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12 Ways to Make Money Online Smart About Money

Details: Currency Trading. Currency trading is an extremely volatile and high-risk way to make money, but it can be profitable. Make sure you do lots of practicing before you put any real cash on the line. Learn as much as you can and never risk more than you can afford to lose.

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Create a Spending Plan Basic Steps Smart About Money

Details: Basic Step #9. Create a Spending Plan. Putting your financial goals in writing can make them more concrete and achievable. However, it's easy for everyday purchases and obligations to get in the way of saving for the future. One of the best ways to make sure your daily spending habits don't overwhelm your life goals is to create a spending plan.

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How to Claim Charitable Donations on Your Taxes Smart

Details: To claim charitable donations of cash or property equal to $250 or more, you must provide a “contemporaneous written acknowledgement” from the qualified organization. This one document, provided by the qualified organization, can satisfy both the written communication and contemporaneous written acknowledgement requirements. It must include:

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How to Make Your Will Smart About Money

Details: Compile a list of accounts. Include the bank, insurance or investment firm’s contact information and account numbers. Note any assets that are titled, or co-owned, with someone else. The person on the title is legally in line to take full ownership of the asset, regardless of what your will says. Keep the list in a safe place (in a home

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The Best Way to Start Saving Money: Save According to Risk

Details: There are many options for how to save money for the future, including savings accounts, CD's, stocks and much more. The best way to ensure future financial stability is to start saving as soon as possible and seriously consider all investment options. Learn how to save today and manage risk!

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Investing: How to Manage Investment Risk

Details: Controlling risk is key to your investment strategy. One of the best ways to manage risk is to spread your investments and savings across a variety of channels. This is important because if you have all — or even most — of your money in one place (whether it’s the stock market, real estate or even municipal bonds issued by your hometown

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Your Spending Your Savings Your Future: A Beginner's Guide

Details: 5 your spending your savings your future REFLECT ON YOUR MONEY HABITS The first building block for reaching your dreams is to look at what you currently earn and spend.

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How to Know if You're Ready to Buy a Home Smart About Money

Details: In simple terms, every 1 percent increase in home loan rates decreases the buying power of an individual by 10 percent in home price. This means that if you qualify for a home priced at $200,000 today and interest rates increase 1 percent, the amount you could qualify for would be reduced to approximately $180,000 to maintain the same payment.

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What You Need to Do Your Own Taxes Smart About Money

Details: Step 2: Do Your Homework. The more you know, the more empowered you will be to tackle your taxes year after year and find ways to fatten your refund—or adjust your withholding to spread that money evenly throughout the year. Start by studying tax credits and deductions, such as earned income tax credits, education credits and charitable

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Make a Plan to Move to Another State Costs of Moving Out

Details: Make a Plan to Move to Another State. According to a recent Gallup poll, 33 percent of Americans wish they could move out of state. Whether you are a recent college grad or a midcareer professional, pulling up roots and moving to a new state comes with its share of headaches.

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How to Use Graduation Money Wisely Smart About Money

Details: Start your future off right by using that graduation money wisely. Stash Some Into Savings. Set aside a portion of your graduation money into a savings account. Whether you’re heading off to college or going into the work force, your life is about to change in a big way. Unexpected financial bumps happen to everyone — so be prepared.

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Managing Your Mortgage

Details: Prepaying Your Mortgage. When you can afford to do it, making an extra payment to the principal on your mortgage can help. Even a small amount like $25 extra each month can save you thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan. But keep in mind that prepaying may not benefit you if you have a low interest rate but are in

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Employment: Understand Your Benefits

Details: Understand Your Benefits. Employee benefits are key to understanding your total compensation from your job. Benefits can increase the value of your salary by 20 percent or more. Before you accept a job offer or make a job change, carefully compare your benefits and the costs of working that specific job. Some benefits are fully paid by the

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Start Your Emergency Fund Now Smart About Money

Details: Start Your Emergency Fund Now. Thirty-six percent of American households are "financially fragile" and could not come up with $2,000 in 30 days, according to research by George Washington University and funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education. An emergency fund helps manage unexpected challenges and maintain your overall financial health.

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Strategies to Help You Overcome Barriers to Employment

Details: The way you talk to yourself can affect your confidence when seeking a new career. Using positive inner language can help with your self-talk. You might not totally eliminate it, but there are ways to tone down negative self-talk: Avoid inflexible words and phrases like always, should or never. Treat your self-talk as a …

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Employment: Understand Your Pay

Details: Salary is usually expressed as an annual gross figure (before taxes and other deductions). To convert an annual salary amount to an hourly rate based on full-time employment, divide the annual gross salary by 2,080 hours (40 hours per week X 52 weeks). For example: $30,000 per year / …

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Know Borrowing Options Smart About Money

Details: It can be easier to get loans from peer to peer (P2P) lending platforms than from banks or credit unions, but the same rules apply — only borrow as much as you can repay or suffer the consequences to your credit. Protect yourself against loan scams such as car title loans and tax refund scams, and understand the true cost of payday loans.

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How to Come Clean About Money Secrets Smart About Money

Details: When Should Couples Talk About Keeping Money Secrets. The annual Harris Poll on financial infidelity from the National Endowment for Financial Education finds that 2 in 5 Americans admit to lying about or withholding money information from their partner. Of those who say they have committed financial infidelity, 32 percent said that some aspect of finances should remain private, even from a

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Realizing Self-Sufficiency Smart About Money

Details: Realizing Self-Sufficiency. Most of us want to provide for our own needs without external assistance, a quality known as self-sufficiency. Not only does it feel good to support yourself with your own skills and efforts, but it increases confidence and reduces stress.

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7 Steps to Stop Cyber Identity Theft Smart About Money

Details: 6. Create a “My Social Security” Account. Your Social Security number is the gateway to your identity. Once thieves have this number, they can open accounts in your name. Create your own account at https://ssa.gov/myaccount to monitor activity. Some of the most common scams using Social Security numbers include:

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Peer to Peer Lending Smart About Money

Details: Peer to Peer Lending. Peer to peer (P2P) lending combines two new types of banking that came about with the internet — “robo-advisors” that let you invest straight from a smartphone or laptop, and online banks where you can apply for loans with a simple click. For borrowers, peer lending networks are a way to get lower interest plus

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How to Spend College Savings Smart About Money

Details: Now it’s time to tap the money and start paying for college. Optimize your college savings with these tips. Extend your savings period. Save for as long as you can. Allow money to grow tax-deferred in an account like a 529 plan. If you have other resources to help pay for college, such as financial aid or scholarship funds, use those first.

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Investing: Protect Yourself

Details: Protect Yourself. When it comes to protection, you always will need to rely upon yourself. Remember: Avoid anyone using high-pressure sales tactics. Do your homework and invest at the right time for you. Ask you over the phone to send money to purchase an investment based just on a sales pitch. Ask you to make a check out to him or her.

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Cash Balance Plans: A New Approach for Pensions

Details: Cash Balance Plans: A New Approach for Pensions Each type of pension plan has its own rules. The rules make a difference in how fast you can save the money you need to reach your retirement goals.

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Minimize Your Health Care Costs Smart About Money

Details: Minimize Your Health Care Costs. Minimize your health care costs by staying in network, understanding your coverage and considering these other actions. Ask for the “cash price.”. Even if you have insurance, you could be overpaying for medications and health services. For example, nearly 23 percent of prescriptions include a “clawback

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Drawing Income During Retirement Smart About Money

Details: Thereafter, you need to adjust withdrawals for inflation (e.g., year two might be another three percent of the previous year’s withdrawal). For example, starting with $100,000 in your retirement accounts, you would withdraw $4,000 in the first year (4 percent of the value). In the second year, you would withdraw $4,120 (this is 3 percent more

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Mobile Banking Apps Help Track Spending Smart About Money

Details: Save and Track Spending With Mobile Banking Apps. What to Look for (and Watch out for) in Mobile Budgeting and Banking. Mobile banking usage has grown steadily over the past few years and is likely to remain on the upswing, according to “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services,” a report by the Federal Reserve. “Any technology that helps you keep track of your spending and, more

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Calculate Your Retirement Savings Smart About Money

Details: As a general guide try to save about 10 percent of your income annually during your early years (20s to 40s) and double that amount during your later years (50s and 60s). Analyze your savings methods. The higher the growth rate, the less you need to save annually due to compounding interest. Enroll in your company’s retirement plan.

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Review Your Spending and Borrowing Habits Smart About Money

Details: Review Your Spending and Borrowing Habits. Spending happens, and sometimes when you least expect it. But before you go into retirement or even during retirement, get a handle on some habits you have for spending and borrowing.

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Happy Financial Divorce Smart About Money

Details: A key component to having a happy divorce is keeping extraneous fighting to a minimum, but often disagreements on financial issues get in the way. Thorpe recommends looking beyond dollars and cents: “Sometimes good relationships and peace of mind are more important than getting every last cent from the other person.

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Choosing insurance for your family Smart About Money

Details: Choosing the Right Insurance for Your Family. None of us are invincible. If you have a family to support, it is essential that you have insurance coverage that ensures their financial well-being in the event of illness or accidents. Protect your family’s financial future with health insurance, workers’ compensation, life insurance and long

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Investing: Analyze Your Circumstances

Details: Ensure slow, stable growth to fund long-term future needs, such as retirement or a child’s education. Maximize liquidity in the event funds are needed in a hurry. Maximize current income to provide for current needs. Reduce income taxes. Build savings toward short- or mid-term major purchases, such as a down payment on the purchase of a home.

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Plan for College Tuition and Expenses Smart About Money

Details: Avoid the Debt Trap. Loans should be a last resort. Although a loan represents an investment in your child’s future, it also creates debt. That motivates most parents and students to go for scholarship money first. It’s a strategy that makes sense in the long run. Get the latest data on student loan debt in your state from The Project on

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When Can You Retire Smart About Money

Details: First, restate your earnings in today’s dollars using an index factor. Second, identify the top 35 years of earnings and divide by 420 (the number of months in 35 years) to produce your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). Unfortunately for parents, caregivers or others who haven’t worked full-time for 35 years, this step reduces your

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New Parents Can Plan for Financial Success Smart About Money

Details: Save what you can, when you can. Save $100 a month when your child is born (at 6 percent annual interest) and your investment could grow to $38,200 by your child’s 18th birthday. Start five years later instead, and your total reaches only $23,400. Postponing saving until your child enters high school means you’ll end up with just $5,400.

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Car Emergencies Happen Smart About Money

Details: Twenty-four percent of all weather-related vehicle crashes happen on roads with snow, slush or ice, and 15 percent occur during inclement winter weather, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Even simple repairs can be costly. A dented bumper, for instance, can …

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Protect What You Have Smart About Money

Details: Protect What You Have. The ability to absorb a financial shock (to your property, health/life or income) is part of financial well-being. It’s not always comfortable to think about a loss in any of these areas, but running scenarios can be helpful to prepare you when something bad does happen.

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Make a Plan for your Child's College Savings Smart About

Details: That means you will pay inflation-free college tuition for your child. Coverdell Account: A Coverdell Savings Account (also called an Education Savings Account or ESA) takes care of the investing for you, putting savings up to $2,000 a year in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Trusts, money market accounts, Roth IRAs and savings bonds also can be

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Bridging the Gap Smart About Money

Details: Bridging the Gap. For a majority of Americans, there are primarily two ways to fund health care costs in retirement. To ensure your health needs are met without putting you (or your family) deep into debt, you will need to find ways to supplement what Medicare covers.

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Size Up Your Long-Term Savings Smart About Money

Details: According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, if you are 35 years old and earning an average wage (around $48,000), you should be saving about 15 percent of your earnings toward retirement, assuming you retire at 65 and earn a 4 percent rate of return. Establishing a regular savings habit at a young age, earning a decent

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Investing: Working with an Advisor

Details: Working with an Advisor. Now that Valeria has a good background for making her first investment decisions, she realizes she needs some objective advice. She’s afraid she could get taken advantage of or end up losing a lot of money if she trusts the wrong person. Luckily, there are ways for her to find out more about financial advisors and how

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Insurance During Retirement Smart About Money

Details: Their impact on your lifestyle can be significant due to health care costs rising more than the cost of living adjustments that most retirees receive. For these reasons, it pays to understand what costs you might incur during your retirement, options available to help pay for your costs and ways to minimize your costs.

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Prevent a Medical Bankruptcy Smart About Money

Details: Prevent a Medical Bankruptcy. If you are without health insurance, a medical emergency or illness could bankrupt you and your family. Sixty-two percent of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills and illness, according to a study by researchers at Harvard Medical and Law Schools.. To protect yourself from the risk of a health-related bankruptcy, it’s essential that you choose an

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Common Types of Fraud to Watch Out For Smart About Money

Details: Some less obvious signs of a telemarketing fraud include pressure to act immediately, the implementation of scare tactics, demands for payment by courier or claims that you are guaranteed to “get rich quick.”. Other common types of frauds, according to the FBI, include: Identity Theft. Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your

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