Job-Hunters: Avoid Agency Scams

Employment scams are not new, but they’ve become increasingly sophisticated as scammers design websites that effectively mimic the sites of legitimate companies. How can you keep from being ripped off by bogus job agencies? Do your research. Gather information about the job placement companies you’re interested in. Also ask around. Chances are you know someone […]

Financial Basics: Calculate Your Net Worth

Whatever your financial goals in life – whether they include buying a new house, taking a trip to Europe, funding your children’s college educations, having enough money fora comfortable retirement, or all of the above -you are more likely to reach your goals if you do some planning. The fact that you are reading this […]

How to Have a Comfortable Retirement

If you’re age 35 or more and haven’t made a serious effort to plan for retirement, your dreams of a comfortable and active retirement could turn into the nightmare of being old and poor. Scare tactics, you say? Consider this: most experts say you need at least 66% of pre-retirement income to live comfortably when […]

Lost Pet? Don’t Become a Fraud Target

When a pet disappears, owners can become distraught, calling animal shelters, advertising in local papers, posting photos on every telephone pole and fence post all in the hope of hearing news of their lost animal. At such times, pet owners are also more vulnerable to fraud. Consider the following scenarios: The truck passerby: You get […]

How to Protect Your Social Security Number from Theft

With the dramatic increase in identity theft, what can be done to protect your Social Security Number (SSN) from these would-be thieves? Here are some ideas. Do not carry your Social Security Card with you. Your parents were encouraged to do this, but times have changed. You will need to provide it to a new employer, […]

The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

There is no magic to making money by investing. It requires discipline, determination, perseverance, and hard work. In deciding what investments are suitable for you, you must first understand the nine basic rules of investing. 1. Risk versus return. The greater the risk that you will lose not only the return on your investment but […]

Investing Basics: Know When to Sell a Stock

Selling a stock is an important decision – almost as important as the decision to buy. Unfortunately, while the world is full of buy recommendations, there is very little advice on when to sell. Many investors make the mistake of holding onto losing stocks too long. Sometimes they compound this error by selling their winners […]

Avoid Tax Traps in Loans to Friends and Family

Lending to friends and relatives is a tricky business, and not only because of the stress it can place on your relationships. There are tax issues involved as well. If you have to lend money to someone close, here are some tips to do it right in the eyes of the tax code. Charge interest […]

Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

It is one thing to be taxed on retirement contributions and their related earnings when you withdraw funds from your Traditional IRA, it is quite another when you pay the tax PLUS a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Need funds prior to retirement and want to avoid the early withdrawal penalty? There are cases when […]

Financial Basics: Buy the Right Insurance

To keep your insurance costs down, don’t buy insurance to pay for every small medical bill, auto repair, or financial loss. Build a savings account to handle life’s small financial inconveniences. Think of insurance as protection against catastrophes. You can lower your insurance premiums significantly by taking larger deductibles. Also, look for comprehensive insurance, not […]