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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
What Gift Should I Give

What Gift Should I Give?

Graduation season is coming up soon! Whether it's a high school graduation or college, gift giving season is in full swing come May. According to the National Retail Federation total gift spending last graduation season was expected to reach $5.2 billion. The average perso...

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Twitter Chat
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Join Us Online #ASW19

Come to our party! We're celebrating America Saves Week online on Wednesday, February 27th! At noon, we kick off with a webinar about Money and Relationships . Register at to be sent login information. Ta...

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MSW Secondary Date 2018

Money Smart Week: A Chance to Keep Up with Changing Realities

After over 20 years of teaching personal financial management, I am still looking for more ways to empower people to use money to reach their goals and dreams. As our economy, societal practices, and laws change, our approaches to financial management education need to change too . In the past few weeks, our Extension office presented "Welcome to the Real World," a finan...

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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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Celebrate April: Taxes, Money Smart Week, Financial Literacy Month!

With the hint of spring in our gardens, I feel like we're moving out of the slow-moving pace of winter into the season of festivals, events and outdoor activities. On top of all these activities, April is National Financial Literacy Month, taxes are due, and Money Smart Week returns to our communities during the last week! As you can imagine, my calendar is filling up – maybe you'd like to add...

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CoverPhoto CoverYourAssets 2017

If Only I was 25 Years Old Again!

Too often when I talk to people in their 50s about money, I hear "If only I had known or done ____ when I was 25!" There's no doubt that it's hard to change spending and saving behaviors after decades of practicing those not-so-helpful behaviors. So, what is the most important thing for someone in their 20s or 30s to know about money? That's a challenging question! I like to talk to peo...

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MSW ORG A 2016

Learn the Secret Code of Personal Finance During Money Smart Week

In some areas of life, it seems that one group of people has the gift - they know what to do or how to behave so that they are successful and accepted. They know the Secret Code. In 1922, Emily Post published her book on etiquette. It was groundbreaking, because for the first time it revealed the secret code known only by the wealthy elite about how to behave and talk in high society....

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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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MSW ORG A 2015

Choose what you want to learn during Money Smart Week, April 18 - 25

Money Smart Week is coming, April 18 to 25, 2015. It's the best time of year to learn anything you want about managing your finances. Why is it the best time? It's all free. There will likely workshops near you . Over a thousand programs will take place across Illinois. There are also programs in about...

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MSW ORG A 2014

Get Ready to Learn: Money Smart Week 2014 Is Coming!

Money Smart Week is coming, April 5 to 12, 2014. It's the best time of year to learn anything you want about managing your finances. Why is it the best time? It's all free. There will likely workshops near you . Over 1025 programs will take place...

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Bridal Christmas: Wedding Dress Shopping on a Budget

Though it may not seem like the time of year to think about weddings given our current polar vortex winter, spring is coming up soon and that means wedding season! Even if you're already married – this post may relate to someone you know - A daughter or son, a niece nephew, or a new member of your family. As a former employee of a major bridal salon in the US as well as just purchasing my very...

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Death Over Dinner

Two major events for me happened this month. One, my cousin was killed in a traffic accident involving him on a bicycle and a car. The car of course won in spite of Dook taking all the right precautions as he traveled on a course he had ridden hundreds of times. And while his death was sudden, tragic and unexpectedly early (he was only 65!), as a lawyer I am reasonably certain that he was prepa...

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Finding Fares for Flights

I am by no means a travel expert; however I have done quite a significant amount of traveling in my time. In the last year alone - I have booked 17 round trip flights. I try to be extra savvy when I shop for flights – as I hate to pay more for tickets than may seem fiscally necessary. Below are some ways I have saved money on my flights that may help you this holiday season. Wat...

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Save the Week MSW

Save the Date for Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week is a great way to celebrate Financial Literacy Month with educational and fun events! Money Smart Week begins in our communities April 20 th through the 27 th . Launched in 2002, the program is now active in more than 41 states through national partnerships wi...

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Money Smart Week 2012 Is Here

What : Money Smart Week is eight days during which programs and events on every financial topic imaginable are offered to help consumers learn how to manage their personal finances. The effort is led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. When : April 21-28, 2012. Hundreds of free classes, seminars and activities promoting financial education will take...

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Do You Know It All?

Learning about finances never stops .When we're teenagers we tend to focus on spending money – and we're busy learning about checking and savings accounts. As young adults we learn more about using credit wisely for large purchases such as cars and homes. Time passes and a need to understand insurance, job benefits, and investments becomes evident. And at middle-age &ndash...

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America Saves: Do You?

Today is the final day of America Saves Week . America Saves is a national campaign to persuade Americans who have little or no savings to "build wealth, not debt." Savers identify a savings goal and take action on a plan to achieve it. The America Saves program is free and motivational. Check out monthly messages from America Saves e-wealth coaches:...

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America Saves: An Offer That's Truly Too Good to Refuse

Want some great financial advice from some of the nation's leading financial experts...for free? Seriously, this service really exists and nobody is trying to sell you anything. The America Saves program posts monthly messages from e-wealth coaches about topics related to savings and personal finance. To view what they have to say, see:

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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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America Saves: Let's Get Started!

In observation of America Saves Week, we'll be posting numerous tips on our blog this week to help you save. Do you use cash for small purchases, and end up with bothersome change in your wallet or pocket? Save your loose change! According to America Saves , saving fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40% of a $500 emergency fund. Remember, s...

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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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Add to Your Knowledge during National Financial Literacy Month

New laws and regulations, a blitz of ads about financial products, the economy in a spin ... just how are we supposed to learn about finances AND then apply it to our lives? At times it's truly overwhelming! My only solution is to keep adding to my knowledge bit by bit by reading, talking to others, and attending presentations. Across Illinois, people have the opportunity to add...

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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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New Plan Well, Retire Well E-Newsletter Announced

Would you like to receive links to our blog posts, news articles, and other fascinating financial news? This is a great way to not miss any of the Plan Well, Retire Well blogs! The e-news is published once a month. Subscribe for free today!...

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