Investing & Retiring

Black Friday arrives on Friday, November 23. Do you plan to join the frenzied early sales with hundreds of your fellow consumers, scour the Internet for online bargains as soon as you’ve digested your Thanksgiving turkey, or wait until the first shopping wave dies down and take your chances a little later in the day?
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You’re never too old to learn new things – including better money management practices. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) agrees. To address financial literacy concerns, the FDIC created the Money Smart teaching program in 2001 to help educators and financial institutions increase consumer understanding of basic financial systems work and how to use them
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Most consumers know that credit cards can come with fees other than interest charges applied to balances. Annual fees, late payment fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees … the list goes on. Did you know that debit cards could have fees as well? If not, don’t feel bad. In a recent
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Finding a job can be a stressful and difficult task – and if you have poor credit, you may have an even harder time finding a job. A 2016 CareerBuilder study found that almost one-third of employers run credit checks on their potential hires, on the assumption that people with good credit are more likely
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By Eric Olsen, Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm I just got off the phone with a senior couple who have a timeshare they can’t afford and don’t use any longer. They had called a company who advertised that they help people get out of timeshares. (I hear such advertisements on the radio and television
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To some of us, Halloween is an enjoyable time to dress up our children and/or ourselves, carve scary pumpkins, decorate our home with spooky effects, gorge on treats, and spend the next morning jogging off a candy binge. To others, it is a time to figure out how much candy they need to have on
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Are smart appliances and systems making you feel like you are being outwitted by your home? They shouldn’t. In many cases, it is just a matter of investing the time to read through the manual and understand the capabilities of the system. For standard appliances like refrigerators, ovens, or TVs, if you do not educate
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With summer ending, the end of the year will be around before you have time to figure out whether it is better to finally take down the Christmas lights or, at this point, just leave them up. That makes it a good time to look ahead on your taxes, as well as a few other
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By Stephanie Braun, Director of Auto Product Management at Esurance Companies have collected data on their customers for decades. It allows them to offer more tailored services and products, and provide more relevant messaging. The reason data collection has gotten so much press lately is because it’s reached unprecedented levels. Already, we create 2.5 quintillion
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You may be mentally and physically ready to retire, but are you financially ready to retire? Don’t just automatically assume that your current nest egg is sufficient because you’ve reached a certain age. Assess your financial readiness, starting with these five questions. 1. What Are Your Retirement Goals? – Typical advice suggests aiming for 80%
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Did the money gremlins sneak into your bank account and drain it again? Surely, the problem cannot be that you spent too much! There must be some other reason…. Perhaps it is time to get a handle on your spending. If you do not track your spending, you cannot distinguish between gremlins and your own
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How much discretionary income do you have left after you’ve paid the monthly bills? Would that change if you were a homeowner instead of a renter, or vice versa? PropertyShark and RENTCafé considered this question with a study of 52 urban areas. Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor, discretionary
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You must maximize your retirement funds to increase your chances of enjoying a comfortable retirement, so it’s important to avoid unnecessary fees that take a bite out of your nest egg without providing value in return. Consider these five retirement expenses that are generally avoidable if you pay attention and properly plan your finances. 1.
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For millennials who are just stepping into their workaday world, planning for retirement is definitely not something they seem to have on their mind. However, as Social Security benefits are sure to scale back over the next two decades, retirement planning has become a must for every millennial who wants to maintain the same standard
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Have you ever lied for financial gain? The odds are strong that you’ve done it at least once. According to a new study from finder.com, almost 4 out of 5 Americans have admitted to lying for some type of financial gain – and many don’t feel guilty about their lies. Over 2,000 U.S. adults
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Are you planning to retire within the next 10 to 15 years?If so, are you ready to take retirement preparedness to the next level? Retirement is no longer an abstract concept when you reach your 50s. It’s important to take a closer look at your financial plans now, while you have time to make any
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How would you like to retire early? Millennials certainly like the idea, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.com. Millennials identified the perfect retirement age as 61 – a full six years before their full retirement age (FRA) as defined by Social Security and one year before they can even claim reduced Social Security
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Are you familiar with the 4% rule and how it relates to retirement? Let’s find out. Choose one of the options below. The 4% rule refers to… a) The average amount of your retirement time you’ll spend looking for something you misplaced. b) The average annual amount of time you’ll spend getting medical care. c)
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By Sandra Parsons While Cardi B is topping the charts, “Card Cracking” is ruining some music fans’ lives. Rapper Young Ash and five others were recently indicted for running a card cracking ring that recruited accomplices through her Snapchat channel. Learn how card cracking works and how you can avoid falling victim to
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If you are one of the fortunate few who have a defined benefit retirement plan, you have more predictability in your retirement income than most. You can calculate your combined pension benefits and any Social Security benefits that you have earned and have a clear idea of your annual income throughout retirement – assuming you
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You’re in a cash-flow crunch again. An important bill is due, and you’ve earned the money to pay that bill – but it’s not payday yet. You’re on a two-week pay cycle and have to wait for another week or so before your money is available. What are your options? Ask a friend or relative
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Did you realize that not all financial advisors are obligated to act in your best interest? Financial professionals are obligated to offer products and advice that are suitable for your needs, but not all of them are obligated to offer the best advice possible. Two standards govern financial advisors – the fiduciary standard and the
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