How safe is your money?

Sarah Gilbert

Ever since the explosion of IndyMac, we've been getting lots of e-mails from our readers, wondering, "just how safe is my money?" As someone who doesn't hold even five figures in her bank account, I'm not at much risk of losing my (ahem) life's savings. But you're frightened, so let me answer some common questions about FDIC insurance for you:

  • What kind of accounts are insured? Checking, savings, money market deposit and certificate of deposit accounts; also, some kinds of retirement accounts, including IRAs and Keogh accounts.

  • How does the $100,000 limit work? If you hold any combination of accounts at one bank -- checking, savings, CDs, whatever -- your accounts are added together for insurance purposes. The only way to get past the $100,000 limit is if you have an IRA or certain other kinds of retirement accounts; these accounts are insured up to $250,000.