Uncovering Your Own Personal “Pot of Gold”

March 3, 2017

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and we all know what that means – lots of green, plenty of beer, and all the Irish music and food you could want. And if you’re lucky, you could even find your own little pot of gold right at home, without the help of a leprechaun!

Let’s start with that junk drawer you have in your house; the one that you toss all kinds of stuff into when it’s cluttering your pockets or your countertops. Like that Visa gift card you got for your birthday, or the $50 check that your grandma gave you for Christmas. Or maybe it’s the place where you throw all of your loose change.

Whatever it is that you toss in there, you could be pleasantly surprised by some forgotten treasures if you take the time to clean it out.

And did you know that every year, millions of dollars in federal tax refunds sit idly because they could not be delivered, or were never claimed? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mails refund checks to your last known address, so if you move and don’t provide a forwarding address to the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service, your refund check could end up going back to where it came from. If you’re expecting a refund check and haven’t received it, you can check the status of your refund online by going to https://www.irs.gov/refunds. Or you can contact the IRS by phone. You can also visit https://www.irs.gov/help-resources/telephone-assistance to find the appropriate phone number to call.

And speaking of unclaimed money, most states maintain an unclaimed property division for monetary property that has not been claimed or has been abandoned. Some states even allow you to search online for unclaimed property just by typing your name into a search box. Typically your state’s Treasury Department oversees unclaimed property, so that’s a great place to start your search if you think you may have any unclaimed property out there.

You can also hit a potential “pot of gold” by using a member organization geared toward specific groups of people, such as retirees or car owners. AARP, formerly called the American Association of Retired Persons, is the largest membership club for retired people in the United States, while AAA describes itself as “North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization [that] provides its members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services.” Both of these organizations offer their members access to discounts on a variety of services and products, such as life insurance policies and discounts on purchases like concert tickets and hotel rooms. You can learn more by going to aaa.com and aarp.com.

No matter where you end up looking, we hope you uncover at least one pot of gold along the way!

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