12/1/2008 - Tips for saving money on gas
Although gas prices have declined in recent months, inflation isn't dead. In fact, history suggests that over time gas prices will continue their inexorable march upward. That's why prudent consumers should consider ways to trim their auto fueling costs now.
10/1/2008 - Make your retirement funds last
If you're contemplating retirement, one important question is sure to arise: How much should I withdraw annually from my retirement funds? The answer to this query is more than academic. Draw down too much, and you could deplete your resources early and be forced back to work. Withdraw too little and you may sacrifice needlessly, pinching pennies when you could be enjoying a robust retirement.
9/1/2008 - A primer on FDIC insurance: Are your accounts covered?
Bank analysts and pundits often disagree when estimating the number of financial institutions that will fail in the near future. Some expect nearly 200 banks to go belly up in the next two years; others expect less than 50 bank failures by the end of 2010. Most would agree, however, that people who maintain deposits at banking institutions face some level of risk, a risk that can be mitigated by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance.
8/1/2008 - When should you start drawing social security?
Over the next decade millions of baby boomers will reach age 62, the minimum threshold for receiving social security retirement benefits. If recent history is any indication, most of these people (over 70% by some estimates) will take their benefits as early as possible.
7/1/2008 - Teach your kids about money
Knowing about money — how to earn it, use it, invest it and share it — is a critical life skill. Unfortunately, such skills are often given short shrift in our education system and homes. Recent surveys have highlighted an astonishing level of ignorance in today's teenagers when questions about simple financial concepts are raised. For example, one survey found that only 26% of teens understood credit card interest, and only one in three could read a bank statement or balance a checkbook.
5/1/2008 - How much should you contribute to an FSA?
Many Americans spend at least some money covering health insurance co-payments and deductibles. They often incur out-of-pocket costs for dental checkups, physical exams, chiropractor visits, over-the-counter medicines, and contact lens paraphernalia.
4/1/2008 - How to keep bank fees low
As mortgage concerns spread throughout the economy, many financial institutions are charging new fees — and increasing the level of existing charges — to lessen their exposure to volatile markets. As a consumer, it's prudent to know about these various fees and how to avoid at least some of them.
3/1/2008 - Long-term disability insurance: How important is it?
You've probably purchased life insurance or at least considered buying it, especially if you have dependents. But statistically speaking, you're less likely to die during your working years than to suffer some sort of long-term disability. In fact, some studies show that one in five people will be disabled for at least 90 days or longer before they reach age 65.
2/1/2008 - Should you directly deposit your tax refund into an IRA?
It sounds like a great idea: Have the IRS directly deposit your tax refund into one or more individual retirement accounts (IRAs). In fact, the IRS touts this provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 as a way to speed up retirement contributions. The whole process is automated and simple.
1/1/2008 - How to avoid impulse buying
Once in a while, we all make purchases on a whim. When such purchases are the exception rather than the rule, impulse buying rarely develops into a significant problem. However, if you're not careful, unplanned spending can become a compulsive behavior. Many people have learned the hard way that making purchases on a whim — especially if done on a regular basis — can saddle them with huge financial burdens. Fortunately, impulse buying can be restrained by following a few simple rules:
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