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What Would You Do If Your Spouse Died?

There are few things in life as traumatizing as the death of a spouse.

Whether your spouse passes suddenly, in an accident, or suffers from a long-standing illness, it’s hard to face life without your companion and partner.

And one of the most difficult things to work through is the money.

When you lose a spouse, there are financial implications — especially if you aren’t the primary breadwinner.

While it isn’t pleasant to think about the loss of a spouse, the fact of the matter is that you need to consider the possibility, and come with a plan to ensure that your finances survive the blow.

What are Your Options?

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What Is the True Cost of Leasing a Car

The car dealership makes leasing sound so appealing.

You can drive a new car every three years, the majority of your car maintenance is covered under the lease, your monthly payments will be lower than if you were buying, and at the end of your lease term, turn the keys back in and start the process all over again.

As many as 25% of people driving choose to lease cars.

Leasing does sound like a can’t lose proposition, until you crunch the numbers, which leads us to ask — What is the true cost of leasing a car?Continue Reading

Mint.com Review – Manage Your Money Online Free

Having trouble tracking and managing your finances? Maybe you need a little help!

There are web based financial management tools that can help you get the job done if that’s where you need to go.

At the top of the list is Mint.com.

Should you try it and see if it can help with your money management?  Millions of people are doing just that.

Mint.com Review

What is Mint.com?

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Senate Passes Bill to Extend Payroll Tax Cut Temporarily (and Other Provisions)

On December 17th, after what were characterized as more heated, intense negotiations, Republicans and Democrats in Senate came to a compromise that extends the payroll tax cuts for just two months. 

The House still needs to pass the bill, then it’s up to the President to sign the bill.

The Obama Administration wanted further cuts that would save a household making $80,000 per year an additional $2,500 in tax liabilities.

If the payroll tax cuts haven’t been high on your reading list, there are a few reasons why that should change.

Within the bill there are winners and losers and much like the recent Supercommittee impasse, when this issue surfaces again in February, your paycheck could be at risk if both parties can’t come to a longer term agreement.

Here are a few reasons you might want to keep up with this issue. Continue Reading

What is a Mutual Fund Prospectus?

Mutual funds can appear about as logical as jumbo shrimp to the millions of people who have 401(k)’s, IRAs, and other investments that include these funds.

If you’re like many investors, you only have a vague idea how these funds work.  Although there is a lot to evaluate when you’re choosing the funds that will fill your retirement or other portfolio, let’s concentrate on the very first step – What is a Mutual Fund Prospectus?

When you first started the process of setting up your retirement fund, you may have received a series of brochures that had a whole lot of words but very few of them made any sense.

These brochures are called prospectuses and we’re going to learn the basics that you need to know to make informed choices. Continue Reading

Unemployment Extensions In Jeopardy – What Long Term Jobless Should Consider Doing

Congress is racing against the clock to renew extended unemployment benefits.

Democrats in the House and Senate would like to renew the current program, allowing the unemployed in the hardest hit states like California and Illinois, to collect unemployment insurance for a maximum of 99 weeks.

If the GOP’s plan goes through, these states will see that maximum cut by 40 weeks, leaving millions of people in an even tougher financial crisis.  If Congress doesn’t move fast, about 6 million people will lose benefits.

How unemployment extended benefits work

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What About a Gift-Less Christmas?

It’s quite possible, even though we are well into December, that you have not started your Holiday gift shopping.

You are probably wondering who should be getting a gift, what budgets you are expected to spend, and who should get what exactly.

What about the notion of not buying anything for anyone?

I’m sure the word ‘Scrooge’ comes to mind but bear with me here.

Christmas and the whole holiday season has become the season to consume, over-consumption is absolutely rampant and your nephews request for a new Wii controller may make you his worst aunt or uncle — but standing up to it all and bucking the system may well be the most refreshing move you ever make.

The symbols of celebratory holidays shouldn’t be $10 board game deals at Walmart or Target’s Christmas Eve sale.  The emphasis should be on the people we are supported and surrounded by and how much we appreciate each other.

Each year, and especially in this economic climate, families are guilt-tripped into loading up their credit cards and depleting savings to keep up with what the holiday season expects of them.
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