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home : life : personal finance May 23, 2017

A smarter way to buy a home
(BPT) - Are you considering buying a home? With mortgage rates on the slow and steady incline, there may be no better time for a home purchase than now. Mortgage interest rates will likely continue to go up for the foreseeable future, according to recent data from the housing finance company Freddi... More >>


5 tips to find the financial advisor to match your retirement goals
(BPT) - The idea of retirement may start out as a distant dream. You have hopes and plans for that special time that seems so far away. Sooner or later that time will be here and hopefully you'll be ready.However, recent research shows many people are not prepared to enjoy a financially stable reti... More >>


3 steps to becoming a savvier online shopper
(BPT) - Every day, people use data to influence their decision making - from where to go for dinner, to selecting stocks in which they should invest, to where to live. Every Google search we perform, every Yelp review read or written, each item of clothing, houseware or electronic device we put in ... More >>


Rogue retirement account? Expert advice to reduce rollover stress
(BPT) - It's happened to almost everyone: you leave a job and have a retirement account that you are no longer actively contributing to. It sits there for months - maybe years - because you're not sure exactly where to move it or what the process is like to roll it over. You know that money could p... More >>


Ready to start saving? Sometimes the best rates can be found across state lines
(BPT) - With interest rates on the rise, now is a great time to start saving. Whether you want to put away money for a large purchase - such as a down payment on a new home or to purchase a vehicle - or you need a secure way to generate a return on money you've already set aside, certificates of de... More >>


Changing weather patterns leave homeowners underinsured
(BPT) - The U.S. has experienced significant shifts in the frequency, severity and locations of natural disasters - including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires - during the past decade.As a result, more than 800 emergency or disaster declarations were made in the U.S. from 2005-2015, acco... More >>


Survey: African-Americans passionate about homeownership, but fewer own homes
(BPT) - More than any other demographic group, African-Americans perceive homeownership as an integral component of the American Dream, and a way to build security and wealth for their families, according to a recent survey.The poll by Ipsos Public Affairs, conducted on behalf of Wells Fargo, found... More >>


5 tips to help teens master their money
(BPT) - For most teens, high school is an exciting time, one that offers the opportunity to set their own path and make some of their own decisions. However, with this added independence comes additional responsibility, especially regarding money.Today teens are spending $260 billion a year in the ... More >>


Spring cleaning to make money: Don't toss these 5 hidden sources of extra cash
(BPT) - Before we soak up the summer sun, we need to think about spring cleaning. As you clear out your closets and drawers, be on the lookout for these five often overlooked sources of money:1) Gift Cards: About $1 billion in gift cards goes unused each year, so instead of digging change out of yo... More >>


How PMI can make your dream of home sweet home a reality
(BPT) - In the 2017 housing market, those who choose to pursue the dream of owning a home face several important decisions, such as how much to put toward a down payment. Twenty percent down is typically recommended by most lenders.While 20 percent is not a requirement, paying less can have a big i... More >>


Get extra money all year: Tips to adjust your tax withholdings
(BPT) - Every year, nearly eight out of 10 taxpayers receive a federal tax refund. Many of them are more than happy to see that 'extra' money drop into their bank accounts. In fact, according to a recent TaxAct survey, 61 percent of tax filers said they'd rather receive a big refund than a larger p... More >>


6 tips for decoding college financial aid award letters
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Control mobile data costs by connecting to Wi-Fi at home
(BPT) - American's use of computers has shifted dramatically in the last five years. In the past, desktop computers were the main tools for accessing the Internet and communicating with others. Today, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are taking over.The use of mobile devices has skyrocke... More >>


Balance is the key to help build financial confidence [Infographic]
(BPT) - Taking small financial steps today can help prepare you for a more confident tomorrow. Learn how to get started with these tips for tackling your biggest financial concerns.SaveSaveSave... More >>


5 mistakes to avoid when buying your first home
(BPT) - Buying a home for the first time is comparable to the first time you ride a bike. You can learn about how it works from your parents and observe it from a distance, but you really won't know the ins and outs until you actually sit down on the bicycle and start riding.Like most beginners, fi... More >>


The data dilemma: How to choose a monthly plan
(BPT) - How much data do you really need on your monthly cellular plan? Buy too much and you're simply wasting money. Buy too little and you could end up socked with overage fees, or find your data speeds slowed significantly.The average U.S. wireless customer consumes about 1.8 gigabytes (GB) of d... More >>


Tips for paying less in taxes all year long
(BPT) - American taxpayers file roughly 140 million tax returns annually, according to the IRS. Of those, just 14 percent are the simplest type of form, the 1040EZ. In fact, all the 1040EZs, 1040s and 1040As filed β€” the least complex types of returns that you should, in theory, be able to do for yo... More >>


The lowdown on leasing
(BPT) - If you're in the market for a new car, you might be thinking about leasing. After all, it seems very attractive on the surface - so attractive that leases accounted for one-third of all vehicles sales nationally in 2016. Taking a closer look though, you may be surprised to see there's more ... More >>


Key retirement milestones everyone should know about
(BPT) - Retirement can seem like a very distant destination in your early working years. However, as you age, that once distant destination starts to become more real. As you enter your 50s you can really start to think about how much you have saved and how that will translate into retirement incom... More >>


Secrets smart investors use year-round to save on their taxes
(BPT) - Come tax time, many people work to locate tax breaks. While this is always a smart financial move, a little-known way to help build your net worth is to keep taxes top of mind throughout the entire year. Reducing taxes means you keep more of what you earn, according to Nick Holeman, a finan... More >>


Small nest egg, big dreams? Tips for buying your retirement home
(BPT) - Planning for retirement means making a lot of decisions, including when you'll stop working, how much you'll withdraw from your savings each year, and where you'll live. Many Americans view retirement as an opportunity to move into a house they'll love and live in for all their golden years... More >>


Tax tips for extension filers with investments
(BPT) - It's a common misconception that if you have investments you need to shell out a large chunk of change to have your taxes prepared by an accounting genius. The truth is, it's easy and affordable to do your own taxes and maximize tax savings - even if you're an investor.'First and foremost, ... More >>


Seniors can sell their life insurance policies
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The lowdown on low down payment mortgage
(BPT) - You would like to buy, but you can't manage that 20 percent down payment. Does this sound familiar?The down payment is the biggest impediment to buying a home according to surveys, but in reality many individuals can qualify for a mortgage with as little as 3 percent down.It is important to... More >>


4 tips to help protect your identity this tax season
(BPT) - Tax season is a busy time for everyone. From accountants and small business owners to families and individuals, especially as more people choose to file their taxes themselves. Unfortunately, it's also a busy time of year for cybercriminals who use the flurry of activity to swindle sensitiv... More >>


5 fast shortcuts to make your home sparkle this spring
(BPT) - We all know that one person who just adores cleaning. But for the rest of us, it's a necessary evil that gets old very quickly!Before you tackle that long list of spring cleaning tasks, try some of these cleaning hacks designed to make these chores faster and easier. When cleaning is fun an... More >>


2017 looking bright for small business owners
(BPT) - The year 2017 is still in its infancy, but research shows small business owners feel this year could be one of the best in recent memory.A new survey, commissioned by Staples and conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 85 percent of small business owners surveyed reported feeling β€œoptim... More >>


Tips to get the most out of your HSA dollars
(BPT) - Millions of Americans with high-deductible health insurance plans rely on health savings accounts to help them manage the costs of health care. If you're among them, you know how important it is to maximize the value you get out of every HSA dollar.If you don't yet have an HSA, you may qual... More >>


Self-employed? Tips to help you navigate the mortgage process
(BPT) - Sponsored ad content by Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.When you're self-employed, you often work harder than anyone else you know. That's what it takes to be your own boss. While rewarding, it comes with a lot of added responsibility. This is especially true when applying for a mortga... More >>


Flood insurance: Does your excuse hold water?
(BPT) - We know the old saying: when it rains, it pours… and when it pours, it floods. With winter snow storms coming to an end, the threat of flooding increases as the snow begins to melt and the rivers and creeks begin to swell. It's easy to forget about how powerfully destructive wate... More >>


5 reasons why talking about money can enhance a relationship
(BPT) - Thinking about combining finances with your significant other? Whether you’re getting married or just thinking about getting serious, talking about money can help couples understand each other and avoid unhappy surprises down the road. Here are five reasons why talking about money can enhan... More >>


Learn the basics to avoid cell phone surprises
(BPT) - It’s easy to be overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a cellphone provider. Everyone claims to offer the best, cheapest and most comprehensive service. It can be especially baffling for seniors who, despite boundless wisdom elsewhere, may be newcomers to this technology.When you boil it dow... More >>


Security in an insecure world
(BPT) - The year 2016 was devastating for some safe deposit box holders. In New York, thieves cut holes in the roofs of three banks and brazenly emptied hundreds of safe deposit boxes, leaving the victims' pillaged boxes on the roof and strewn around the vault.A stealthier thief in Florida picked s... More >>


What you should know about rising interest rates
(BPT) - Homeowners planning to refinance and buyers searching for a home may have an idea of what's in store for them with regards to interest rates, but they never really know until they lock in a rate. Rates can change direction fast, and when they rise-as they have recently-it can cost borrowers... More >>


Debt poses risks to financial security for Americans reaching their golden years
(BPT) - Americans now retire with far more debt than previous generations. This can pose a significant risk to retirees’ income, and may result in them not having enough. It also means that when a spouse dies, there could be little left over as creditors deplete an estate’s assets β€” forcing survivo... More >>


Where to find rebates, tax credits and rewards for energy-efficient home improvements
(BPT) - If you're planning to make some home improvements this year, you're probably thinking about energy-efficient options, knowing they can save you money in the long run. However, many eco-friendly home improvements that help lower your energy bills can also pay off right away in the form of re... More >>








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