11/1/2010 - What you should know about debt collectors
With the economy still climbing out of recession and unemployment hovering near 9%, a lot of folks are behind on their payments. They owe money to banks for auto loans, hospitals for medical bills, and credit card issuers for everything from electronics to clothing to home appliances.
7/1/2010 - Is it smart to use retirement savings to payoff a mortgage?
In these days of high unemployment and declining home values, people are searching for ways to regain control over their financial lives. For many, that includes paying off debts as quickly as possible. After all, if you no longer have a mortgage, the banker can't foreclose on your house. If your credit card balances are zero, the collection agency will stop calling. If you've retired your auto loan, the repo guy won't be knocking on your front door.
4/1/2010 - Should you move your 401(k) to an IRA at retirement?
If you're approaching retirement, you may be wondering where to park the money that's sitting in your employer's 401(k) plan. Should you transfer the balance to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as soon as you retire? Should you take a lump-sum payment and reinvest the money elsewhere? Should you leave the entire balance in your employer's plan? As with most financial decisions, this one is not one-size-fits-all. Before taking action, it's wise to take a close look at your particular needs and circumstances, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each investment option. Consider the following:
3/1/2010 - You might need a credit counselor if...
For many Americans, accumulating mountains of debt is routine, habitual, common. Their parents did it; their friends do it; their neighbors who drive flashy cars seem to get away with it. If not a birthright, it's certainly considered a viable option. But some folks who insist on living beyond their means are courting financial disaster. You may have a problem with debt if...
2/1/2010 - Build a case to cut your property taxes
Unless you've been living in a cave for the last year or so, you won't be surprised to learn that home values in many parts of the country have plummeted. California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada have been hit especially hard, but theirs are not the only markets suffering huge declines. According to some studies, 44 million homes throughout the country will lose over $200 billion in value in the next few years.
1/1/2010 - How to organize your finances
In our busy lives, it's sometimes tough to corral our financial records. Bills, paycheck stubs, tax returns, and bank statements can disappear into dusty attic corners and bulging desk drawers. Important insurance policies can hide out beneath bins of holiday ornaments and electrical supplies. Mortgage documents can sneak into old books or ensconce themselves in nooks and crannies throughout the house.
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