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Last-minute shopping tips for back-to-school season that won't break the bank
(BPT) - If you enjoyed every minute of your summer vacation or you were completely booked with fun activities, you might have some last-minute back-to-school shopping left to do before the bell rings this fall. If you are a little behind in checking all of your kids’ school supplies off the sh ...
Holiday shopping? Scammers hope you'll send them money for online purchases
(BPT) - This holiday season, will you be one of the 197 million Americans to shop online, according to eMarketer? Holiday shoppers will go online to buy everything from gift cards to cars, flat screen TVs to smartphones. And at least some of them will have their holiday spirit dampened by scammers w ...
10 ways you're throwing money away daily
(BPT) - How savvy are you about saving money? Even some of the best budget planners can fall for these seemingly small daily expenses, but with a few simple changes, you could be on your way to big savings!Check out 10 ways people throw away money every day – and little swaps you c ...
A higher standard: understanding the types of financial advisors and under what rules they operate
(BPT) - What’s in a name? When choosing a brand of paper towels or laundry detergent, one name may be as good as another. When it comes to selecting a financial advisor, however, consumers should know there are different types of advisors who are held to significantly different professional st ...
3 empowering reasons why women can be better investors
(BPT) - Despite the earning power of today’s women, many still shy away from investing and long-term planning. One of the reasons may be a lack of confidence. A 2014 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that half of women say they are not confident about the abil ...
Holiday shoppers have more money to spend than they think
(BPT) - Having a happy holiday shouldn’t mean stretching your finances paper thin. But many Americans already know they’ll likely go over their holiday budgets this year, which can mean financial stress in the new year. Fortunately, a few unexpected tricks and shopping strategies can hel ...
Your credit scores: What you don't know could cost you
(BPT) - Do you know what your credit scores are? If you don’t, you’re not alone. In fact, many people know very little about their credit scores, what they are or how they work. And they certainly don’t understand that having low credit scores can have a big impact on their future. ...
6 tips for finding more affordable, better coverage during Medicare Annual Enrollment
(BPT) - Are you among the 54 million Americans currently receiving health insurance through Medicare? The Medicare annual enrollment period (AEP), running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, means you have the opportunity to change plans, and possibly find cost savings or better coverage.Seniors and people with ...
Planning for your 20-year vacation
(BPT) - Are you ready to be on vacation for 20 or 30 years?That’s what planning for retirement compares to for many people as life spans have increased dramatically over the past few decades. A male who celebrates his 65th birthday today can expect to live until age 84 on average, according to ...
New study: Americans misinformed before donating to charities [Infographic]
(BPT) - Looking at overhead ratios or finances doesn’t give you a full picture of a charity’s performance, and can give donors a false sense of confidence. For example, a charity with a low overhead ratio may not have adequate oversight of its staff. In fact, no single measure can signal ...
What makes the best credit card option? [Infographic]
(BPT) - A new survey conducted by Chase Ultimate Rewards in partnership with Mercator Advisory Group explores the shift in consumer attitudes and behaviors toward their credit cards and loyalty programs. The survey of 1,000 adult credit and charge card consumers reveals cardholders prefer attra ...
How to keep your information safe this holiday season
(BPT) - It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and for a lot of us, that means holiday shopping. But how careful are you when you’re entering personal information online to purchase gifts for your loved ones?“Today’s technological landscape allows us to share more o ...
More Americans using smartphones to access their bank accounts
(BPT) - Smartphones have become an essential part of everyday life; from texting and email to social media, Americans rely heavily on their mobile devices. If your mobile phone was taken away, how long could you survive without it?The answer may surprise you: nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. consume ...
Quick and simple at-home beauty treatments to try
(BPT) - Pampering yourself with skin and beauty treatments is important, but going to the salon or buying expensive products are not always the most convenient – or wallet-friendly – options.In fact, 82 percent of women prefer to save than splurge, spending less than 50 dollars each mont ...
It's never too early to start teens on a budget
(BPT) - At some point, everyone will have to learn how to live on a budget, whether it’s at home, at work or with a nonprofit organization. For teenagers with a limited income and plenty of interests that cost money, learning to manage a budget can never come too early.Money management is a ne ...
Easy ways to make senior living affordable
(BPT) - Kathy Hesselgrave’s 90-year-old mother’s health declined to the point where she was no longer able to live in her home by herself. Because her mother needed help cooking and taking her medication, Hesselgrave found herself taking care of her mom, splitting the days and nights wit ...
4 questions to ask before purchasing a new home
(BPT) - Buying a new house is an exciting time in your life. Because it is one of the most important investments you’ll make for yourself and your family, there are many important factors to consider. Before making a purchase, take these four questions into account. Having the answers will all ...
3 things you need to know before starting a home-based business
(BPT) - About 16 million Americans work from home – a number that Global Workplace Analytics expects will increase by 63 percent over the next five years. In fact, every 12 seconds someone starts a new home-based business in the United States, according to Business for Home. Access to new tech ...
One area of your home could be adding a lot of money to your heating bill
(BPT) - As ever-increasing home energy bills continue to plague Americans, homeowners are looking for cost-effective ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs. If your house has not been properly insulated, you may be paying more than you should to heat or cool it.Nearly all modern homes have i ...
Stop loan scammers and bogus bill collectors with these tips
(BPT) - In the United States, federal and state consumer collection laws forbid debt collectors from using unfair, deceptive, and abusive means to collect debt. Unfortunately, that fact doesn’t stop scammers from using threats of arrest and jail time to coerce victims into paying bogus bills t ...
5 rules to negotiate a better salary
(BPT) - Between networking, polishing your resume, applying and interviewing, finding a job is time consuming. Once the offer comes in, all your hard work is done, right? Not necessarily. Now is the time for negotiating – a process few people are comfortable with. Skipping it, however, can mea ...
Filing taxes for the first time? Easily conquer taxes with 3 simple tips
(BPT) - Unless you majored in accounting, the thought of filing your own income tax return may evoke feelings similar to your first job interview.Though understandable, this is an unfounded fear, given the simple taxes most individuals have in their early to mid-20s and the easy digital tax programs ...
Home renovation starts with good planning and good insurance
(BPT) - The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.People are remodeling their homes at historically high rates, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. Many of these projec ...
Shopping for a new vehicle? 5 questions to ask yourself before signing on the dotted line
(BPT) - It’s that time again - time to buy a new car. Maybe you’re excited because you’ve been dreaming of getting new wheels for a long time now. Or maybe you’re nervous; buying a car is a big financial commitment and you want to make sure you do your homework. If you fall i ...
6 surprisingly common student money misconceptions
(BPT) - From sports teams and extracurricular clubs to first jobs and first cars, high school students learn new lessons every day, many away from the classroom. But when it comes to balancing their obligations, many students learn some tough lessons for the first time as they dip their feet into ad ...
6 simple ways to make your bank account work for you
(BPT) - Are you making your bank account work for you? These days, checking accounts come with a variety of features, such as mobile alerts, that can help you take control of your finances and better manage your spending and saving. Are you taking advantage of them?The recent Bank of America Tr ...
Debunking common computer security myths
(BPT) - All businesses can be susceptible to threats like hackers and computer viruses. Making matters worse is the great deal of misinformation floating around regarding cyber security. The Internet attracts urban legends and computer security isn’t immune from this trend. Many alleged securi ...
Better late than never for retirement planning
(BPT) - If you’re within 10 years of retirement and haven’t done any appreciable planning, you’re not alone.Nearly half of Americans age 50 and older expect to retire later than they hoped, citing financial concerns, according to a 2013 study by the Associated Press-NORC Center for ...
Could you use $100,000 in extra Social Security benefits? Where to find it
(BPT) - Did you know there are more than 8,000 ways a married couple can file for Social Security benefits?With all those thousands of options, knowing how to pick the right strategy for your household could result in $100,000 or more in additional retirement income, according to a recent surve ...
How health care will affect your taxes: 6 tips you need to know
(BPT) - The Affordable Care Act has changed the health care insurance landscape since last year, and for the first time, health care and your taxes are now directly related. Millions of Americans will have to start making decisions about health care insurance now to be able to save more of their har ...
A quick, 3-step energy audit could save you big bucks this winter
(BPT) - If you are winterizing your home to protect against the headache of frozen pipes and potential water damage, conducting a quick, three-step energy audit now can help prevent nasty surprises when the heating bill arrives.It’s human instinct to increase the heat during the coldest winter ...
Facing financial pressures: 5 tips for the sandwich generation
(BPT) - Would you sacrifice your retirement and savings to simultaneously support your elderly parents and adult children? It’s not something many people envision, but millions are doing just that. These individuals are part of the sandwich generation—middle-aged adults caring for two di ...
Why the cheapest 'retirement investment' is also critical to your health
(BPT) - You maxed out your 401(k) every year you worked, invested wisely and planned carefully in preparation for retirement. Perhaps you even researched your Medicare options and you know exactly what health and drug plans you’ll choose. But if you’re like the majority of other American ...
Growing up financially smart: prepaid cards provide college students security, convenience
(BPT) - This fall, college students around the country will take their first steps toward financial independence. For many young adults, the college years are the first time they are responsible for managing and budgeting their money. With a combination of funds from jobs, their families and student ...
Wedding smarts: Before the 'I do's' remember these important insurance to do's
(BPT) - Congratulations, you're engaged. Once the excitement of sharing the news with your loved ones and Facebook friends dies down, there are several important issues to consider. This includes building your guest list, setting a budget, picking a venue, DJ versus band and other to do’s ...
Common new mom question: Are all formulas created equal?
(BPT) - New parents have plenty of concerns when it comes to raising a newborn, and pediatricians have heard them all. While some questions are unusual – “When can I feed my baby fast food?” or “Is it OK for my newborn baby to go kite surfing on my back?” – the mo ...
Saving money on your holiday shopping list
(BPT) - The holidays can get expensive, especially if you have a large list of family and friends to shop for, or if you are planning to host a party or two. There are some ways, however, that you can save money this year and potentially make your planning for the season a bit easier as well.Be sure ...
How to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse
(BPT) - Financial abuse of the elderly is on the rise and not only is it getting worse, but for every reported case of elder financial exploitation, 43 others go unrecognized.The annual financial loss for victims of elder abuse was estimated at $2.9 billion in 2010, up 12 percent over 2008, accordin ...
Small businesses: Are you ready for 2014 filing deadlines?
(BPT) - For small businesses, January’s arrival usually brings one very important task: issuing W-2s and 1099 forms to employees and independent contractors. The good news is this year, due to the typical filing date of Jan. 31 falling on a weekend, businesses have a built-in buffer and a coup ...
Young adults are getting serious about money sooner than you think
(BPT) - More evidence has emerged that parents are doing a better job teaching kids about money, and young adults are getting better at managing it.For instance, the majority of millennials are investing for retirement by the age of 24, according to the Spring 2014 Merrill Edge Report. This is in sh ...
New coaching program helps people living with multiple sclerosis improve financial wellness
(BPT) - Suzanne is a Las Vegas resident who spent nearly three decades fundraising for museums and universities until a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis in July of 2012 changed her life. Now MS keeps her from working full-time."Following my diagnosis my self-esteem took a hit and fear came into pla ...
Five ways to save big money on your cellphone bill
(BPT) - Cellphone plans these days can top $100 or even $200 a month, once you include the cost of data. That’s a lot of cash just to stay connected.Fortunately, consumers can take a few easy steps to slash their bills - without sacrificing quality.1. Switch to a no-contract provider &nbs ...
Personalizing your Medicare options: What's right for you?
(BPT) - Finding the right Medicare plan can be a little confusing – there are so many plans and coverage options to choose from.Health and wellness company Humana is helping to simplify the selection process and educate Medicare shoppers as they decide on 2015 coverage during the annual Medica ...
Parents: School is back in session, time to teach kids vital financial lessons
(BPT) - The first months of the school year are full of new lessons and experiences for children. While subjects like history, science and math aim to prepare kids for college and careers, there’s one vitally important educational goal that falls to parents to fulfill – financial educati ...
Take action today to help better prepare you for retirement [Infographic]
(BPT) - Planning for retirement starts now. During National Save for Retirement Week - Oct. 19-25 - take steps toward a more secure retirement by increasing the contributions you make to your retirement plan. “Upping” the amount you contribute today can help you better prepare for your r ...
Keep cool this summer while saving money
(BPT) - As summer temperatures rise, so can your energy and utility bills. Hotter weather can translate into higher costs if your home isn’t operating efficiently while working to keep you cool and comfortable. Yet there’s no need to swelter in the summer heat. There are simple thin ...
Home improvements that give you the most bang for your buck
(BPT) - Prioritizing a home-improvement wish list is never easy. Do you put design and aesthetics ahead of functionality? Or do you choose comfort and convenience over energy efficiency and cost savings?If you’ve found yourself trying to figure out which home improvement project to tackle next ...
Tips for becoming your own best health care advocate
(BPT) - When you think about health care, doctors and hospitals often come to mind, but it’s important to remember that the person staring back at you in the mirror may be your greatest health advocate. After all, no one knows your body or mind like you do. This is particularly important for t ...
Stress-free back-to-school shopping tips for parents of teens
(BPT) - Back-to-school shopping with a teenager can be harrowing for both parent and child. Parents must balance the function and fashion of required supplies to make returning to school fun, yet still within budget. With parents of teens spending $133.40 on average for back-to-school supplies per c ...
Most people underestimate their family's need for life insurance
(BPT) - If you have children and grandchildren, you have no doubt made it your goal to provide guidance, pass on your personal knowledge and build a foundation that ensures their comfort and security. You probably started by teaching your children early on how they could save money, shop wisely and ...
Important tax information for everyone with marketplace health insurance
(BPT) - Health insurance and income taxes, once an unlikely pair, are now close companions as a result of the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandate that took effect Jan. 1, 2014. If you have health insurance through the federal or a state-sponsored ...
Why grandma's holiday check could be the worst gift for a special needs child
(BPT) - You know that little check you can always count on from grandma or grandpa around the holidays? It could be the worst gift your child gets this year, if he or she is a child with special needs.If a child with disabilities accumulates more than $2,000 in total assets - including money in a ba ...
Millennials: How to make your home ownership dreams a reality
(BPT) - Owning a home is part of the American Dream, yet standards on income, credit and debt are making it tougher to buy a home than it was 10 years ago. Even though requirements are relaxing, only three out of five borrowers get approved.While stricter standards make it tougher for young families ...
Childproof your finances: Tips for new parents
(BPT) - Whether welcoming a newborn, adopting a child or becoming a stepparent for the first time, bringing a child into your life means big changes - and a big impact on your finances.According to the United States Department of Agriculture, parents of children born in 2013 will spend approximately ...
Small businesses: Check tax forms for errors to avoid fines for 2014
(BPT) - For many small businesses, tax form filing season can be one of the most dreaded times of the year. But with the winter months quickly approaching, there is one simple step that can save you and your business headache, heartache (and money): double-check all reporting documents and deadlines ...
Going back to school? Tips to choose the right degree
(BPT) - For many, earning a college degree opened the door to the working world; it may have even been instrumental in landing your current job. But are you applying what you learned in college to your current career field? A recent survey suggests this might not be the case.Only 35 percent of colle ...
Changes to know before filing your federal income tax return
(BPT) - Most tax law changes don’t affect the average taxpayer. That's fortunate news, considering the U.S. averaged at least one tax law change per day every day between 2000 and 2012. Some tax changes generally happen every year, such as inflation adjustments to standard deduction and ...
Growing your business: Tips for applying for small business loans
(BPT) - The outlook for small business is up with many business owners feeling good about the future of the economy, their financial positions and their plans for growth, according to Capital One’s Spark Business Barometer. But for many business owners looking to secure capital to either start ...
Answering these questions will help you plan for life's emergencies
(BPT) - It’s impossible to anticipate what life will throw your way. But still many families spend countless hours considering life’s many “what ifs.” What if we have kids? What if they are not healthy? What if we build a life that requires two salaries to make ends meet? Wha ...
Breastfeeding? Take advantage of FSA dollars
(BPT) - If you’re an expectant or new mom who has made the decision to breastfeed your baby, you’re not alone: 79 percent of new mothers initiate breastfeeding following the birth of their babies, according to the CDC 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card. Obtaining the right supplies and suppo ...
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