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Charitable Giving Guide for the Holiday Season

Posted: 12/05/2011 - The holidays ignite the philanthropic spirit in many of us, and even with the uncertain economy, Americans continue to give. In fact, according to Charity Navigator, total giving to charitable organizations was up 3.8 percent from 2009 to 2010. As in previous years, the majority of giving came from individuals – more than $211 billion of the nearly $291 billion in total giving.

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Good Timings to You

Posted: 11/18/2011 - The holiday season can really press on our schedules — shopping, making travel arrangements, work parties and school concerts fill our nights well before the holidays and into the final days of December. That busyness can also be a source of unexpected financial strain. Multiple trips to the mall don’t just take time and gas money — they can also take the edge off your discipline to spend wisely.

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Prepare Now for Warm and Cozy Winter

Posted: 11/15/2011 - Energy costs and unanticipated home damages can take a sizable bite out of family budgets as the seasons change. With cooler weather on the horizon, and as energy costs continue to climb, now is the time to take money saving steps that can take the chill out of winter in any climate – and potentially add value to your home.

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Five Tips for Becoming a Successful Landlord

Posted: 11/08/2011 - The crisis in the housing market has changed the game for many would-be sellers. If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to market your home, perhaps it’s time to hang out the “for rent” shingle and give the title of “landlord” a try.

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How to protect aging parents against financial predators

Posted: 11/08/2011 - Have you noticed that your aging parents are receiving more mailings or phone calls from financial and insurance companies than ever? If so, take a moment to ask them about it. It may be one of the most important discussions you ever have.

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Make a master list of your accounts and passwords

Posted: 06/16/2011 - If yours is a typical household, one person actively manages the bills, checkbook and investments accounts while other family members have a more passive role. If so, you’ll want to make sure that your spouse or other trusted family member can access accounts and keep your household’s finances afloat in the event of a serious illness or injury, or death.

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Investment Opportunities for Fifty-somethings

Posted: 06/16/2011 - Turning 50 is a milestone birthday. It’s also an age at which many individuals become very serious about retirement planning. Two of the most common questions clients begin asking are: • How do I use my retirement savings to replace my paycheck? • How long will my money last?

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How to boost your retirement confidence

Posted: 04/22/2011 - The 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), a research report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) Education and Research Fund, revealed the percentage of workers “not at all confident” about having enough money for a comfortable retirement grew from 22 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2011 — the highest level measured in the 21 years of the RCS.

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Are you going broke paying for your kids' sports?

Posted: 04/22/2011 - Back in the day, kids honed their athletic skills at the neighborhood park. Now organized sports teams, camps and clinics have replaced parks and pick-up games.

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Are timeshares worth your time?

Posted: 04/18/2011 - Have you been dreaming of owning a vacation getaway? If so, there are five important considerations before you invest in a timeshare or other property.

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Considering the move from two incomes to one?

Posted: 04/18/2011 - Many families feel pressure to have two incomes to make ends meet. Conversely, parents in dual-income households often wish they had more time with their children and a less hectic home life.

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Plan ahead when applying for college financial aid

Posted: 01/31/2011 - While the cost of college tuition keeps rising, some analysts are predicting financial aid to students from cash-strapped states will show little or no growth in the coming years.

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Pet Peeves and Pluses

Posted: 01/10/2011 - Americans are in love with their pets. According to the 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.4 millions homes. That means more households have at least one dog, cat, fish, reptile or other companion animal than households without a furry or scaly beast.

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Financial Solutions for Blended Families

Posted: 12/16/2010 - When you pronounce an encore “I do,” there are usually a unique set of challenges to be met. Here are some points to ponder, as you prepare to blend the finances of two families

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