What do you think? Should Congress make the shopping sheet mandatory? Send your comments to email@example.com. Please include your name and city. Put “Shopping Sheet” in the subject line.
Insuring Your College-Bound Kid’s Stuff
Kimberly Lankford, contributing editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, responded to a reader who wanted to know if her home insurance covered her son’s belongings in his dorm.
Lankford says your home policy should cover your child’s property on campus – and possibly off campus. Of course, it’s best to check with your insurance company.
Even if there is coverage, some insurers may cap what’s covered, typically at about 10 percent of the possessions coverage in your homeowner’s policy. So, for example, Lankford says that if you have a $200,000 policy on your home with 50 percent of that amount for contents, or $100,000, your kid’s coverage at college may be limited to $10,000.
If your child is living off campus in an apartment, consider renters’ insurance.
“Many college kids don’t realize how many valuable possessions they have -- say, a computer, a printer, a smart phone, an iPad and a TV, in addition to furniture and clothes,” Lankford writes. “The cost of replacing them can quickly add up, so being sure you have coverage is a smart idea.”
“Pre-nup or No Nup”
For last week’s Color of Money I asked: “Do you think couples need a prenuptial agreement?”
In a recent online discussion, Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax responded to a reader who wanted to know if she should sign a pre-nup given to her a month before the wedding.
Here are some of your responses:
“Like many things in life, ‘it depends,’” wrote Charlie Hartman of Canandiagua, N.Y. “If the couple is young and just starting out with no assets to speak of, then a prenup would seem to be the anticipation of divorce. In the case of an older couple, where one or both come into the marriage having assets, and perhaps having children from previous marriages, then some form of written understanding would seem to be important. In the case of the death of one of the partners, a prenup would solve a lot of problems for the heirs.”
Nicole Carnevale of Cranston, R.I., believes prenup is just an all-around good idea. She wrote: “Unlike some, I don’t believe a prenup in any way degrades the sacred institution of marriage. If anything, I believe it strengthens a couple’s relationship, as it mitigates any fear, anxiety or worry about the inevitable thought of ‘what if’ this marriage doesn’t work out?’ Couples getting ready to tie the knot are smart to sign a prenup.”
“My wife and I got married at ages 41 and 47 respectively, so we both brought assets to the table,” wrote Mark Cassel of Collegeville, Pa. “Nonetheless, we did not have a pre-nup. We just celebrated our fifth anniversary and our love continues to grow. As the financial advisor and radio host Dave Ramsey suggests, for most people a pre-nup is setting up the opportunity to fail at marriage. We had no intentions of having failure enter our relationship. Our attitudes are focused on success so a pre-nup would have clouded that intention.”
Tia Lewis contributed to this report.
You are welcome to e-mail comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown; your comments may be used in a future column or newsletter unless otherwise requested.