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We hear ads for free or no-fee checking all the time, but are these accounts really free? There are four different account components to consider. Maintenance Fees – These are monthly fees that the bank charges you simply to maintain your checking account. Some banks list maintenance fees but allow them to be waived under
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Workers’ Compensation is a program designed to compensate workers that are injured because of job-related activities or the job environment. The compensation covers several areas of expense. Medical Treatment – This includes emergency care and follow-up treatment, as well as any required rehabilitation and corresponding transportation costs. Lost Wages – Compensation for your lost
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What are hedge funds, and why are they so revered by some and hated by others? Hedge funds are simply pools of money from specific investors designed to outperform the market through alternative investment strategies. Hedge funds involve higher risk, and thus participation is limited to accredited investors who have a net worth of over
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The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report, providing a comprehensive update on the state of wind power within the US and the challenges that lie ahead. The report shows that while US wind power capacity has been increasing, the lack of a coherent and comprehensive governmental policy will likely
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Who needs scratch-off lottery tickets and Powerball? Some credit unions are offering a program that allows you to win prizes as you save your money, at no risk to you. Not surprisingly, the program is called Save to Win. The program was developed in Michigan in 2009 as an innovative way to encourage lower- and
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The near-term future for commodities looks grim and the recently released “Commodity Markets Outlook, July 2015” from the World Bank reinforces this point. The second quarter of 2015 saw most commodities drop by 2% in overall non-energy commodity price indices. Oil prices were actually up slightly during the reporting period, but have taken a recent
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Can you see the day where the average airline trip costs more in taxes and ancillary charges than it does in the actual fare? It is already possible to do that given the array of fees that we pay along the way. According to a recent report by consulting groups IdeaWorks and CarTrawler, in 2014,
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Rapper 50 Cent is currently going through the unpleasant experience of personal bankruptcy. That’s right, the man named after money, the man who sang, “Have a baby by me baby be a millionaire,” is now in bankruptcy court. Like many before him in the entertainment industry, overspending and lifestyle issues put 50 Cent (real name:
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Love or hate them, you cannot deny that the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is doing its job with gusto. The CFPB has taken on multiple large companies and financial institutions, levying heavy fines like the nearly $800 million fine against Bank of America. We can now add Citibank to the growing list. Citigroup will
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The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 primarily to set standards for private pension programs. Prior to ERISA, the management of some large pension funds had been indulging in questionable investments and loans. ERISA was enacted to make sure that pensioners get the benefits that they deserve from their fund contributions.
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The pitch is very appealing to fiscally conservative seniors. Earn up to 8% on your investment with a guarantee not to lose money. Sounds too good to pass up, doesn’t it? Welcome to the world of indexed annuities. These financial vehicles are sold by insurance companies and target the risk-averse investor or retiree. Indexed annuities
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How do you go from being on top of the world with a multimillion-dollar contract to filing for bankruptcy? By spending like it is never going to end. Former football superstars are finding that out the hard way. Studies have shown that a high percentage of NFL players declare bankruptcy after their playing days, and
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Benefits for Social Security and traditional pensions are apportioned very differently. With traditional Social Security, your benefits are calculated based on your work record and supported by taxes removed from your salary during the course of your working life. With pensions, the company or government entity you worked for puts aside money in a fund
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Now that the U.S. is among the world leaders in oil production, does it make sense to retain the ban on U.S. oil exports? These bans were imposed in the mid-1970s in response to the oil embargo from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). At the time, the U.S. was highly dependent on oil
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Unless you have been in an isolation tank for some time, you know that Donald Trump is running for President of the United States. He of the iconic hair is particularly sensitive to discussions about bankruptcy, as his operations have declared bankruptcy multiple times. While the Donald may not like it, it’s fair to ask
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“Acts of God”, for insurance purposes, are defined as events that occur through natural causes and could not be avoided through the use of caution and preventative measures. In essence, the phrase “Acts of God” refers to natural disasters. The phrase generally brings to mind hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hail, or floods. However, the lines can
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A land trust is a type of revocable living trust designed for only one purpose – to hold title to real estate. Usually, they are created to provide some level of privacy and/or protection to the landowners. A trustee is chosen (typically a corporate entity), and beneficiaries make their wishes known to the trustee with
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It is a hectic and bittersweet time as your children head off to college. There are so many issues to consider that it is easy to forget one important aspect — insurance. Insurance policies and coverage will generally change once your children are no longer under your roof. However, with some planning, those changes may
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Retirement is approaching. Do you have a comprehensive overview of your retirement funds and how you will manage them when you actually do retire? A surprising number of people do not know much about their retirement funds other than that they exist. Some don’t even realize how many sources of retirement funds they have. This
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Ah, summertime. The weather warms up, the flowers bloom, and the flocks of home improvement scammers return for their annual summertime gathering. Like other unwanted pests, shady home improvement contractors tend to show up in the spring and summertime offering services ranging from driveway sealing to chimney repair to roof replacement to a complete home
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Solar energy seems to be reaching a mainstream tipping point worldwide. While solar power currently makes a small contribution to the world’s energy production (accounting for 0.5% of global electricity demand in 2011 according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions), the percentages are growing rapidly. Within the U.S., the amount has grown from
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Banks constantly look to gain the loyalty of new customers. One great place for banks to find these ideal, new customers is at colleges, universities and other post-secondary educational institutions. Students Make Easy Targets for Excessive Fees Unfortunately, students do not pay much attention to their finances, especially when it comes to the fine print
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The massive salaries and endorsements of sports stars do not guarantee a comfortable life — evidence suggests the opposite is true for many pro athletes. Sports Illustrated estimated that a staggering 80% of retired NFL players end up broke within the first three years after retirement. Fortune magazine cites research from the National Bureau of
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Celebrities and money management don’t always go together well. From the entertainment field to athletes to reality TV stars, celebrities arrive at their wealth and fame armed with a spectrum of spending habits and financial skills. Some inherently know how to handle their finances, and others hire trusted people to manage their funds for them.
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Antoine Walker had the world by the tail in 1996. He was coming off a NCAA championship season with the Kentucky Wildcats and was chosen by the Boston Celtics as the sixth pick overall in the 1996 draft. Fourteen years later, he declared bankruptcy with assets of $4.28 million and $12.74 million in liabilities. Walker
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