Candace Bahr and Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP®

Congratulations, You’re Pregnant! Here Are the First Five Money Moves New Moms Need to Make

Wow, you are going to be a mother! How exciting, and perhaps slightly terrifying. If you’ve talked to other new parents, then you know that the miracle of life also has a way of turning into the miracle of the disappearing paycheck. Babies are wonderful…and expensive. That’s why it is so important to plan now, …

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Ten Ways to Fall in Love With Valentine’s Day After a Divorce

During the early days of your courtship and marriage, Valentine’s Day may have been full of gorgeous red roses, glittering glasses of expensive wine, and ooey-gooey proclamations of love. Now, even the thought of Valentine’s Day may sting your already-hurting heart. If you’ve recently gotten divorced – even if it was definitely the right thing …

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Things You Might Not Know About the Day of Love

Love it or hate it, chances are you have a thing or two to learn about Valentine’s Day, Here is some unexpected information about the holiday. 1. How Valentine’s Day began. Valentine’s Day probably originated as a combination of two Roman happenings. The first was Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival celebrated each February 15, when …

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These Ten Reasons Are Exactly Why You Need a Rainy-Day Fund

You’ve probably heard that over half of Americans don’t have $1,000 in savings. That’s truly scary because life throws all sorts of financial curve balls at us all the time. If you ever, ever, ever, ever (ever, ever) want to be financially independent, step one is to build a rainy-day fund. This is your safety …

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Is Your Credit Card Safe This Holiday Season?

Every year now seems to be the “Year of the Data Breach.” In the past, we’ve seen massive breaches at Target (110 million customer records hacked), Neiman Marcus (1.1 customers compromised), Michaels (3 million customers compromised), Home Depot (as many as 56 million cards compromised) and many others, including smaller retailers. As you gear up …

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Buying a Home is Way More Expensive Than You Think. Can You Really Afford it?

Buying a home is a huge life accomplishment. It symbolizes success, security, and maturity. It can also serve as an important asset that grows in value over time. As the earliest millennials hit their 30s, start climbing the career ladder, and walk down the aisle, a whole new generation is beginning to dream of home …

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How Understanding the Four Walls Strategy Can Keep You Afloat After a Divorce

The biggest mistake women make when they decide to get divorced (and most divorces are instigated by women) is that they fail to plan for their post-divorce life. This is understandable. The decision to separate from a marriage is highly emotional, and it can be difficult to focus on practical questions, such as how you …

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Want to Protect Your Income in Retirement? It’s Time to Learn About Variable Annuities

When you think about your finances, what keeps you awake at night? For most women, it’s the fear they will outlive their money and become a “bag lady.” The transition from regular paychecks to full-blown retirement can be downright scary. With traditional pensions going the way of the Model T, and the Social Security platform …

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To Prenup or Not To Prenup

A prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is often more important in a second marriage than in a first. Because of obligations to children, existing assets, and prior legal commitments, a written agreement assures that everyone’s needs are clear and their financial interests protected. If your future spouse feels uncomfortable about the idea, reassure him that the …

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Help Wanted for Teens: How to Beat the Job Market Slump

The Help Wanted sign has practically disappeared for today’s teens. Too many young job seekers are likely to spend the summer on social media or watching TV instead of scooping ice cream or serving pizza. Some experts also blame higher minimum wage laws for squeezing out entry-level workers. Teens face competition from laid-off adults, seniors, …

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Spring Clean Your Budget in Five Easy Steps

Isn’t it amazing how you’ll spend an entire back-breaking day cleaning your garage every few years and promise yourself that you’ll never, ever let it revert back into the cluttered mess that it was? Then, come next spring, your beautiful, spic-and-span garage has somehow de-evolved once again into something that looks suspiciously like a landfill. …

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Would You Pay $150,000 to Keep Your Pet in a Divorce?

How to prioritize in your divorce negotiation It’s common enough for people to go a “bit crazy” during their divorce proceedings, but the case of a San Diego pointer-greyhound mix named Gigi was so outlandish that it managed to make national headlines. Gigi belonged to Dr. Stanley Perkins and his wife, Linda. When the couple …

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Are You Entitled to Some of Your Husband’s Retirement Savings In Your Divorce?

Aside from your home, it is likely that the retirement accounts you and your husband hold make up a large portion of your shared assets. Divorce accounts, like 401(k) plans, IRAs, and pension funds come with a lot of rules and regulations, which makes them a little tricky to tackle in divorce. However, retirement accounts …

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What If One Spouse Wants to Sell the House After the Divorce and the Other Doesn’t?

Q: My husband left three years ago and is continuing to pay the mortgage. I want to sell [the house] so I can move, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t have enough money to buy me out or the credit to refinance it on his own. What do I do? ~ Brenda Brenda, we are sorry …

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What Can I Do If My Ex-Husband Won’t Pay Child Support?

Monthly child support payments can be a financial life saver after a divorce, especially if you earn far less than your husband. After a divorce, you will need to learn how to make do on a single income while raising children who seem always to be emptying your refrigerator, growing out of their clothes, and …

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How to Afford the Education You Need After a Divorce

After a divorce, your financial life is likely going to take a big hit. According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, men will, on average, see a 23% reduction in their household income. Unsurprisingly, that number is much higher for women. They will see an average drop of 41% in household income after …

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What Brangelina’s Divorce Can Teach You About the Value of a Prenup

Say it ain’t so! Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are getting divorced. Maybe you were originally on Team Jennifer when Pitt and Jolie got together, but you’ve got to admit the two Hollywood superstars seemed like a match made in gorgeous person heaven. After 10 years of dating (possibly a world record in Hollywood), Pitt …

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Returning to the Workforce? It Might Be Time to Consider an Adult Internship.

Getting a job is hard, especially if you happen to have a ten-year gap in your resume and skills rustier than a bike left out all winter. Yet, this is the reality that many women in our country face when they are ready to rejoin the workforce after leaving their careers to raise a family …

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Should You Consider a Separation Instead of a Divorce?

Not every marriage ends with an epic fight and an eternal hatred for one another that can never be quenched. In certain cases, a marriage can just quietly wither until one spouse (usually the woman) simply decides that she would be happier on her own. This is especially true of “gray divorces,” divorces that take …

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Never Pay Interest on a Credit Card Again – Credit Card Balance Transfers

Life happens, and life can be expensive. Maybe the radiator of your car blew out and you suddenly find yourself handing over your credit card to cover a $2,000 mechanic bill. Or you have to suddenly fly across the country for a week to take care of a sick parent. Or, perhaps you lost your …

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Why You Should Make Your Ex-Husband Buy Life Insurance as Part of Your Divorce Settlement

Going through a divorce is a huge emotional blow and will undoubtedly be a pretty big financial blow, too. Even though we ladies are climbing up the rungs of the corporate ladder, we still earn less than men. We are also still more likely to drop out of the workforce in order to care for …

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If You Know That You Are Getting a Divorce, Should You Still Pay the Mortgage?

Q. My husband left me three months ago and now wants a divorce. Should I keep paying the mortgage on my house even though he could get half of it? A. It can certainly be financially difficult to carry the full cost of a monthly mortgage payment on your own! We definitely understand why it …

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What to Do If You Find Out that Your Husband Hid Money From You During Your Divorce

Many divorces are downright nasty, especially if a lot of money is on the line. A high-earning spouse isn’t exactly happy to hand over his assets to his soon-to-be ex, especially if they live in a Community Property State that requires couples to equally split their marital estate. Hiding assets during a divorce is more …

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Can a Couple with 13 Kids Really Pay Off Their Seven-Bedroom House, Live Debt-Free, and Retire Early?

If you either want to feel extremely inspired or extremely terrible about your own financial habits, head on over to the Washington Post and read the story of the Fatzinger family. Rob and Sam Fatzinger are devout Catholics with thirteen children. Sam is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her children. Rob, a software tester, earns …

Can a Couple with 13 Kids Really Pay Off Their Seven-Bedroom House, Live Debt-Free, and Retire Early? Read More »

Are You Spending Too Much Time Trying to Save Money?

Trying to save money on the things you already buy or want to buy is a smart idea, especially considering that according to NerdWallet.com, the average household with credit card debt is carrying $15,310 on its cards. Ouch! Sure, every penny you save counts, but there are smart ways to save and then there are …

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Can You Get a Better Divorce Settlement If Your Spouse Cheated?

Even though you know that cheating is surprisingly common in marriage (just grab the latest People Magazine if you need a reminder), you never think that it will happen to you…until it does. According to TruthAboutDeception.com, estimates peg infidelity rates in the United States at between 30% – 60%.  It may be nice to know …

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Divorce Preparation Guide – Now Is the Time to Start Preparing for a New/Better Job

We’d like to believe that when it comes to life, work, and family that men and women have reached something nearing equality. Not so. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2012, 84% of stay-at-home parents were women. Likewise, women are far more likely not to work or to work part-time than men even if …

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Thinking of a Divorce? Make Sure You Can Access Cash!

As soon as you begin divorce proceedings, things can move quickly, and you won’t always be able to predict how your spouse will react. If your spouse is in charge of your family’s finances or even has access to joint accounts, you could find yourself suddenly cut off from your money! Do not put yourself …

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Divorce is Probably Way More Expensive Than You Realize

The decision to get divorced should never depend on whether you think you can afford it; however, it is important that during this emotional time you prepare yourself for the potential costs involved. One of the most popular articles on WIFE.org is The Twelve Financial Pitfalls of Divorce. The very first pitfall we wrote about …

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Take a Deep Breath – It’s Time to Talk About Saving for Your Child’s College Costs

College. That single word can lift a parent’s spirits and send an icy jolt of fear down their spine at the same time. A college education can play a huge role in a child’s chance for career and financial success, but the price tag can be breathtaking (and not in a good way). According to …

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Spring Cleaning After Divorce: Cleaning Out Your Closet and Your Life

Spring has sprung. If you are coming out of the winter of divorce, consider this season as your chance to clean your home and your soul of the emotional burdens. Back by popular demand is this useful and uplifting article. The season of spring is all about renewal, which is why it is the perfect …

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Did You Know That You Can Use Whole Life Insurance for Risk Management?

For many Americans, the idea of “life insurance” only brings to mind a simple term life insurance policy. Term life insurance is the most popular form of life insurance, but it is far from the only option on the market. In fact, insurance companies offer a wide array of life insurance products in order to …

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It’s Time for a Retirement Progress Checkup

If you are actively saving for your retirement, then good job! You’re actually further along than a good proportion of your compatriots. (According to a report released by the Federal Reserve, one in five people in the U.S. nearing retirement age have saved nothing at all.) But before you break your arm patting yourself on …

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Should You Invest Your Retirement Savings in Indexed Mutual Funds?

When you invest in an actively managed mutual fund, you are investing in expertise. In exchange for an industry average yearly fee of 1.24% of the money you invest, you get a fund manager and a group of analysts who spend their days trying to pick the investments that will earn you the most money …

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What Do You Want Your Retirement to Look Like?

We all know the process. Estimate how much money you will need in retirement (which can range anywhere from 70% to over 100% of your pre-retirement income), determine your available income sources (like pensions and Social Security payments), and then calculate how much you will need to save annually so that you can retire on …

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I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Your…Credit Report

Why You Must Have the Money Conversation Before Marriage If you are in a serious relationship, you probably know your partner’s favorite color, his dream car, and at least a few embarrassing stories from his childhood. But do you know his credit score? If not, then you don’t really know your partner at all, and …

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Four Tips to Slay the Monster Cost of College

A college education is almost a requirement these days in order to break into most well-paying jobs (unless your child is itching to start the next great tech company). However, the cost is steep! According to Collegedata.com, the average cost for a public, in-state college was $23,410 for the 2014-2015 year and $46,272 for a …

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How to Close Down Joint Accounts During a Divorce

When you begin the process of divorce, you will soon learn how challenging it can be to untangle your life from your ex-spouse, including your finances. If you and your ex share joint checking and savings accounts, you’ll eventually need to divide these assets before the divorce can be finalized. If your spouse is fighting …

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How Much Flexibility Is Too Much In Your Financial Plan?

When it comes to your financial plan, it is important to maintain enough flexibility so that your plan can accommodate unexpected events that are out of your control. On the other hand, a sound financial plan needs to be firmly grounded by factors you can control so that even in the face of unexpected events, …

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A Bad Marriage May Literally Be Breaking Your Heart

Every year, Valentine’s Day, along with its epic run-up of love-soaked commercials and ads, is dreaded by singles everywhere.  But what if you are struggling in unhappy or even abusive marriage? You may feel like a bad marriage is breaking your heart, especially as Valentine’s Day approaches…and you might be right! Bad Marriage…Bad Heart Health …

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Why You Deserve a Dream Bucket Even If You’re Just Making Ends Meet

In his latest bestseller, Money Master The Game, Tony Robbins encourages his readers to create a dream bucket for themselves. This is basically a piggy bank for your dreams where you save the money that will finance that things you’ve secretly been holding inside your heart. Maybe it’s money to go back to school and …

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How Understanding the Female Brain Can Make You a More Savvy Investor

In the book, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a psychiatrist and brain imaging expert, imaged the brains of 46,000 men and women. He compared the blood flow and activity patterns between male and female brains and found significant differences. In summarizing his finding, Dr. Amen reported that female brains …

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Will You Have to Pay Alimony to Your Ex-Husband?

Ladies, we have been making some serious progress when it comes to income over the last few decades, but with great paychecks come great responsibilities! If you are a high earning woman considering divorce, don’t be surprised if your soon-to-be ex asks for alimony. Many of today’s women are Leaning In like champs, climbing the …

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Here are Five Big-Ticket Items You Shouldn’t Buy During the Holidays.

Think You Get The Best Deals During The Holidays? Think Again! It’s holiday season, a time of carols, decorations, and cut-rate deals. Black Friday is infamous for the deep discounts retailers are willing to offer to entice holiday shoppers through their doors. These deals may be tempting, but savvy shoppers can save even more on …

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Over Half of Americans “Haven’t Got Around” To Making a Will

Think of all the things you own, from the money in your retirement account, to your home, your car, and your beloved stamp collection. Where will they go after you die? If you are like 61% of Americans who have not created a will, then you are leaving that question up to your home state …

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Make a Wish This Thanksgiving and Then Make It Come True

This Thanksgiving, families and friends across the country will sit around the dinner table and consider the things they are thankful for. In a world that pushes us to want more than we have, it’s nice to actually appreciate the abundance already in our lives. Still, there is always a place for dreams in Thanksgiving. …

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Holiday Shopping Tips to Keep You from Breaking the Bank

Here are some smart planning tips courtesy of Bills.com that can help you save $500 or more before the holidays. Budget Before employing any other savings tactics, create a holiday budget. Calculate the amount available to spend on holiday festivities, including gifts, cards, postage, decorations, entertaining, tips and travel costs. Break up with the barista  Breaking …

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Financial Planning for a May-December Relationship

May to December relationships used to be about the younger woman marrying the older man, but more and more often we see a younger man marrying the older woman . Marriage between contemporaries is tough, but a 20-to-30-year age difference can make it a whole new ballgame.  For couples far apart in age considering a …

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Prenups Aren’t Just for the Rich and Famous

Who had a prenup when they married, Britney Spears or Paul McCartney? Score one if you chose the blonde bubblehead over the savvy billionaire Brit. Paul McCartney lost $50 million to his ex-wife Heather Mills in their March 2008 divorce court battle.  But Britney’s preplanning paid off: she paid just $300,000 to shed Kevin, leaving …

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A More Perfect Union

“All marriages are happy.  It’s living together afterward that’s difficult.” Anonymous  Flags, parades, picnics, and fireworks.  July is the month we celebrate those traditions and institutions that make our society strong and free. Before the Founding Fathers wrote their plan for “a more perfect union,” they did a lot of thinking, discussing, and a fair …

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Money Camps and Other Ways to Inspire Your Budding Tycoons

As most parents agree, financial education for children is a great idea. In fact, many parents wish that they had learned more about money management way back when. Children are happy asking for and spending the money — until the day when Mom or Dad says, “That’s too expensive” or “We can’t afford that right …

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Five Money Myths That Can Keep You Apart

Managing money with your significant other is difficult enough. Don’t burden your relationship with half-truths that can make it even harder. Make sure these five money myths aren’t keeping you apart.  The partner who earns more, knows more. Your earnings are only a measure of how much you earn right now, period. They don’t represent …

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Success Is Contagious – Catch Some Today!

Attention, ladies! Don’t let yesterday’s negative perceptions dim your financial hopes. In case you haven’t heard, financial stars are on the rise for today’s woman. Almost half of Americans with assets greater than $500,000 are women, and women control more than half of the private wealth in America. Women hold almost 50% of all corporate …

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Change Your Habits, Change Your Life

“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” —Yiddish Proverb Habits start out like cobwebs but end up as strong as steel cables.  In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes the good habits that keep us on track in our life endeavors.  In working with many successful investors, we’ve …

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Top Ten Signs that it’s Time for a Career Change

You keep hitting the snooze button because don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You wonder if why you didn’t join the Peace Corps when you had the chance. You wish you were someone else. You have bad dreams about work. You over-eat, over-drink, over-exercise, or over-analyze to escape. You have frequent …

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Make a Difference: Capture the Power of the Three E’s

What can you do to make a difference? How can you use your time, talents and money most effectively? When we started WIFE twentythree years ago, we developed five guiding principles to make sure that we were using our resources in the most effective way. We continue to use these principles today. And so can …

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What Do Women Like More Than Chocolate?

What do women like more than chocolate? Lots of ideas might be coming to mind, but the surprising answer is that women like cooperation even more than chocolate! A recent study at Emory University used an MRI brain scan during an experiment that involved alternating cooperation and conflict. The (male) scientists thought that conflict would …

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Is Money More Important Than Sex? Most Women Think So

An excerpt from the seminar “Investing in the Future: What Every Woman Needs to Know” by Gail Buckner, Senior Vice President of Putnam Mutual Funds. Men think more about sex than money. Women think more about money than sex. Those were the surprising results found by Money Magazine in its 1996 survey. Why do men …

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A Five-Step Blueprint for Growing Your Money

Mutual funds are supposed to make inventing easy, but picking and managing mutual funds is bewildering for most novice investors. Fortunately, you don’t have to know a great deal about investments to make money in mutual funds. All you need is a reasonable knowledge of your own financial situation and goals, and some basic guidelines …

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How Do You Really Feel About Money?

How we feel about money-whether fearful and constricted or open and generous-greatly affects how we approach our financial lives. Use this exercise to identify your money attitudes and develop a positive approach toward your financial life. Circle the words that best describe your feelings about money and finances at the moment. Circle as many as …

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Start Your Tax Planning Early

If you start your tax planning early you’ll  have plenty of time to work on strategies to lower your tax “bite” for the coming year. Review your investments If you have taxable income from investments, consider investments that are tax-deferred (retirement plans and deferred annuities) or tax-free (municipal bonds, Roth IRAs, 529 education plans).  Match …

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Get Wired, Says IRS

Wanted: Compatible computers for online communication. Objective: electronic transfer of tax data and refunds. That’s the lonely hearts message being sent by the IRS, which wants your computer to cuddle up to its computer for electronic filing. The IRS is gung-ho about encouraging taxpayers to file electronically, but some taxpayers aren’t sure, and so far …

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Home Improvements — A Good Investment or Not?

Making changes to your home can disrupt your life, and it can be harmful to your finances as well. Before you decide on your next home improvement project, check out how much it will improve your home’s value. According to figures from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is …

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What’s Your Risk Factor?

To help you figure out your relationship to risk, we’ve created a short quiz. Take a few moments to complete it, choosing the answer that best describes you. The results should give you a good idea of how much comfortable you are (or aren’t) with taking risks. When taking this quiz: Answer all questions (guess if you’re not sure) Only check ONE box for …

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A Wise Risk Today Brings Good Fortune Tomorrow

Perhaps it was Confucius who said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Investing for the future is always a game of chance and risk-taking is part of the game plan.  The goal is to make your money grow—keeping ahead of inflation, using interest rates to your advantage in saving and borrowing, riding safely through the ups and …

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Choosing the Best Investments for Your 401(k)

To make choosing easier, begin by grouping the available funds. Stock funds include large-company stocks (including ”growth and income” funds), small-company stocks (including ”aggressive growth” funds) and international stocks. Bond funds are categorized by length of the bond — such as short-term, intermediate or long-term — and by the kind of bond, such as government, …

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PrimeTime Women

Have you noticed that more and more advertising is aimed at you lately? In Marti Barletta’s book, she says that’s because PrimeTime Women™  stand at the intersection of the two most powerful and prosperous consumer segments in the world today: 1.  The so-called “Mature Market” whose numbers are growing exponentially and who enjoy above average income, wealth, and spending power. …

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Rich Mom, Poor Mom

We inherit many things from our mothers. Mom our first source of nourishment, love, and security, and she’s also a role model for many of the values and beliefs that shape our lives. Knowingly or not, Moms influence their children’s feelings about money, abundance, and prosperity—their sense of whether the glass of life is half-empty …

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Your Investment Rights and Responsibilities

Today’s investments are steps toward tomorrow’s dreams. Whether it’s real estate, stocks, bonds, or another financial product, we buy in hopes that our investments will prosper and help us reach our financial goals. But all investments carry risk. It’s risk that provides the opportunity for money to grow. We as consumers have rights and responsibilities …

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Words of Wisdom from the Founding Fathers

Bring on the picnics, parades, and fireworks—it’s time for our nation’s annual celebration of faith! July Fourth marks one of the world’s great acts of faith when a bold group of American patriots signed their names to the Declaration of Independence and risked everything for the dream of a free and just society. Of course, …

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9 Things Your Great Depression Grandparents Knew About Saving

Are we heading into a Great Depression? Probably not. “While today’s situation does not necessarily imply another Great Depression, the economic downturn and those comparisons can encourage us to turn worry into a positive,” said Ethan Ewing of Bills.com. “Consider the lessons learned from the Great Depression and apply some of your grandparents’ financial knowledge …

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Mortgage Troubles: Options to consider

Foreclosure proceedings threatened over two million Americans last year, and almost 900,000 homes were repossessed in 2008. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, here are seven options to consider, courtesy of Bills.com. 1. Determine if you Qualify for Hope for Homeowners HUD’s Hope for Homeowners program may be able to help you refinance …

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Financial Advice: Four Good Reasons To Save Money This Year

It isn’t hard to find financial advice on how to save money. But have you ever thought about why saving money matters so much? Sure, it’s important to set aside money for retirement, for the kids’ college education and for those unexpected life expenses, but there’s another reason why it’s more blessed to save than …

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Uncommon Sense: Some Money Rules That Might Surprise You

Most money wisdom is pretty straightforward. You simply have to use your common sense to figure out that it’s good to save for a rainy day, spend wisely on things you really need, and keep a hopeful outlook for your financial future. Sometimes, though, a money rule comes along that calls upon your “uncommon sense” …

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Is Bankruptcy the Answer?

Are you considering bankruptcy as a solution to your financial woes? Bankruptcy is a very serious issue, so consider all of your options before you take action. Here are some steps to take before you file, courtesy of Bills.com. Pull a credit report first.  Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free credit report. Confirm that all information is accurate …

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Ten Last Minute Tax Tips That Can Help You Save Even More!

Hey, tax procrastinators! With just a short white left until taxes are due, take a deep breath, read this article, and then get to work! 1. Don’t Rush Just because you are filing at the last minute, don’t get flustered and overlook deductions. Take time to review last year’s activity to be sure you claim …

Ten Last Minute Tax Tips That Can Help You Save Even More! Read More »

Why Women Need Retirement Planning More Than Men Do

The good news for women: they live longer, so they will have longer to enjoy their retirement. The bad news: they live longer, and so their retirement will be much more expensive than for their male counterparts. Women tend to outlive their husbands. Only one-third of women over sixty-five are married, and on average women …

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The Secret is Out

With almost a million people visiting our WIFE.org and MoneyClubs each year, it is not unusual to get emails from people like Sharon, who contacted us last year. She wrote, “I am interested in changing my mind about money, and attracting it to me effortlessly. I want to live a life filled with wealth and prosperity, a life of …

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