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home : community living : personal finance November 21, 2017

5 questions about applying for disability benefits
(BPT) - Age and chronic illness can take a toll. A June 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the most costly health conditions in the U.S. include: heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke and type 2 diabetes. An estimated 117 million people have one or more chron... Read More


4 questions to ask your financial advisor right away
(BPT) - Let’s face it: Finances can be complicated. Whether opening a new investment account, saving for your child’s college fund or rolling over a 401(k), sometimes you need professional financial help.But who to turn to? A financial advisor can be a great resource for professional gu... Read More


Time-saving tricks that save hours each week
(BPT) - When you look at your to-do list, does it seem a mile long? From running errands, returning emails and making hurried trips to the ATM, modern life has never been busier for Americans.You can reclaim your day by using a few simple time-saving methods. By simplifying common tasks, you can op... Read More


Winter is coming: 3 reasons why you need to install winter tires
(BPT) - Winter brings unpredictable and dangerous road conditions, yet changing out all-season tires for winter tires isn't high on our priority list. No matter the type of vehicle you drive, tires are the only connection between a vehicle and the road. Improper tires put drivers at a higher risk o... Read More


5 myths keeping millennials in their parents' basements
(BPT) - Millennials are often called “perennial renters,” yet studies show they are not only planning to own a home one day, but they expect to own multiple throughout their lifetimes. Many people incorrectly assume these “boomerang kids” are moving home due to laziness when... Read More


Step-by-step game plan to save the most on Black Friday
(BPT) - Pretty much every American knows that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big days for sales. But for many, Black Friday is more than just a chance to save big; it’s a tradition in its own right.And this isn’t a trend that’s going away anytime soon.In fact, the age group tha... Read More


Don't get hooked: Know warning signs of a phishing scam
(BPT) - Half of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants use email, generating 269 billion emails per day in 2017, according to technology market research firm The Radicati Group. Email is so commonly used in business and personal interactions that it’s also become a prime avenue for scammers ... Read More


5 steps to making annual enrollment the most wonderful time of the year
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again. But before you plan your Thanksgiving menu or check off your gift list, it’s time to think about employee benefits.VSP Vision Care surveyed employees about their attitudes around that special time of year when they must choose a benefits package and... Read More


A New Kind of Life Insurance for Those Living with Diabetes
(BPT) - For people living with diabetes, the condition is a part of their everyday life and one that impacts many of their decisions, from balancing what they eat to taking care of their health. One area that might not be top of mind for people living with diabetes is life insurance. That’s b... Read More


5 auto insurance myths you've been wrong about all along
(BPT) - Most drivers “know” for certain just two things about car insurance: they’re required by law to have it, and it’s expensive. Beyond that, there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of misconceptions, according to a recent survey by The Zebra, an online auto insurance... Read More


Looking for a Medicare Part D plan? Consider these 3 things
(BPT) - Many people are surprised to find out that Original Medicare doesn't cover prescription drugs. For help with the cost of your medications, you can choose a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage, but navigating your options can be complicated.With Med... Read More


Find Medicare Confusing? Start Here
(BPT) - Navigating Medicare can be challenging. In fact, according to a 2017 UnitedHealthcare survey, nearly 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries find the program confusing. Learning the basics can help you cut through the confusion and make an informed decision about which coverage option may be t... Read More


Don't get hacked! Time to get serious about password safety
(BPT) - We all know hiding your house key under the doormat is a terrible idea, but we do it anyway because it’s a convenient backup. When it comes to safeguarding passwords, especially in a family setting, people often choose convenience over safety.As families manage their digital informati... Read More


Picking a health insurance plan? Prepare for the unexpected
(BPT) - As many Americans know, fall is the season when we must select our health benefits for the upcoming year. Choosing a health plan can be a daunting task, but selecting the right coverage protects you and your family's general health needs and can prepare you for an unexpected medical crisis.... Read More


Friends and money don't mix: Money cited as a key cause of stress in friendship [Infographic]
(BPT) - Many consumers admit they would rather talk to their friends about nearly anything — including their love life or family drama — than money. People would rather trip and fall in public than ask a friend to pay them back. One solution? Forty-one percent of millennials say that se... Read More


Paving the way to college: 4 things parents need to know
(BPT) - Senior year: It's a time to finish college applications, solidify friendships and look forward to the freedom and the responsibility that come once that final bell rings. A lot of feelings surface during that final year, especially for parents. While your son or daughter might be overjoyed ... Read More


'Tis the season: Holiday gifting and budgeting strategies [Infographic]
(BPT) - The Coinstar Holiday Survey, conducted among 2,000 U.S. adults, reports that the majority (65 percent) will set a budget this holiday season. The holiday infographic showcases results including budgeting and shopping strategies, creative gift giving, the “Scrooge” effect as well... Read More


Small businesses have struggled to find funding: Not anymore
(BPT) - In business, dreams are easy. Finding the money to make them happen, however, can be difficult.Even established, successful businesses can get turned away for loans at banks. This was the case for Sole Bicycles, a popular maker of stylish, high-performance bikes based in Venice Beach, Calif... Read More


Easy ways to make your data, and your dollars, go further
(BPT) - Wireless providers would love for you to believe that a modern lifestyle requires an endless, unlimited stream of data; and by the way, they’d love to sell it to you! On its face, there’s probably nothing wrong with this assumption. Just think about how much of your day is spent... Read More


Freelancers: Are you grabbing the best possible tax relief?
(BPT) - If you earn all or part of your income these days from freelance or contract work, you’re far from alone.A CNN report this year estimates some 34 percent of the U.S. workforce is now part of the so-called gig economy, a segment expected to reach 43 percent — representing some 7.... Read More


3 reasons to consider a group legal plan
Being a parent is a balancing act. You are constantly being pulled in different directions and it can be challenging to manage all the things you need to get done. Your company’s open enrollment period is a chance to take stock of benefits that can help you manage some of the issues you face.... Read More


5 steps to prepare for open enrollment
(BPT) - Millions of Americans will select or switch their health benefits plan during open enrollment, so now is the time to prepare for that decision that usually happens once a year.More than 70 percent of Americans say they are prepared for open enrollment, yet most people struggle to understand... Read More


Why IRAs are an important part of the retirement planning mix
(BPT) - There are so many questions people have - no matter their age or stage in life - about saving for retirement: When is the right time to start saving? How much should I be putting aside? What are the savings vehicles I should be using?While the answers vary for everyone, depending on their i... Read More


Embracing the awkward: Why you should pay back your friend (and how to do it right)
(BPT) - Spending time with friends is rewarding and fun, but things can become tricky when money is involved. Almost everyone has that friend who conveniently heads to the restroom when the check arrives at a group dinner; or regularly “forgets” his or her wallet on a coffee run claimin... Read More


Don't be misled by these down payment myths
(BPT) - Confused about how much you need for a down payment on a house? You’re not alone.Whether it’s your first time buying a home or you've been around the block, calculating the right amount for a down payment can be a challenge. Many admit that accumulating down payment funds is one... Read More


All home warranties are not created equal
(BPT) - Having a home warranty is a smart way to help deal with the inevitable home repair problems that all property owners face at one point or another.After all, a good home warranty can mean getting expert help when your HVAC system needs to be fixed, your water heater needs to be replaced, or ... Read More


House hunting and credit: What you need to know
(BPT) - By now it is something of a cliche to call homeownership the American dream. But even if sitting on your own deck, looking over your picket fence and sipping lemonade doesn’t move you, homeownership is still one of the best ways to build wealth.For many, owning a home is cheaper than ... Read More


Be safe while getting social to avoid social media scams
(BPT) - For many people, social media has become a part of our daily lives. We follow friends on Facebook, share our opinions on Twitter and highlight our latest creative projects on Instagram or Pinterest. According to Statista, 78 percent of all Americans have a social media profile, and that ado... Read More


An Empty Nest Is the Time to Grow Your Nest Egg [Infographic]
-(BPT) - SaveSave... Read More


How to save on healthcare costs in 2018
(BPT) - (BPT) - Your cable bill, entertainment expenses, grocery extras — these often top the list when people sit down to discuss where they can save money.One expense you should consider in 2018 is your healthcare costs. Since autumn marks the beginning of the annual open enrollment period ... Read More


Open Enrollment Is Here: Get the Scoop on FSAs and HSAs
(BPT) - Learn more about Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) with Visa.Save... Read More


Tips for choosing the Medicare plan that's right for you
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5 unexpected ways life insurance protects your loved ones
(BPT) - More than half of Americans who own life insurance say they purchased it primarily to cover final expenses if something happens to them, according to the 2016 Life Insurance Barometer study. Yet one in four also say they don’t think they have enough life insurance — and the mist... Read More


How to lower your monthly mortgage payment
(BPT) - Owning your own home comes with many advantages, including escaping rising rents and the personal and financial stability associated with homeownership. Fortunately, millions of Americans, with less than 20 percent down, have been able to buy a home sooner thanks to mortgage insurance (MI).... Read More


Keeping up with the digital natives [Video]
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3 steps to help freelancers and gig economy workers avoid a tax blunder
(BPT) - More and more people are earning extra cash by freelancing in the sharing economy. That may mean writing on the side, playing music on the weekends, driving for ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft or selling handmade jewelry on Etsy. No matter how the money flows in, gig economy earners... Read More


You can make retirement happen [Infographic]
(BPT) - Many of us intend to plan and save for retirement, but feel too overwhelmed to act. A new survey from AARP and the Ad Council found that many people are financially savvy in other areas of their life — from coupon clipping to vacation planning — and could apply these same smarts... Read More


Traveling soon? Tips to stay sharp and avoid fraud
(BPT) - If your suitcase is full, don’t worry — protecting yourself from fraud doesn’t mean more packing.But it does mean you should prepare for the challenge of keeping your personal info safe. According to an Experian(R) survey, 20 percent of respondents had sensitive informatio... Read More


Debunking home ownership myths for millennials
(BPT) - We’ve all been told, that owning a home is part of the American dream. It’s the biggest and most rewarding investment many people will make in their lives. Instead of paying rent every month and having nothing to show for it, paying a monthly mortgage builds equity and wealth.Wh... Read More


Crunching dollars and planning weddings: How to financially plan for the big day
(BPT) - Attending most weddings, with the exception of your creepy uncle’s third marriage, is great. You eat free food, get to dance to music and leave without having to take part in the cleanup or the costs.It gets a little different when you’re the one footing the bill. Then you&rsquo... Read More


5 mistakes millennials make when it comes to credit
(BPT) - If you’re a millennial, you’ve probably heard enough of grumpy Baby Boomers and Gen Xers grumbling about how lazy the kids are these days or how the younger generation doesn’t have a work ethic or has a sense of entitlement.Yes it’s true the older generations, who gr... Read More


Tips to achieve the retirement you want [Infographic]
(BPT) - With only 31 percent of middle-income boomers feeling well prepared for retirement, it's safe to say many will face a set of unprecedented financial obstacles in their later years. To achieve the retirement you want, consider the following tips. Save... Read More


5 simple ways to stay connected as a family on a budget
(BPT) - School’s out, summer’s here and the family is ready for some fun-in-the-sun memory making! It’s the perfect time to bond, catch up and enjoy the slower pace of the season. However, with fun on the brain, it’s easy to find yourself dipping into pockets a bit more for ... Read More


Credit union or bank: What's right for you?
(BPT) - The banking and credit union worlds are as much the same as they are different. Both are eager to earn your business and to provide you with loans, mortgages, savings and checking accounts. With that said, there are some significant differences between the two financial institutions. In tod... Read More


Shop for health care with these websites and apps
(BPT) - As our nation seeks solutions to help improve the health care system, there is at least one goal we can all agree on: the importance of making health care quality and cost information more accessible.This is an important effort that has the potential to help improve health outcomes and make... Read More


How savvy Wi-Fi use saves data and dollars
(BPT) - Access to cellular data has become the lifeblood of communications in the 21st century. We stay connected to keep up with news, weather and sports, listen to music, check email, watch movies and videos or grab new apps that let us do even more. With today’s technology, a few clicks on... Read More


3 reasons to go cashless
(BPT) - The dollar, the euro, the pound, the yen… the currency people use around the world has many different names, but it all shares something in common. Paper forms of currency are out and digital payments are in. The security and convenience of card based electronic payments and digital ... Read More


How the state you live in affects your college savings strategy
(BPT) - The cost of a four-year college degree now hovers around the $100,000 mark, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. While high college costs seem universal these days, college savings strategies are far from a one-size-fits-all. Many factors influence how you&rs... Read More



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