By Andrea Woroch As a new decade begins, many have their sights set on change. After what feels like a lifetime of working, though, it can be difficult to transition to a cold-turkey retirement. To stay busy and supplement income many people are “semi-retiring” instead. Folks are leaving their traditional jobs, cutting costs and
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Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,325 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2018’s $1,230, 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer
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The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, although new to some Medicare beneficiaries, has been around before. In 2011, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period was altered and changed to the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. The disenrollment period took the open enrollment period’s place from 2011 until 2018. In 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
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The convenience of modern digital commerce comes with an unfortunate side effect: it makes identity theft more convenient as well. The 2019 Identity Fraud study from Javelin Strategy and Research found that 14.4 million consumers in the U.S. were victims of identity theft during 2018, to the tune of $14.7 billion. “It may seem time-consuming
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Many people are reconsidering their budget to prevent holiday overspending over the next few months. If you are one of these people, good for you – but why stop there? This is a great time to look further ahead and tackle your 2020 budget. Lay out your calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever method you use and
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MoneyTips Can you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover? We’re not referring to the traditional hangover that comes from too much alcohol, but the financial hangover that comes from too many charges on your credit card. Of course, you can avoid a New Year’s credit hangover – especially with some help. Consider these eleven ways
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Do you have a rewards credit card? If not, now is the perfect time to consider one. The holiday season provides two motivating factors – special rewards offers from credit card issuers and the increased spending necessary to take advantage of those offers. Many cards offer signup bonuses of hundreds of dollars, or the equivalent
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The holiday season is full of plans and activities that make December incredibly hectic. If you are the average American, tax considerations and financial adjustments are pretty low on your holiday to-do list. However, you are not the average American — you enjoy saving money, are diligent in seeking ways to save, and excellent at
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Christmas Shipping Can Still Be Free Are you a procrastinator who hasn’t started your holiday shopping yet? If not, are you still hunting for deals even after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday? In any case, you still want to take advantage of online bargains and free shipping offers. You’re in
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Credit freezes are one of the most valuable tools in your identity theft protection toolbox. When a credit freeze is placed on your account, lenders can’t access your credit history to assess your risk and are unlikely to approve loans or other forms of credit. You’re in control. Unfreeze (thaw) your accounts whenever you want
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You’ve overspent during past holiday seasons, but you’re determined not to let it happen this year. What’s your plan to prevent painful post-holiday bills? A study from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC) may be able to help. The study focused on holiday spending behavior and how it varies depending on credit scores.
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MoneyTips Do you like the idea of good deals but not the idea of standing outside the mall in a three-point stance waiting for the doors to open for pre-dawn Black Friday savings? Then Cyber Monday, which will be held on December 2nd, 2019 — the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday — is for you.
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What brightens up your holiday shopping season? You may prefer a quiet Christmas season at home, large family gatherings at the home of the relative who drew the short straw, or hand-to-hand combat on Black Friday at the mall. However, everyone agrees that saving money on Christmas shopping gives the holiday an extra layer of
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Have you ever had a credit or debit card transaction declined for insufficient funds when you thought you had money in your account? You may have a credit or debit card “hold,” reserving funds that you haven’t spent. Merchants and service providers set a credit or debit hold on a purchase when the total isn’t
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Thanksgiving is a time to relax and enjoy a nice dinner with your loved ones. You don’t want to spend it stressing over the Thanksgiving budget; you want to spend it having an enjoyable day with friends and relatives, and relaxing on the couch with a tryptophan-induced nap. Try these tips to save dollars on
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Hackers are like any other type of thief. They look for easy targets and take advantage of them. Are you an easy target in the eyes of identity thieves? Let’s assume that you’ve taken basic prevention steps, like using anti-virus software and securing your router to prevent hackers from getting directly into your system. Have
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What happened to your credit score? It’s dropped considerably since the last time you checked, and you have no idea why. Maybe one or more of these events is behind the decrease. 1. Missing Payments – On-time payments is one of the biggest factors that make up your credit score. Make all credit card and
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By Andrea Woroch The upcoming holiday season may have you feeling joyous and anxious at the same time thanks to all the seasonal expenses, gift purchases and travel costs you will take on in several short weeks. Those who don’t prepare ahead may find themselves relying heavily on credit cards and, ultimately, be in debt
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Do you have a love-hate relationship with your credit card? After all, it brings you both pleasurable purchases and painful bills. Credit cards are valuable financial assets – but cards and the companies that issue them aren’t necessarily your friends. Consider these seven things you may not know about your credit card as you reassess
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Experian Boost? Is that a new energy drink? No, it’s not designed to boost your energy – Experian Boost is designed to boost your credit score. This new program from the credit reporting agency Experian was launched in March 2019. In its first six months of activity, Experian Boost has instantly increased a total of
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Are you planning on delaying your retirement? Workers are trending in that direction. Labor force participation numbers have been increasing over the past two decades, as have average retirement ages. U.S. Census Bureau information shows that after a short dip to an average retirement age of 62 for men in the 1980s, the average retirement
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We all go through major life changes, both positive and negative. All have the potential to affect your credit, in either a positive or negative way. The outcome depends on how you handle these life events and the corresponding changes. Consider the following examples. 1. Going to College – College is more than four years
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You shopped around to find the credit card with the best annual percentage rate (APR) for your qualifications. Maybe you’ve got a lower rate than the average – around 17%. The last thing you want to do is incur a penalty APR that ruins your hard work. If you’ve missed a credit card payment for
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Bills are due, and you’re out of money. You’re considering a payday loan to plug the gap in your cash flow. You think you can use the payday loan responsibly and use it to build up your credit score. Think again. Payday loans, along with almost all no-credit-check loans, do not report payment information to
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After years of spotless credit, let’s say you’ve harmed your excellent credit score by missing a payment. Perhaps you’ve had an unexpected accident or medical expense that disrupted your payment schedule, or maybe you simply had a brain cramp and forgot to submit your payment on time. You’ve made good on the missed payment, along
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No matter how hard you try, you can’t improve your credit score. Who’s to blame? Identity thieves? President Trump? Space aliens? It’s time to find out. Start by reviewing your credit report, which is a compilation of your credit history. Creditors report activity on all of your loans and credit accounts, such as history of
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