly mark them as closed. Otherwise, loved ones who discover the information after your death could waste a lot of time researching these old accounts. True or False?
  10. To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, shred papers that contain a Social Security number or bank account number before tossing them away. True or False?
  11. The only way a friend or family member can withdraw funds from your bank account if you become ill or incapacitated is if you add that person's name to the bank's records as a co-owner of the account. True or False?
  12. FDIC insurance only comes into play when an FDIC-insured banking institution fails. True or False?
  13. John has a payable-on-death trust account naming two people – his wife and a child – as equal beneficiaries. Under current FDIC rules, the account is FDIC-insured for up to $200,000 ($100,000 for each beneficiary). True or False?
  14. A death in a family can reduce the FDIC insurance coverage of bank accounts for which the deceased was a co-owner or beneficiary. True or False?
  15. If an FDIC-insured bank fails, most insurance payments are made within a few days, usually by the next business day. True or False?


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Last Updated 11/14/2005


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