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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
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Banking mostly online even though I love walking into the local branch of my financial institution

About six years ago, my partner learned about a new bank (and like he does with everything), he did a lot of research and decided that this was the financial institution for him. This bank helps him set goals, stay disciplined, keep track with his spending, and it offers good interest rates. In other words, it offers great automation options and web-based and technical support services that mak...

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2-day training for agencies working with limited resource audiences on financial management

Does your agency work with low to moderate income clients on debt management, budgeting, or understanding financial products like payday loans and prepaid debit card? University of Illinois Extension's All My Money: Change for the Better curriculum was created for you! All My Money: Change for the Better is designed s...

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Getting My Financial House in Order for the New Year

It's that time of year when our minds turn to getting our lives ship-shape. Big box stores have set up huge displays of storage containers and gadgets to get us organized. Ads are pushing dieting and getting in shape. My personal goal is to get my paper and electronic records cleaned out and ready for another year. I want to know that I can find a document when and if I need it,...

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buffalo nickels

Do You Have a Savings Account?

Do you remember when you started your first savings account? I know I must have been pretty young when I first deposited money because I didn't quite understand how a savings account worked, and I was disappointed when I couldn't "withdraw" my Buffalo Nickel that I had deposited. That disappointment notwithstanding, I was a lucky child to have a savings account early in my life. Researc...

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Valentines blog

True Love=Savings

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It is said that Valentine's Day came about because of an Italian bishop who married couples in secret. At the time Roman Emperor Claudius II was fighting a war and believed that married men were not good soldiers. He thought they would rather be at home with their families then off to war on behalf of their countries. So, he abolished marriage. Bishop...

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Plan Well Retire Well Wins National Award

I'd like to take a minute to toot our own horn. The writing team behind the Plan Well Retire Well blog just won two awards for Internet Education Communications from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) at their annual conference held November 2-5, 2015 in White Sulfur Springs WV. We received first-place in the Central regi...

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Challenge Yourself To Save As Much As You Spend On Holidays

Please welcome guest blogger, Tammy Greynolds!! Tammy Greynolds 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 . Consumers are getting sa...

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Online banking

Dear Young Friend: Thinking About Online Banking

Dear Karen, One way I might be different from a lot of other young adults is that I'm not enthusiastic about online banking and I haven't done much of it. Other than being able to bank from home and potentially finding higher interest rates on savings accounts, are there any advantages? Other than losing the experience and comfort of in-person banking, are there...

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Dear Young Friend: Maximize Interest on Savings in Buckets #1 and #2

Dear Karen, Thank you so much for the thoughtful information! I've read through it, and now it's marinating in my brain. I like the idea of "buckets," and I appreciate you breaking things into smaller chunks. (You must have heard stories of me and my "financial fatigue.") This all does help things feel less complicated, although I don't think anything with money...

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Dear Young Friend: Three Buckets for Your Money

I have been talking with a young friend about a lot of different financial topics over the past couple of months. I realized that the challenges my young friend faces are the same things that almost all young adults deal with. Over the next few months, I'll be sharing some of our conversations. Maybe you're wrestling with some of the same questions. Or, like me, maybe you have a young frien...

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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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What to Do to Protect Yourself from Data Breaches

It's a scary to think of someone stealing our money. When we hear about millions of accounts being hacked, we wonder "What can we do to protect our identity and our money?" 1) Look at your financial account statements frequently and report anything that looks odd to your financial institution immediately. 2) Sign up for text alerts fo...

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Chips A-Hoy. Why I am Going Back to Cash Only Until My Cards are More Secure

I wrote last week about rethinking my use of plastic credit/debit cards because of the security breaches of 70 million accounts announced by Target right before Christmas. This morning, I have decided to give that idea serious merit. In the past few days it has been revealed that not only Target was hit with security breaches that allowed millions of names, account information, e-mails and pin...

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Goodbye Old Friend. Why a Major Retailer May Make Me Change My Buying Habits.

Last month, Americans were dismayed to learn that one of the biggest retailers, Target, had their computers hacked and the financial information of millions of customers was at risk for fraud. According to official releases from , payment cards (debit and credit cards) used only in Target stores, between November 27 th and December 15...

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Save Time by Automating Your Finances

I don't want to spend any more time than necessary managing my own finances. So I recently spent some time thinking about how I could simplify things. I like the idea of automating tasks. Once they're set up, they require little or no attention. Best of all, these tasks now get done at the right time instead of waiting for me to get around to them. I bet you're already doing some of the...

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Payday Loans: Money Solution or Problem?

Today, we welcome Dedra Thomas, Extension Educator - Consumer Economics in Cook County, as our newest blogger. Dedra holds an MBA and is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). In today's economy there are many consumers living from paycheck to paycheck and without a savings plan. Emergencies arise, as they always do, and the consumer is left with few choices to meet...

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Do You Want a Reloadable Debit Card in Your Financial Toolbox?

Imagine you're at a store watching someone pay for their purchase. The total bill is rung-up and the shopper reaches into his wallet and pulls out – what? It could be cash, or a debit card from their local bank, or a credit card, or it could even be a reloadable debit card. Yes, we now have one more way to pay for things! And, like most financial tools, pros and cons exist for using these ca...

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Old Habits & New Technologies; New to Me, Anyway

This week we welcome Michael Rupured, Financial Management Specialist from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, as a guest blogger to Plan Well, Retire Well. We hope you enjoy his post as much as we do! I've always been the kind of person that balances my checking account every month. The habit started when I was in college. When every penny counted, the last thing I...

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Market-linked CDs: The Details are Important!

Just when you think you know the basics of saving and investing, something new comes along! Many of us have think of a Certificate of Deposit (CD) as a completely safe investment – guaranteed to provide a certain amount of return and insured by the government. And, while that is still true for many CDs, market-linked CDs are different. While market-linked certificate of deposits have bee...

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Direct Express Debit Card: ATM Withdrawals Could Cost You

Last week I wrote about Go Direct , the US Treasury's effort to have all recipients of Federal payments such as Social Securi...

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Federal government says, Go Direct! Go Electronic!

There was a time when you could get your Social Security check by mail and buy a savings bond at the bank or through payroll deduction. Those days are drawing to a close. Savings Bonds As of January 1, 2012, you will no longer be able to visit your local bank or credit union to buy a savings bond. The bonds will still be for sale, but you'll have to do it through...

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Bank Fees -- Check Your Costs

There's a lot of buzz lately about fees at financial institutions such as banks, and it may be time for you to take a close look at your checking account statement and see how much you're paying for your account. Why the recent buzz?  Did you know that every time you use your debit card, merchants are charged an average of 44 cents?  You may not have been aware of this cost, but this wa...

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Teaching money management: in with the new, out with the old

Should I still be teaching people how to write checks , use a checkbook register, and to balance their checkbook? I recently attended an excellent presentation by Brenda Cude, Ph.D.,Professor, Department of Housing and Consumer Economics, University of Georgia, about the concept of financial literacy: wha...

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A New Financial World

Do you use your debit card daily? Do you check your bank balance online? Do you bank using a smart phone app? The pace of change in the financial world is dizzying. New isn't always better, but I do like learning new ways to simplify my financial life. It can take awhile to adopt new habits, but often new technology can save time and help you manage your finances more easily. I'm comfor...

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America Saves: Watch Your Back, uhh, Bank

Do you know how much money is in your bank account? America Saves urges you to avoid overdraft fees by keeping track of your spending. The $20-40 you could save each month by not bouncing checks or overdrawing could put nearly $500 in your emergency savings account. For more savings tips, visit: ....

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