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For most Americans, a prolonged period of unusually low oil prices is a positive. It costs less to fill your tank at the gas station, and lower transportation costs keep the price of goods relatively low. However, there are a few people who are not happy to see low oil prices — led by those
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Bank of America (BoA) has reported 2016 first quarter earnings from mortgage banking as $433 million, a decline from their $694 million in the first quarter of 2015. This is due to the bank selling fewer secondary market loans, Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio reports. Donofrio explained that the bank’s strategy is to place more
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How much will you be paying in federal income taxes this year? According to data from 2013, the average individual American tax bill was over $8,500 — yet there are large corporations making millions of dollars in profit and paying no income taxes. According to USA Today, 27 large corporations in the S&P 500 reported
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Does your ability to pass on your wealth to your heirs depend on where you live … and die? Indeed it does. Federal estate taxes apply no matter where you live within the U.S., but eighteen states subject their citizens to estate taxes or inheritance taxes. The difference between the two is that estate taxes
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At various times in life, your mortgage can seem overwhelming – either from the size of the monthly payments or the overall amount of interest you will pay. If you are looking for methods to save either way, here are a few suggestions: Consider Refinancing – Fixed interest rates are going up again, but they
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You are struggling just to pay your monthly bills, not to mention dealing with the occasional car breakdown, home maintenance item, or unexpected medical bill. You have had to resort to high-interest short-term payday loans to fill the gap, which puts you even further in debt. How can you even think about saving money in
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When making a purchase using a credit card, consumers aren’t simply buying merchandise or paying for services from a merchant; instead, they are involving several third parties in the transaction. These third parties include the company that issued the credit card, the bank used by the merchant, and the network handling the transaction. All of
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If you ever wanted to achieve the level of wealth that allows you to hide a large amount of it within the iconic Swiss bank account, you are now officially out of luck. Feel free to target great wealth, but do not expect to be able to evade taxes by parking your assets offshore in
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As the tax filing deadline looms, many Americans continue to prepare and file their annual income taxes. For the 86 million taxpayers who own their homes and have a mortgage, there are several different tax deductions they can take advantage of, including deducting their mortgage interest and the insurance premiums of any private mortgage insurance.
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Disaster planning is a critical exercise for most businesses. The idea is to devise contingency plans for the continued ongoing operation of the company in the event of a major storm, fire, terrorist attack or other natural or man-made disaster. In the same way, individuals should do some financial disaster planning so they can be
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When they hear the term “estate planning,” many people immediately think that this doesn’t apply to them because they aren’t “rich.” But you don’t have to be wealthy to have an estate. The fact is, if you own anything — a home or other real estate, automobile(s), investments, checking and savings accounts or life insurance,
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Classically, a pension is a retirement plan where a company or governmental entity sets aside contributions for its employees’ future retirement needs. These funds are invested to increase the available money pool used to meet those future obligations. But over the past 50 years, the definition of pension has expanded to include retirement plans where
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The terms “insurance agents” and “insurance brokers” are often used interchangeably and they may be thought of as the same job, but there are differences. The main difference is in the perspective of each insurance professional. Is an agent or a broker best for you or your business? To make that decision, you first have
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Financial professionals have a greater understanding of the value of social media and are seeing dividends from increased use of social media. That is the essence of the findings from the annual Financial Professionals Social Media Adoption Study from American Century Investments. The vast majority of financial professionals have at least some experience with social
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If you find yourself disabled for a short time, your employer may offer short-term disability insurance as part of your benefits package to help you retain some income while you recover. There will be a threshold employment requirement (a certain time of service and employment status) to be eligible. Typically, the range of benefits is
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Disability insurance replaces a portion of your income if you are unable to work due to an accident or prolonged illness. It’s usually broken into short-term insurance (typically one month or less) and long-term (anywhere from a month to a lifetime). Short-term disability insurance usually covers 60-70% of your salary at the time of the
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Your car was just inundated in a flash flood, consumed in a fire, blown away by a tornado, or crushed by falling debris. After you make sure that all of your loved ones are okay and your house is intact, you turn your attention to your now-useless car. Does your policy cover natural disasters? If
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