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January 22, 2018

Rent vs. own: Which is right for you?
(BPT) - If you’re thinking of buying your first home, you’ve probably wrestled with the decision to rent or own your home — and for good reason.Owning a home is a big commitment. With it comes a lot of responsibility and a long-term financial relationship.But which is right for yo... More >>

5 tax tips for the self-employed
(BPT) - Self-employment offers the perks and benefits of not working for someone else, but often means taking on risks and becoming responsible for providing a valuable product or service, generating income and having a steady customer base. With all of this considered, along with the newly enacted... More >>

What New Year's resolution can you stick to and feel like you're making a difference in the world?
(BPT) - This time of year, many Americans are setting (or already breaking) New Year’s resolutions focused on getting healthier, saving money, spending more time with friends and family, etc. These are great resolutions, but perhaps this year, you’re thinking about ways you can make a d... More >>

6 ways to reach your New Year's financial resolutions
(BPT) - Sponsored content from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.With the New Year upon us, many people are thinking about what they want out of 2018, what goals they’d like to accomplish and what changes they’d like to make. After the holidays have come and gone, America enters into... More >>

Common tax mistakes to avoid in 2018
(BPT) - Life changes — getting married, having a baby, buying or selling a home, sending a child off to college or retiring — often come with changes to your tax situation. Overlooking these changes when filing your taxes can lead taxpayers to make mistakes that leave money on the table... More >>

Here's how the tax reform plan could affect you
(BPT) - With the newly passed tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), now is the time to start thinking about how this will affect you so that you can plan ahead for the outcomes you will start to feel in your paycheck as early as February 2018.This tax reform affects virtually everyone;... More >>

5 spring remodeling projects sure to brighten your home
(BPT) - During the coldest months of the year, it’s hard not to think about the warmer months to come — and all that they hold. You may already be planning your next vacation or outdoor activities to host in your backyard this summer. Now is the time to brainstorm about your spring home... More >>

Growing your business? These 3 financing mistakes can cost you big
(BPT) - Starting a business can be tough. Growing one can be even harder.Dr. Nacondus Gamble knows this all too well. After her optometry practice, The South Eastern Eye Center, began to establish a reputation for great patient care, Dr. Gamble decided she was ready to expand. So she began looking ... More >>

Tax Survey: Top 3 Things Americans Would Rather Do [Video]
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Survey: DIY taxpayers willing to take on stress to save money [Video]
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New year deals: Why winter is the perfect time to buy a boat
(BPT) - Winter may be frigid for many, but it’s an ideal time to plan for warmer days ahead and make dreams of owning a boat a reality. Beginning in January, boat shows across the country offer some of the hottest post-holiday deals around, with special pricing and incentives on new boat mode... More >>

Options available to help students pay for college
(BPT) - With student debt increasingly becoming a long-term burden on graduates and families, says Peter Gayle, a vice president for Prudential Advisors, it’s never been more important to minimize the out-of-pocket expenses to put a student through college — and reduce reliance on stude... More >>

Retirement readiness: Hitting the retirement preparation sweet spot
(BPT) - A recent study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College suggests an alarming state of awareness about retirement readiness: Of surveyed households, 33 percent realize they are not well prepared, 19 percent are not well prepared but don't know it, and 24 percent are well... More >>

3 documents you need to create your estate plan
(BPT) - While creating a will and other estate planning documents may not be top of mind, it's a concern you should take seriously. You don’t need celebrity-sized assets to be concerned that a lack of estate planning on your part could cost your beneficiaries dearly. And that’s just one... More >>

Solving 5 pain points in the homebuying process
(BPT) - When it comes to buying a home, the beauty of the process is truly in the eye of the beholder. Some people see the opportunity to start a new life, live their dreams and make memories that will, quite literally, last a lifetime. Others get caught up in the problems associated with the home ... More >>

Useful tips to help caregivers navigate the cost of care
(BPT) - When a patient receives bad medical news, it can be a paralyzing moment. It’s easy to see how any serious diagnosis can shatter someone’s life into a million pieces, but we often overlook what’s happening to the caregiver who’s devoting their time and energy to provi... More >>

22 million strong: 4 ways to make VA loans work for you
(BPT) - If you’re a veteran, active military member or reservist, you’ve likely heard about all the benefits offered with VA home loans.Since 1944, some 22 million vets have taken advantage of the powerful U.S. program enabling affordable low-interest mortgages that require no down paym... More >>

The time is right to seek new income opportunities
(BPT) - Whether you plan to watch the ball drop in Times Square this New Year’s Eve or be in bed by 10 p.m., one thing is certain: a new year is coming, and with it comes a chance for change. It’s a time to reflect on what works best for you and reset your course for the coming year. Re... More >>

New ways renters are becoming homeowners
(BPT) - Sponsored Content from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.The world that millennials have grown up in is a lot different than the world the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers knew. The digital revolution, widespread use of smartphones and adoption of disruptive technologies such as ride sharing an... More >>

Tips to protect yourself from online shopping scams this holiday season
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Growing need for ag expertise: Not all high-paid careers are on the farm
(BPT) - (BPT) – As the farming industry faces growing consolidation in the U.S., one might get the impression fewer jobs are now available in agriculture.In fact, just the opposite is true. Today, one in three people worldwide — more than a billion employees — work in an ag-relate... More >>

5 Must-know Investing and Retirement Tips
(BPT) - Parents and grandparents typically pass down many things to the next generation — jewelry, furniture and other family heirlooms. But what if the best thing that the preceding generation passed along was their financial wisdom? Through years of investing and saving for retirement, Baby... More >>

Top trends for the 2018 housing market identified
(BPT) - In the real estate market, springtime is go time. It’s the busiest time of the year for home sales, and with this year’s stable economy and low unemployment rate, the spring of 2018 has the potential to be especially active.Every market is defined by its trends, and while each y... More >>

5 strategies for protecting your valuables
(BPT) - Home is your sanctuary, your castle, the place where you feel the most secure and protected. It is natural to feel this way. So, it is not surprising that you store your prized possessions and valuables at home as well. But is that the best choice for all your valuables?The recent wildfires... More >>

Tips to save money and energy this winter
(BPT) - Winter is a time of year when expenses can soar, especially your utility bills. Thankfully, Chip Wade, HGTV expert, has some advice on how you can save energy, and ultimately money, this year:* Lighting: LED bulbs are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs.* Prevent heat lo... More >>

5 tips for working adults returning to college
(BPT) - Most working professionals want to advance their skills, land that promotion and get a raise. However, some 36 million adults face a significant barrier to achieving their goals and aspirations: They still need to complete a significant amount of coursework in order to earn a college degree... More >>

5 ways digital natives are giving our lives a mobile makeover
(BPT) - Their heads may be buried in their smartphones, but don’t be fooled; the youngest generation is changing the world as we know it, one emoji at a time.According to recent findings from the Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, Generation Z — the youngest generation ... More >>

The hidden dangers of oversharing on social media
(BPT) - Locking doors and windows and leaving a light on used to deter criminals from breaking into homes when you were away on vacation, but our obsession with sharing photos and experiences in real time on social media has created a whole new security risk for travelers. According to Mercury Insu... More >>

Buckle up for the new passenger economy
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Beyond the diploma: Helping teens forge their futures
(BPT) - What’s the key to optimism? From a career standpoint, it’s having a vision where you see yourself climbing and thriving, and you know there will be a place in the world for your skills and knowledge.Unfortunately, there are many teens and young people who have a much bleaker vis... More >>

Seeking a smartphone? Here are 10 things to look for
(BPT) - There are many choices when shopping for a smartphone these days, and the differences can be very subtle. Here are some of the key things you’ll want to look at to make sure you find the one that works best for your needs.Operating System (OS): There are two different operating system... More >>

Buying life insurance can be complicated. But it doesn't need to be
(BPT) - Getting insurance can be famously complex and time-consuming. Whether it’s life, health, automobile or home, it takes time to understand what coverage you need and how to get it. As a result, it’s easy to put off items that don’t feel truly urgent until it’s too late... More >>

FICO Score: Why it matters and what you can do to change it
(BPT) - For anyone who has tried to borrow money to purchase a car, buy a home or open a revolving line of credit, you may be familiar with the term FICO Score. The vast majority of lenders use this scoring model, which essentially determines a person’s creditworthiness."The FICO Score may se... More >>

3 ways to save money on diabetes medications
(BPT) - Controlling the “ABCs of diabetes” — A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels — is difficult enough, but when you add that second C — costly medications — it’s easy to see how one’s levels can spiral out of control quickly.According to the A... More >>

Considering disability benefits? Answer these questions first
(BPT) - Age and chronic illness can take a toll. A June 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the costliest health conditions in the U.S. include: heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke and type 2 diabetes. An estimated 117 million people have one or more chronic... More >>

Time-saving tricks that save hours each week
(BPT) - When you look at your to-do list, does it seem a mile long? From running errands, returning emails and making hurried trips to the ATM, modern life has never been busier for Americans.You can reclaim your day by using a few simple time-saving methods. By simplifying common tasks, you can op... More >>

Women in agriculture are challenging stereotypes
(BPT) - About a third of the nation’s farmers are women, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And most of these women are working family farms, since 99 percent of all American farms are family-owned and operated. Just under 1 million women farmers contribute $12.9 billion to the ... More >>

Don't get hooked: Know warning signs of a phishing scam
(BPT) - Half of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants use email, generating 269 billion emails per day in 2017, according to technology market research firm The Radicati Group. Email is so commonly used in business and personal interactions that it’s also become a prime avenue for scammers ... More >>

5 steps to making annual enrollment the most wonderful time of the year
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again. But before you plan your Thanksgiving menu or check off your gift list, it’s time to think about employee benefits.VSP Vision Care surveyed employees about their attitudes around that special time of year when they must choose a benefits package and... More >>

Home smart home: Boost your home IQ with smart appliances
(BPT) - If you think a Jetsons-like home of the future is still a ways off, think again. Today’s smart home is here offering simple ways for consumers to operate their home, adding the ultimate in efficiency, convenience and enjoyment. It’s easier than you think to create a connected ho... More >>

A New Kind of Life Insurance for Those Living with Diabetes
(BPT) - For people living with diabetes, the condition is a part of their everyday life and one that impacts many of their decisions, from balancing what they eat to taking care of their health. One area that might not be top of mind for people living with diabetes is life insurance. That’s b... More >>

5 auto insurance myths you've been wrong about all along
(BPT) - Most drivers “know” for certain just two things about car insurance: they’re required by law to have it, and it’s expensive. Beyond that, there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of misconceptions, according to a recent survey by The Zebra, an online auto insurance... More >>

5 myths keeping millennials in their parents' basements
(BPT) - Millennials are often called “perennial renters,” yet studies show they are not only planning to own a home one day, but they expect to own multiple throughout their lifetimes. Many people incorrectly assume these “boomerang kids” are moving home due to laziness when... More >>

Looking for a Medicare Part D plan? Consider these 3 things
(BPT) - Many people are surprised to find out that Original Medicare doesn't cover prescription drugs. For help with the cost of your medications, you can choose a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage, but navigating your options can be complicated.With Med... More >>

Don't get hacked! Time to get serious about password safety
(BPT) - We all know hiding your house key under the doormat is a terrible idea, but we do it anyway because it’s a convenient backup. When it comes to safeguarding passwords, especially in a family setting, people often choose convenience over safety.As families manage their digital informati... More >>

Picking a health insurance plan? Prepare for the unexpected
(BPT) - As many Americans know, fall is the season when we must select our health benefits for the upcoming year. Choosing a health plan can be a daunting task, but selecting the right coverage protects you and your family's general health needs and can prepare you for an unexpected medical crisis.... More >>

Friends and money don't mix: Money cited as a key cause of stress in friendship [Infographic]
(BPT) - Many consumers admit they would rather talk to their friends about nearly anything — including their love life or family drama — than money. People would rather trip and fall in public than ask a friend to pay them back. One solution? Forty-one percent of millennials say that se... More >>

Paving the way to college: 4 things parents need to know
(BPT) - Senior year: It's a time to finish college applications, solidify friendships and look forward to the freedom and the responsibility that come once that final bell rings. A lot of feelings surface during that final year, especially for parents. While your son or daughter might be overjoyed ... More >>

'Tis the season: Holiday gifting and budgeting strategies [Infographic]
(BPT) - The Coinstar Holiday Survey, conducted among 2,000 U.S. adults, reports that the majority (65 percent) will set a budget this holiday season. The holiday infographic showcases results including budgeting and shopping strategies, creative gift giving, the “Scrooge” effect as well... More >>

Find Medicare Confusing? Start Here
(BPT) - Navigating Medicare can be challenging. In fact, according to a 2017 UnitedHealthcare survey, nearly 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries find the program confusing. Learning the basics can help you cut through the confusion and make an informed decision about which coverage option may be t... More >>

Small businesses have struggled to find funding: Not anymore
(BPT) - In business, dreams are easy. Finding the money to make them happen, however, can be difficult.Even established, successful businesses can get turned away for loans at banks. This was the case for Sole Bicycles, a popular maker of stylish, high-performance bikes based in Venice Beach, Calif... More >>

Easy ways to make your data, and your dollars, go further
(BPT) - Wireless providers would love for you to believe that a modern lifestyle requires an endless, unlimited stream of data; and by the way, they’d love to sell it to you! On its face, there’s probably nothing wrong with this assumption. Just think about how much of your day is spent... More >>

Freelancers: Are you grabbing the best possible tax relief?
(BPT) - If you earn all or part of your income these days from freelance or contract work, you’re far from alone.A CNN report this year estimates some 34 percent of the U.S. workforce is now part of the so-called gig economy, a segment expected to reach 43 percent — representing some 7.... More >>

3 reasons to consider a group legal plan
Being a parent is a balancing act. You are constantly being pulled in different directions and it can be challenging to manage all the things you need to get done. Your company’s open enrollment period is a chance to take stock of benefits that can help you manage some of the issues you face.... More >>

5 steps to prepare for open enrollment
(BPT) - Millions of Americans will select or switch their health benefits plan during open enrollment, so now is the time to prepare for that decision that usually happens once a year.More than 70 percent of Americans say they are prepared for open enrollment, yet most people struggle to understand... More >>

Why IRAs are an important part of the retirement planning mix
(BPT) - There are so many questions people have - no matter their age or stage in life - about saving for retirement: When is the right time to start saving? How much should I be putting aside? What are the savings vehicles I should be using?While the answers vary for everyone, depending on their i... More >>

Embracing the awkward: Why you should pay back your friend (and how to do it right)
(BPT) - Spending time with friends is rewarding and fun, but things can become tricky when money is involved. Almost everyone has that friend who conveniently heads to the restroom when the check arrives at a group dinner; or regularly “forgets” his or her wallet on a coffee run claimin... More >>

Don't be misled by these down payment myths
(BPT) - Confused about how much you need for a down payment on a house? You’re not alone.Whether it’s your first time buying a home or you've been around the block, calculating the right amount for a down payment can be a challenge. Many admit that accumulating down payment funds is one... More >>

All home warranties are not created equal
(BPT) - Having a home warranty is a smart way to help deal with the inevitable home repair problems that all property owners face at one point or another.After all, a good home warranty can mean getting expert help when your HVAC system needs to be fixed, your water heater needs to be replaced, or ... More >>

Debunking home ownership myths for millennials
(BPT) - We’ve all been told, that owning a home is part of the American dream. It’s the biggest and most rewarding investment many people will make in their lives. Instead of paying rent every month and having nothing to show for it, paying a monthly mortgage builds equity and wealth.Wh... More >>


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