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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Kimberly Nute-Jones

Time to Plan a Treasury Hunt

Treasurer offices across the United States have been left holding the bag; the bag with your unclaimed property in it! Each year, millions of dollars of unclaimed or abandoned property is turned over to state treasurer offices across the country. To date, it is estimated that over $32 billion of unclaimed property is waiting to be found. In Illinois, our treasurer's office has been going around...

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Did Oprah Plan Well Retire Well?

As the final days of the Oprah Winfrey Show quickly approach, I am reminded of being a high school senior and Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper. I was assigned the daunting task of going with one of my reporters to get the scoop on Oprah, then A.M Chicago host getting ready to go national. Needless to say, after jumping through hoops and convincing the ABC Channel 7 security guard to...

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Tips to Help Fuel Your Savings

Recent news of civil unrest and natural disasters have dominated the headlines and placed a squeeze on our wallets. In tough economic climates, saving money becomes even more important. With gas prices rising and projected to hit over $5.00 per gallon by early June, many of you may be wondering what you can do to cut your gasoline costs. One way many Americans have found helpful is to t...

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What Does Your Tax Return Say About You?

Did you know that your tax return reveals a lot about what going on in your life? It's true. All of those tax documents you received in the mail tell a story. By now, you have received lots of forms marked "important tax information." Do you know what all these various forms are used for? Are you taking advantage of all of your potential credits and deductions available to you? Hopefully this b...

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Are You Prepared to Separate from Your Employer?

Leaving an employer can bring about a range of emotions from elation to depression. Whether you are leaving your employer voluntarily or involuntarily there are key things you need to be aware of to make your transition as smooth as possible. 1. You may experience an emotional impact . I am currently doing a series on "Getting Through Tough Financial Times" at one of the...

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What's in Your Wallet?

You have probably seen the Capital One commercial that asks the question "What's in Your Wallet?" To my surprise, many people are walking around with a lot of information that should not be in their wallet. This summer when I was doing a credit workshop with young adults ranging in age from 18-24, I asked "by a show of hands, how many of you carry your social security card in your wallet/" No...

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Leaving Your Current Employer? What Should You Do With Your Windfall?

I remember when I was 24, and in the midst of changing jobs. My former employer sent me a check. It was a little under $1000.00. I was excited; I deposited the check right away. Needless to say, I spent the money on some "urgent" need at the time. This happened once or twice more throughout the earlier part of my (and my spouse's) career. Although I knew I could have rolled the money over into...

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Where Should You Invest Your Retirement Plan Savings?

Occasionally I get asked "how do I decide which investments are best for my retirement savings plan?" In turbulent times like these, that's actually a very important question. Through research and personal experience, I have found that there are several factors that need to be considered when choosing investments. Elements such as time horizon, risk tolerance, and market exposure should be care...

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Money Smart Week 2010 Kicks Off This Week

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Annual Money Smart Week kicked off this weekend. For those who don't know, Money Smart Week is a big event in Illinois. Every year, financial professionals from across the state offer over 400 free financial management workshops and activities at libraries, schools, churches, and community organizations to youth, adults, and seniors. Today, I attend...

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It's Time to Be Counted

By now, you have likely received your 2010 Census forms in the mail. Some of you, like myself, have probably already completed and returned the form; I had to otherwise it may have gotten misplaced and not returned at all. For those who have not returned your form yet, I hope this blog encourages you to do so as soon as possible. What is the Census? The Census is an off...

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What's Up with Your Credit CARD?

In the next few days, a new law goes into effect that will change the way credit card companies handle your credit card account. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 will go into effect on February 22, 2010. This new law will impact interest rate adjustments, disclosure requirements, and the issuing of credit to young consumers among other things. I wa...

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Tips for Choosing a Charitable Organization

In the wake of natural disasters such as the earthquake that hit Haiti last week, charitable giving is up. With so many organizations claiming to collect for relief efforts, how do you know whom to give your monies to? Through research, I found that there are a few key factors that might help you choose which efforts to support and which to stay away from. Here are a few points to consider when...

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Be Thankful for What You Have: Monitor Your Spending During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is here and Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are right around the corner. This is usually the time that some of the most sensible people throw caution to the wind and charge it! Amidst all the joyous festivities, many unfortunately rack up a ton of debt. In case you didn't know, on average it takes about nine years to pay off a $100...

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What is the State of Your Economy?

This week I attended the Smart Women Smart Money Conference hosted by the Illinois State Treasurer's Office. There were numerous workshops going on including one by our own Karen Chan. To my surprise, my next door neighbor, Shundrawn Thomas, President of Northern Trust Securities, did a presentation on the State of the Economy. I decided to sit in on his session. He provided historical data, in...

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Healthcare Debate Moves to Facebook

Every day brings interesting new twists and turns in the healthcare debate. From Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to more talk of death panels, the debate continues on and public opinion has become more polarized than ever. In my last blog, I told you if you sent me an email, I may include your comments in my next blog. Boy, do you have opinions. I received a cross-section of responses from health pr...

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Will the Death of Senator Ted Kennedy Impact the Obama Healthcare Bill?

If you are like me, until recently, you have probably half-heartedly followed the news reports on healthcare reform. I thought I'd wait until the dust settled and a more finalized draft of the healthcare bill had been developed before I weighed in. Needless to say, I was very surprised to hear all the uproar about less than pleasant protests taking place all over the country. I decided maybe I'...

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Michael Jackson's Death Sheds Light on Planning Well

The past couple of weeks have been filled with discussions on wills and trusts, guardians and executors. Unless you have a legal background or some knowledge of how these things work, some or all of what has been said may have gone right over your head. I will attempt to shed some light on the discussion of Michael Jackson's estate. I just viewed the Will of Michael Joseph Jackson. At first I w...

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Why Save in a Recession?

Hi there, Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kimberly Nute-Jones. I am a Consumer and Family Economics Educator in Cook County. My office is located in Matteson, Illinois. I generally service the south side of Chicago and the south suburbs. I am a wife and mother of two teens. My hope in participating in this blog is to connect my real life experiences to many of the topics...

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