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A Traveler’s Guide to Protecting Your Identity, Accounts, and Information on the Road

If you’re like us, your entire life is on your computer. And if someone wanted to steal your life, or access your bank account, there’s no better roadmap for doing it than the files on your computer.

We carry everything from our resumes to our tax returns on our laptops. It’s hard to understate the damage a knowledgeable criminal could do with that information. And while we’re careful not to store bank account information or passwords anywhere, it is ridiculously easy to hack into many online accounts once you have control of someone’s computer. In a minute, we’ll show you just how easy and how you can protect yourself.

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You’ve Heard Wrong. It’s Easier Than Ever to Buy Health Insurance

Health Insruance Application

Here’s something you probably haven’t heard: getting an individual health insurance policy is far easier today than it was before the government’s disastrous health insurance exchange rollout. I know that’s not what you’ve read elsewhere, but it’s true, and we’re going to prove it to you. More importantly, we’re going to show you easy ways to shop for health insurance that completely bypass the error plagued website. 

By all accounts, the Federal Government’s health insurance site, Healthcare.gov, is a complete mess. That’s the website were individuals were supposed to be able to shop for and buy health insurance plans under the newly enacted healthcare legislation. The site launched on October 1, and promptly failed.

Nearly a month later, few people have actually been able to purchase insurance through the site. The best guess is that it will take at least another month to fix. At this point, though, nobody really knows when it will operate correctly. But even if the site isn’t fixed, you may be surprised to learn that you can still get health insurance quite easily under Obamacare.

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Your Questions Answered: Health Insurance for the Perpetual Traveler

Health Insurance and the Perpetual Traveler

It is perhaps the biggest mistake we see long-term travelers make. Foregoing or ignoring health insurance.

We understand the reasons. Budget travelers are, almost by definition, short on both time and money; the very two things most needed to tackle the complicated and expensive health insurance market. But it wasn’t until we stirred up a hornet’s nest last week by diving into the politics of U.S. health insurance reform that we realized how long overdue this article really was. We received so many questions from our readers that we thought it worthwhile to dedicate an entire post to the subject of health insurance. 

Here are some of the most frequent questions we received along with our opinions and some resources to help answer them.

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Tax Loophole Reminder

Tax Signing

This is something we intended to do later in the year but it seemed particularly appropriate given recent events.

Last April we wrote an article discussing a tax loophole available to middle-income earners who also happen to be sitting on some capital gains. You can read the details in the linked article but the basic idea is that it is possible to lock in a zero-percent tax rate by selectively harvesting some of your gains.

Ideally you’d do this in December when you have a clearer picture of what your 2013 income will look like. However, with equity prices just a few percentage points off their highs and with Congress potentially precipitating another financial crisis in just a few weeks by failing to raise the United States debt ceiling, now may not be such a bad time to harvest those gains.

A Tax Loophole for the Middle Class

Tax Signing

If you’re a U.S. citizen then you probably already know that today is tax filing day. We wanted to be among the first to say, lucky you. More than that, though, we’re here to help take the sting out of the occasion by offering an observation that may make these days a bit less taxing in the future.

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