Money Matters

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Many people are still nervous about their investments and bank accounts with the trouble on Wall Street and the lack of a bailout bill.

But is your money really safe? In most cases, the answer is yes.

Your bank accounts are insured by the FDIC up to a limit of $100,000 at each bank. If you're married, each co-owner of a joint account has $100,000 in insurance for a total of $200,000. Your individual accounts and household is covered up to $400,000.

The same rules apply for accounts at credit unions. Certain types of retirement accounts are covered by the FDIC up to $250,000. If you have both a regular and Roth IRA, the assets would be added together and be insured up to $250,000.

If you have a money market account that is lumped with with all the other accounts bearing your name at that institution, they are insured up to 100-thousand. Money that you keep in a money market mutual fund is not insured.

Many also wonder what happens if the FDIC takes over their bank if they have uninsured funds there. In most cases , those who had accounts in failed banks had immediate access to at least half, if not all of their uninsured funds.

Here are some Web sites to calculate if all of your money is insured. Go to fdic.gov. For credit union accounts, go to ncua.gov.

If your brokerage firm goes under, keep in mind your broker must keep the accounts separate from the firm's money. Your accounts should remain intact even if another firm takes over it's business.

The important thing is not to panic and lose sleep over this, since there isn't a lot any of us can do about the current state of affairs.


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