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home : life : finance August 1, 2014

Brown bagging potentially leads to $1 million retirement nest egg
(BPT) - Here’s a $1 million idea: making breakfast and lunch at home every day instead of dining out can potentially yield seven figures in retirement savings.A 25-year-old who eats breakfast at home and bags her lunch can save an extra $10 a day. Invested in a retirement account earning an 8... More >>


5 ways to jump-start your credit score
(BPT) - It’s a common financial predicament for most 20-something-year-olds: You need credit to get credit. But even if you’re older and have been through some credit-wrecking havoc in your life, you could face the same issue.“The only way to build a credit history is to use credi... More >>


5 vital questions to ask your financial professional
(BPT) - When was the last time you met with a financial professional? Would you be more likely to keep those appointments if you knew some specific questions to ask? These meetings provide an important opportunity for you to ensure your strategy is still on track and ensure your family and finances... More >>


Clever tips and tricks to save on auto insurance
(BPT) - Car insurance can take a bite out of your budget. On average, consumers shelled out nearly $800 for auto insurance for each vehicle in 2011, according to a recent report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In some states, the annual cost to insure one car topped $1,100... More >>


Student loan aftermath: educating graduates on the importance of credit scores
(BPT) - This is a special time of year. Across the nation, graduates are on the horizon of new careers and building their own lives.While this is an exciting stage in life, it is a concerning time as well. Many students are graduating with student loan debt, and research shows that Millennials (age... More >>


Establishing a 401(k) at your small business is easier than you think - and helps employees save for the long-term
(BPT) - Over the next 16 years, 10,000 people will turn 65 every day. Social Security alone may not be enough to provide an adequate retirement. Every day you hear about the lack of retirement savings and how ill-prepared many Americans are to meet their spending needs during retirement. Many remed... More >>


Overlooking insurance during your job search could cost you
(BPT) - An improving economy has many people entering the job market and looking for new employment opportunities. But if job seekers are not insurance-smart in their search, they may end up in worse financial shape than they were in their previous role.Earning a higher salary is the primary goal f... More >>


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 thi... More >>


Selecting a cellphone and plan that fits your lifestyle
(BPT) - Whether taking the plunge and joining the smartphone crowd or simply replacing a tired old cellphone, buying a new device takes careful deliberation. From selecting carriers and avoiding contracts to deciding on a type of phone and a specific model, numerous decisions must be made to find t... More >>


Getting hitched at home? Things you should think about first
(BPT) - Deciding to get married is one of the biggest and most important decisions many people will ever make. According to The Knot and WeddingChannel.com, the average wedding costing more than $28,000 - the cost of a new car or a down payment on a home, so your next biggest decision may be figuri... More >>


Smart ways for small business owners to spend their cash this spring
(BPT) - Tax season is a headache for most people, and small business owners are no exception. In fact, nearly six out of 10 small business owners in America say taxes are one of the top factors affecting their success, according to the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report.Yet the potential o... More >>


Tax return check has arrived, so buy the shoes
(BPT) - Your tax return check has arrived in the mail. Now you’ll finally pay off that credit card or add the extra cash to your savings for a rainy day. Or maybe you’ll blow your new fortune on a pair of designer shoes.Perhaps it’s time you instead considered a pair of synthetic ... More >>


Smart shopping tips for budget-savvy baby boomers
(BPT) - While the economy is moving again, many Americans – baby boomers included – continue to realize the importance of good money management skills. Boomers are focused on making the most of their money by boosting earnings, investing more and shopping smarter.“Smart shopping i... More >>


Bridging the disability insurance gap
(BPT) - For most people, the prospect of losing income due to injury or disability is a frightening one, but in reality, few believe it is a challenge they will ever personally face. Only 28 percent of employees feel confident in their ability to replace earnings in the event of a disability, accor... More >>


When freedom rings: top tips to help launch your own business
(BPT) - With summer bringing the celebration of our country’s freedom and a bit more flexibility in our hectic schedules, it’s also a time to reflect on the American dream: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For many Americans, that means seeking success and prosperity by build... More >>


Worried about data breach risks? What you can do to help protect yourself
(BPT) - For many Americans, recent high-profile retail data breaches have been a wake-up call. Even those who never did business with the breached retailers might have found themselves wondering what they can or should do about data breach risks. While you can’t prevent a breach from occurrin... More >>


Employee engagement is the secret for small businesses to stay productive and make money
(BPT) - One of the biggest worries for a small business owner is training and investing in quality employees and then losing them to a larger company – potentially a competitor – that might be able to offer larger salaries or better benefits.It might look like a no-win scenario for a sm... More >>


Caught in a data breach? How to reclaim control of your credit and identity
(BPT) - By the end of the first quarter 2014, more than 200 data breaches compromised millions of consumer records, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, which keeps track of reported data breaches. Stunned? Data breach stats are even more staggering if you’re among the millions of... More >>


Spend smart and score brilliantly: Improve your credit score with these credit card best practices
(BPT) - One of the questions most often asked about credit cards is how they can impact your credit score. With so many different types of credit cards now available, it’s no wonder consumers have lots of questions.Here are five credit card best practices from VantageScore Solutions, the comp... More >>


Which life insurance do you need at each stage of your life?
(BPT) - Many of life’s different stages offer challenges and rewards – whether you’re starting out on your own, raising a family, focusing on your career or preparing for a rewarding retirement. However, while each life stage is unique, making sure your loved ones are cared for fi... More >>


How to build your nest egg and ensure it lasts throughout retirement
(BPT) - As you approach retirement, are you feeling good about your finances? Kudos to you if you feel comfortable with the amount you’ve saved. Now it’s time to start thinking about how you will manage your savings so it provides you with income throughout your retirement years.“... More >>


The self-employment surge and how professionals can best prepare
(BPT) - One in two American workers are projected to be self-employed by 2020, according to MBO Partners. While the shifting economy has surely pushed some people into independent work, many have chosen it. Career goals for contemporary professionals are changing and given how quickly this trend is... More >>


Don't go back to college broke
(BPT) - Roughly half of all college students find summer employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there are no statistics for how much money those in the lucky half were able to successfully save, it’s safe to say that for a good portion of millennials, spending and summ... More >>


Ready for today but what about tomorrow? [Infographic]
(BPT) - Today many women are taking control of their household finances. Yet, they are less concerned about their financial security than they have been in the past and most do not feel prepared to make wise financial decisions. ... More >>


The real cost of delaying retirement savings will shock you
(BPT) - Recent graduates have a lot on their minds: moving, finding a job and the looming repayment of school loans. Retirement is typically low on the list of priorities, but ignoring the issue entirely can literally cost young professionals hundreds of thousands of dollars.“It’s diffi... More >>


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 coll... More >>


Latest wrinkle on scams: Crooks pose as member of the military
(BPT) - Do you believe members of the military contribute a great deal to society? You’re not alone; a 2013 Pew Research Center opinion poll found that Americans of all ages and walks of life placed military service at the top of the list of 10 professions that do the most good. Unfortunately... More >>


How to protect yourself from uninsured drivers
(BPT) - Though most states require drivers to have car insurance, there are still motorists who take their chances and drive without coverage or with insufficient coverage. Nationwide, an estimated 14 percent of drivers are uninsured, and, in a handful of states, that figure tops 20 percent, accord... More >>


Flab to fit: The five money moves that can whip your finances into better shape
(BPT) - By now you’ve abandoned your plan to eat a healthier breakfast and spend an hour at the gym every day. Across the country, self-improvement resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Instead of succumbing to guilt and frustration over what you might not do this year, why not focus your e... More >>


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 star... More >>


With drought across the country, you can do your part to conserve water
(BPT) - When you turn on the water faucet in your kitchen, do you think about the water that goes down the drain without being used in any way? Or have you wondered how you might be able to reduce your water bill? Having good water sense can help answer these questions and more.What does it mean fo... More >>


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’... More >>


Don't let college debt drag you down
(BPT) - With each passing year, student loan debt is digging a deeper hole for more young Americans. Over a nine-year period, the average student loan balance among 25-year-olds has grown 91 percent, from $10,649 in 2003 to $20,326 in 2012. More than 38 million Americans have outstanding debt amoun... More >>


How to find $500 in energy savings in 5 rooms
(BPT) - With the demand for electricity and natural gas rising, right along with energy costs, American homeowners can easily spend hundreds of dollars a month on utility bills.“From air conditioning larger homes to powering today’s high-tech electronics, we are using more energy than e... More >>


Umbrella insurance: Are you adequately covered?
(BPT) - If you have auto insurance, you probably think you have all the coverage you need for yourself, your spouse and your teenage drivers. Likewise, your homeowners insurance will take care of repair costs in case the pipes burst or there’s a fire. But what happens if you get sued?If your ... More >>


Beat the heat and save some green with these warm weather energy saving ideas
(BPT) - There are plenty of reasons to be excited that summer is finally here. Among them: the distant memory of those expensive heating bills you paid in the winter. But just because warmer weather is here doesn’t mean your bills are gone. In fact, if your home isn’t as energy efficien... More >>


Money-saving tips so you can earn your degree without going into debt
(BPT) - If you’ve just finished high school and you’re headed to college, or if you’re an adult student looking to go back to school, chances are you’ve thought about student debt. You’re not alone.The epidemic of student debt is taking higher education by storm. In 20... More >>


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 proje... More >>


Teach your kids the value of money
(BPT) - Teaching your kids to be financially savvy could help them to be financially confident and successful in the future. As credit card debt and low retirement savings continue to frustrate many Americans, you can help your kids steer clear of these and other financial pitfalls by talking to th... More >>


Be your own health advocate to live well and save money with Medicare
(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 ... More >>


How to maximize your tax benefits from charitable gifts
(BPT) - You answer calls to support your alma mater, the local animal shelter and the American Red Cross with gifts of money and volunteer time. And after cleaning out the closets, dressers, kitchen cabinets and garage, you take a trunk load of donations to the thrift store.You know your gifts of c... More >>


Throw your retirement accounts into the spring cleaning to-do pile
(BPT) - Spring cleaning season is here. For most, the garage, basement and wardrobe immediately come to mind as needing an annual review, but what about reviewing that pile of retirement account statements that have accumulated throughout the year?Often when people switch jobs, open separate retire... More >>



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