Now's the time to get in order
Trying to get in financial shape for the New Year? Financial services firm Charles Schwab offers these tips:
-- Give your portfolio a check-up: Make sure your overall asset allocation is in line with your goals, time horizon and risk tolerance.
-- Pay off credit cards: Resolve to get rid of all consumer debt that is not tax deductible.
-- Track your spending: Write down everything you spend for 30 days and then look for opportunities to reduce spending.
-- Determine your tax bracket: There have been some major changes in the income tax landscape in the last year. All marginal rates above 15 percent have come down and your marginal tax bracket determines a wide variety of important financial moves.
-- Max out retirement savings: Start early, contribute often and even if you can't contribute the full legal limit available to you, be sure to contribute as much of that amount as you possibly can.
-- Review your insurance coverage: This is the time of year to check your homeowner and auto policies for appropriate coverage and deductibles.
Computers may give early warning to attack
Union Pacific Corp. has long used computers to track train crews. Now it wants to know whether they can track absenteeism for early indications of a disease outbreak or bioterrorism attack.