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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
credit score ratings from e-news

FICO 9 May Improve Your Credit Score – Someday

You answer the phone. Or open a letter that came in the mail. It's from a collection agency. A medical bill that you never knew existed has been turned over to collections. What goes through your mind? "My credit score just went down the tubes." I may have some good news for you. Under FICO 9 – the new version of that credit score which was just released – that collection action...

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Holiday Spending: How Not to Blow Your Budget

Katie Bryan works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at Almost everything you see this holiday season will encourage you to spend...

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Winterizing your home

Winterizing Your Home: Your Winter Weather Financial Guide

With Mother Nature being so brutal to all in Illinois and the Midwest last winter, I wanted to get a head start on winterizing my home the last few weekends. Though it would seem as if old man winter might already be here, that doesn't have to stop you from adjusting your home to get it ready for when winter officially comes. Below are some things you can do to your home to prepare it for this...

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Holiday calendar 2014 with events

Calendering Your Holiday Spending

The holidays can be wonderful with fun activities and time with family and friends. The holidays also can be a time when you feel tired and overwhelmed from too much to do. Also, when overwhelmed and time is running out, it’s easy to spend more money than planned. This year, take time to make choices about activities and plan your time wisely so that you can enjoy the holidays....

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Top Five Tips and Strategies to Save Your Sanity and Budget This Holiday Season

Top Five Tips and Strategies to Save Your Sanity and Budget This Holiday Season Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanza or Hanukkah, the end of the year is a budget buster, and the financial hangover can last for months. The problem is no one wants to be seen as a Scrooge or a Grinch. One key is not just to buy less but shop smarter. Retailers are masters at running promotions t...

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Son of a Breach!

With the news that JP Morgan Chase's breach of accounts was much larger than previously reported, millions of people and businesses are shaking their heads and wondering when this will all stop. It will not. Hackers have the upper hand and we mere mortals are at the mercy of those we entrust with our financial information. To be fair, the JP Morgan Chase breech...

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401k loans

401(k) Loans: Whose Advice Should You Trust?

I was stunned this week when I read a research article contending that taking a loan from your 401(k) is preferable to most other kinds of loans. That flies in the face of what we've all been told over the years. Two days later, I received my November issue of Consumer Reports Money Adviser, which had a sidebar titled Decision: Borrow from your 401(k)? And it began lik...

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