Articles from Financial Focus
Jill on Money: Use open enrollment period as a time to make better choices

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  It’s open enrollment season for health and retirement plans, and if you are like most people, you will probably default to the choices you made last year. That’s a shame, because spending some time investigating your options can help you save money.
Read More Sunday, November 12, 2017
Jill on Money: How to pay for college

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
As the college acceptance letters arrive, students are thrilled. However, while parents and grandparents are proud, they may also feel a little anxious about footing the bill for what they know is an important credential in today's labor force. Before you sign on a dotted line, or heaven-forbid, raid your retirement account or borrow against your house, it's time for a financial reality check. 
 
Read More Sunday, April 30, 2017
Jill on Money: Questions and answers ripped from the headlines

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
The news cycle has prompted many of you to write in ask a number of questions about terms that you read and hear about. These answers are intended to help you understand what you need to know about various policy initiatives that could be coming. 
 
Read More Sunday, April 16, 2017
Jill on Money: Buffett: Enrich yourself, not your broker, with passive investing

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
 No investment guru's wisdom is more sought than that of Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and so-called Oracle of Omaha. 
Read More Sunday, April 2, 2017
Jill on Money: Why you should consider a Roth IRA

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
The Roth IRA turns 20 years old this year. The retirement vehicle was part of the Tax Relief Act of 1997, and it was seen as such a boon to savers that many believed that it would not survive. Two decades later, it is alive and well. As many Americans consider funding retirement plans this tax season, it's a good opportunity to review the Roth. 
 
Read More Sunday, March 19, 2017
Jill on Money: As tax prep season opens, so does tax scam season

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Tax preparation season opened on Jan. 23, and this year, once again, procrastinators will have an extra three days to dawdle. The tax filing deadline is April 18 rather than April 15, due to a Washington, D.C. holiday. 
Read More Sunday, March 5, 2017
Jill on Money: Fiduciary rule under fire under Republican administration

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
  I thought of the word "shame" when news emerged that Republicans in Congress were launching an effort to delay and perhaps kill portions of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to begin implementation on April 10. (It's unclear where President Trump, who has ordered a freeze on regulations, stands on the fiduciary rule.) The potential about-face is a slap in the face to anyone who cares about investor protections. 
Read More Sunday, February 19, 2017
Jill on Money: Obama's economic legacy is mixed

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
With President Obama's departure from office, it's time to reflect on how the economy fared during his tenure. 
 
Read More Sunday, February 5, 2017
Jill on Money: The virtues of putting your investment decisions on autopilot

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
A year ago, I received a slew of mail from readers wondering what they could have done better in 2015 to improve their investment results. In 2015, in case you don't recall, the S&P 500 index was down by less than 1 percent, although when one includes reinvested dividends, the broad index managed to eke out a gain. 
 
Read More Sunday, January 22, 2017
Baby Boomers on the Move: What to Consider If You Are Planning to Relocate

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
You’ve worked hard and are nearing retirement age. Like many other baby boomers, with your kids out of the house and a surplus of empty space and time, you may be thinking about moving. To help you make up your mind—or make your transition go as smoothly as possible—we’ve compiled this list of tips. 
Read More Sunday, January 22, 2017
Jill on Money: More year-end financial planning tips

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

Last week, I outlined some financial planning tips that varied somewhat from year-end advice in past years, due to changes that likely in the tax code going forward. They included things like accelerating and bunching itemized deductions, using highly appreciated securities for charitable contributions, paying state and local taxes as soon as possible but holding off prepaying mortgages, and selling winners in taxable accounts.

Read More Monday, January 2, 2017
Buyer Beware: Tips for Safe Online Shopping

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®
 
Looking for power tools? A vintage Chanel purse? A living-room sofa? Millions of shoppers are bypassing brick-and-mortar stores, as well as their respective websites, in favor of purchasing such items from individual online sellers. For many people, sites like Craigslist and eBay offer a chance to save on everyday items and luxury products, both new and used—all from the comfort of their own homes. 
Read More Sunday, December 25, 2016
Reading is Fundamental: How Reading can help you avoid Financial Pitfalls

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows one in six adults across the nation have low literacy skills. A person who is challenged with low literacy skills may  be able to read some words, but not enough to understand simple forms or instructions.
Read More Sunday, December 11, 2016
Market Volatility and Your Retirement Investing Strategy

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®
 
Fluctuations in your 401(k) or workplace retirement savings account can stir up negative emotions, making you want to hit the panic button. But in turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to remain calm and stay on course toward your long-term retirement savings goals.
Read More Sunday, December 11, 2016
Jill on Money: Mobile apps will power strong holiday shopping season

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
With the election settled and wage growth strengthening, there could be an upside surprise to retail results this holiday season. Americans are expected to increase spending by 3 to 3.5 percent from a year ago. Regardless of whether sales increase by more or less than expected, the focus will return to the growth of digital as the main driver of consumer behavior. 
Read More Sunday, December 11, 2016
Choosing the RIGHT Financial Institution

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
At this point, as a responsible adult and a productive citizen of America, you should belong to some type of financial institution. Whether it is a bank or credit union, your finances should be located in a safe and secured place. 
Read More Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Jill on Money: Forget the election; focus on investment long haul

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

Defying the polls and odds, Donald J. Trump won the presidential election. As the results became clear on the evening of November 8, financial markets around the world reacted swiftly: Stocks plunged (at one point during the overnight session, U.S. futures were down 5 percent, indicating a more than 800 point wipe out for the Dow Jones Industrial Average), the Mexican peso cratered by 13 percent, the U.S. dollar tumbled and safe havens like gold, U.S. Treasury bonds and the Japanese yen jumped.

Read More Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Organizing Your Finances: Before and After a Personal Loss

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®
 
Life’s uncertainties can present us with personal hardships that affect us not only emotionally, but financially as well. 
Read More Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Choosing the RIGHT Financial Institution

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
At this point, as a responsible adult and a productive citizen of America, you should belong to some type of financial institution. Whether it is a bank or credit union, your finances should be located in a safe and secured place. 
Read More Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Advice for College Grads

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®
 
Every year I have the pleasure of speaking with some seniors at Michigan State University (Go Green!). We discuss the basics of investing and what the heck this 401(k) thing is.
Read More Sunday, November 20, 2016
Jill on Money: Don't let workplace benefits go to waste

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
 Like most Americans, you're probably weighing options in the open enrollment period for insurance and other workplace benefits. Like most people, you will probably default to what you did last year. That's a shame, because spending some time with your various plan options can help you save money and take advantage of your company's buying power.
 
Read More Sunday, November 20, 2016
Jill on Money: Fiduciary rule will give investors a break

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
 Has the political season got you down? Here's an imperfect antidote to the vituperative presidential campaign scrum: Over the past month, large investment companies like Blackrock and Charles Schwab announced that they are cutting fees on some of their largest exchange traded funds (ETFs). 
Read More Monday, October 31, 2016
How to Start an Emergency Fund

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®
 
You’ve probably been told at some point in your life that you need an emergency fund. The unfortunate reality is that many Americans don’t save for a rainy day, leaving them ill prepared for life’s misfortunes. Don’t let that happen to you.
Read More Monday, October 31, 2016
Want to Save Money and Live Longer? Stop Smoking

By Porsche Miles Grant

 
 When we think about needs and wants, we are positively sure that smoking is definitely a want, and a bad one at that. You literally cannot benefit from smoking in any way, besides it may eliminate some stress short-term. However, long-term it can result in an abundance of negativity. 
Read More Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Encore Careers: Becoming Your Own Boss

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®
 
When we think of today’s entrepreneurs, young technology developers like Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, or Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, often come to mind. But while fresh-faced tech innovators may dominate the headlines, another crop of businesspeople is proving that it’s never too late to forge an entrepreneurial path. 
Read More Monday, October 24, 2016
PART III - The Top 4 Common Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Goals

 By Sherry Brantley

 
In parts one and two of this series, we focused on two of the common mistakes most people make when setting their goals. This third part of course, will cover the third mistake most people make. 
Read More Sunday, September 18, 2016
The Chase to Financial Success: How Do You Achieve It?

For those of us who are spiritual, we would like to attribute any sort of success to a higher power (GOD). This is no different when it comes to chasing financial success. A lot of what it takes to achieve financial success is staying faithful in the lord, and putting forth continuous efforts. Money management is also extremely vital. 

Read More Sunday, September 4, 2016
PART I - The Top-4 Common Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Goals

 By Sherry Brantley

 
Goals. What a wonderful tool we get to use in order to assist us in making our dreams come true! Goals help us to shape our destiny, create our future and begin to experience the life we’ve always envisioned for ourselves. Goals excite us, ignites the passions within us and helps us to keep our eyes on the prize when challenging times arise.
Read More Sunday, August 21, 2016
Jill on Money: Financial risks you can control

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

  Earlier this summer, the Economist Intelligence Unit updated a list of the top 10 global risk scenarios. 

Read More Monday, August 8, 2016
The Power of Positive Thinking Creates a Financial Increase

 By Porsche Miles Grant 

 
What you believe, has the power to manifest. We’ve all heard the saying, “What you believe, you can achieve.” This saying also applies to your finances.
Read More Sunday, August 7, 2016
Jill on Money: Time for mid-year maintenance on your finances

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

  Global uncertainty, volatile markets and elections are out of your control, but there many things you can do to control your financial destiny. 

Read More Sunday, July 24, 2016
SCAM ALERT: Some Degree Programs are not FULLY Accredited

  By George White

New America Media
 
Federal law enforcement agencies and their state-based watchdog partners are stepping up efforts to protect the integrity of academic degrees by shutting down education programs that are not fully accredited. They’re also cracking down on alleged degree-for-fee scams that help some enrollees commit fraud or that saddle unsuspecting students with worthless diplomas. 
Read More Sunday, July 24, 2016
Make a Good Impression, the First Time!

 

By Porsche Miles Grant
 
In my previous article (Land the job, Increase your Finances), I discussed the proper ways to land a job. I covered the proper attire, and manner in which a person should conduct themselves
Read More Sunday, June 26, 2016
Jill on Money: The tricky business of getting Americans to save more

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

There is some much-needed good news for retirement savers: As investing fees hurtle toward zero, employers are seeing the benefit of ditching expensive funds from 401(k) plans and replacing them with cheaper index funds. The result has been a boon for retirement savers.

Read More Sunday, June 26, 2016
Encore Careers: Becoming Your Own Boss

 Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer, CFP®, AAMS®

 
When we think of today’s entrepreneurs, young technology developers like Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, or Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, often come to mind. But while fresh-faced tech innovators may dominate the headlines, another crop of businesspeople is proving that it’s never too late to forge an entrepreneurial path. 
Read More Sunday, June 12, 2016
Jill on Money: The tricky business of getting Americans to save more

  By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
There is some much-needed good news for retirement savers: As investing fees hurtle toward zero, employers are seeing the benefit of ditching expensive funds from 401(k) plans and replacing them with cheaper index funds. The result has been a boon for retirement savers. Why are fees so important? Like termites that eat away at your foundation, higher investment costs can erode your potential savings by tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. 
Read More Sunday, June 12, 2016
Land the job, Increase your Finances

By Porsche Miles Grant

 
It may seem like common sense, but common sense is not so common. Therefore, it’s no shock that how you dress, what you say, and how you conduct yourself can either lead to an increase or a decrease in finances.
Read More Sunday, June 12, 2016
Financial Decision Making
By Porsche Miles-Grant 
 
If you can believe it, you can achieve it, but achieving financial success is reliant on the financial decisions you make. There is no magical solution to increasing your finances besides making the right decisions. 
Read More Monday, May 30, 2016
Jill on Money: Career advice for new grads

  By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
I am often asked to offer career advice to recent college graduates, which makes me think back to the advice I received before starting my first post-collegiate job as a commodities trader: "Do your job and don't screw up!" 
Read More Sunday, May 29, 2016
Jill on Money: How to spend your tax refund - responsibly

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
 The IRS says about 82 million taxpayers have received an average refund of about $2,800. Although many love the concept found money, a refund is really just the return of a yearlong, interest-free loan that you extended to Uncle Sam.
Read More Sunday, May 15, 2016
Congratulations on your Student Loan DEBT… It has Increased!

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
Did you know that the college graduates of 2015 made history by having the most student loan debt? In 2015, the average student loan debt totaled to 35k. In past years, student loan debt ranged anywhere from 26k-28k on average.
Read More Sunday, May 1, 2016
Jill on Money: Onus is on students, parents to nail down college costs

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
College acceptances are in, and now the hard part: figuring out how to pay for it! With the cost of tuition, fees, room and board at public four-year colleges running around $20,000 - and up to $70,000 for some elite private schools - how can families foot the steep education bill?
 
Read More Sunday, May 1, 2016
Jill on Money: Free trade: Good or bad for America?

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
There has been a lot of trash talk about U.S. trade policy this political season. Candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have led the rallying cries about how trade deals have killed U.S. jobs and upended the economy, which is a great way to incite disgruntled voters. However, as always, the facts are a bit murkier. 
 
Read More Sunday, April 17, 2016
Jill on Money: Remembering the great bear market, and its lessons

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 I hate to bring you back to a scary time, but seven years ago this month the U.S. stock markets plunged to their worst levels of the entire bear market of 2008-2009. Although the entire financial system almost went over the cliff in September and October of 2008, it wasn't until March 9, 2009 that stocks hit rock bottom.
Read More Sunday, April 3, 2016
Spending Plan or a Budget?

 

By Porsche Miles-Grant
 
In my opinion, a spending plan is a sophisticated way of simply saying budgeting. I found that people are more comfortable with making a spending plan rather than the notion of budgeting. Nevertheless, for the sake of this article we will refer to them both as a spending plan.
Read More Sunday, April 3, 2016
Jill on Money: No, mortgage apps aren't going to cause Housing Bubble 2.0

                                                                      

 
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Super Bowl commercials rarely create activity in my inbox, but the one for Quicken's Rocket Mortgage earlier this month was an exception. In the middle of the game, people started sending me messages like, "Did you just see that mortgage spot?" 
Read More Sunday, March 6, 2016
What Are You Waiting For? It’s Time to Repair Your Credit

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
In life, you have 3 things; money, credit, or both. If you have money, more than likely you don’t need credit. Those individuals are able to buy all the things they need, want and desire. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you will definitely need credit when making big purchases such as buying a home, car, or taking a vacation. Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to have both credit and money, you are living the America Dream. 
Read More Sunday, March 6, 2016
FINANCIAL FOCUS: Why Every Woman Should Have a Long-Term Care Plan

 

Provided by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
Many of the women we see portrayed in movies and on television are independent, wealthy, and confident, with great digs, a closetful of designer clothing, and high-powered careers.
 
Read More Sunday, March 6, 2016
Income Taxes: To Spend or Not to Spend, That is the Question

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
Tax season has finally arrived and it is super exciting to know that you will soon, if you haven't already, be receiving a great amount of funds. Many of us have a lot of plans on how we are spending our money. Some plans consist of purchasing things we want and need; vacations, new cars, homes, expensive clothes, jewelry, and much more.
 
Read More Sunday, February 21, 2016
Jill on Money: Love and money: How to mix them without strife

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  CreditCards.com has released a sobering report indicating that 13 million Americans have committed financial infidelity. That is, they have hidden a bank or credit card account from a spouse or partner.
 
Read More Sunday, February 21, 2016
Your Ability to Save!

 

By Porsche Miles-Grant
 
More often than not, people express their inability to save money. Some statements include, “I don't have any money to save.", or "How can I save what I don't have?" But saving is not what you do after you have spent. Saving is what you do before you spend.
Read More Sunday, February 7, 2016
TAX SOLUTIONS:  IRS to Use Debt Collectors

 

By A.J. Gross
 
The Internal Revenue Service will soon use private debt collectors to collect unpaid back taxes.  This new tax collection provision was included in the new highway funding bill that passed in December.   Included in the new law is the authorization for private debt collectors to make “robocalls” or “robotexts” to collect unpaid IRS taxes.  The use of robocalls may make it easier for scammers. 
Read More Sunday, February 7, 2016
FINANCIAL FOCUS: End-of-Life Planning Checklist

 

Provided by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
To ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death, end-of-life planning is essential. But when it comes to organizing your personal and financial affairs, it can be difficult to know where to start. The following checklists are designed to guide you through the planning process. 
Read More Sunday, February 7, 2016
Jill on Money: In volatile market, keep emotions in check

 

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Stocks have plunged for the second time in six months, and the big swings are testing every investor's internal fortitude. The bad start to the year is even stirring grim memories of 2008, especially given the dire predictions of some economists and analysts.
Read More Sunday, February 7, 2016
TAX SOLUTIONS: Your Plans for the $1.5 Billion Powerball Winnings

 

By A.J. Gross
 
Did you buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot was an estimated $1.5B?  I sure did.  Like most people, I figured out how to spend the money:  retire immediately, new house, new car, exotic vacations, and financially help close family and friends.  In my head, I was set for life and it felt good.  Until I found out I didn’t win.  Well, I knew I wasn’t going to win but it was fun to dream about it.  
Read More Monday, February 1, 2016
What Have You Done for the Community Lately???

  By Porsche Miles-Grant

 
“For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s LOVE and concern for each other.” -Millard Fuller 
 
Do you love the community that you reside in? Are you concerned for the community you reside in? 
Read More Sunday, January 24, 2016
FINANCIAL FOCUS: The Five Stages of Retirement

  

Provided by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
Retirement is a life-changing event. After spending years looking forward to it, many people aren't sure what to do with themselves when retirement finally arrives. Without the everyday routine and social outlet that work provides, it's easy to feel a little lost. Preparing for the inevitable changes that retirement brings can help you make a smooth transition into this new stage of life.
Read More Sunday, January 24, 2016
Jill on Money: Recognizing those who have improved our financial lives

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  This is a time of year when we count our blessings. I'd like to thank a variety of organizations, agencies and companies that have improved our financial lives.
Read More Sunday, January 24, 2016
Interpersonal Edge: Build your career around your strengths

 

By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Q. I have a highly detailed job and believe I am more of a big picture kind of guy. I consistently make errors in detailed projects even when I try hard to be perfect. My boss thinks I am being sloppy, but I just can't seem to spot these mistakes. Can you give me guidance about how to do better in my work?
Read More Sunday, January 24, 2016
TAX SOLUTIONS: Important Tax Dates

 

Read More Sunday, January 10, 2016
PARENT POST: How to Raise a PhD

 

By Dr. Eugene Cain
 
As a father of four sons who now possess eight college degrees, I am often asked: What did you do to accomplish this? Without much thought , I usually respond in this manner:
Read More Sunday, January 10, 2016
TAX SOLUTIONS: Lose Your U.S. Passport Due to Taxes

 

By A.J. Gross
 
U.S. Citizens that owe back taxes could lose their passport if a recent highway bill becomes law.  
Read More Sunday, December 27, 2015
Be Car Care Aware: Hanging onto Current Vehicle vs. Buying New a No Brainer

 

Buying a new car might sound cool and exciting, but keeping your current vehicle, and continually maintaining it at recommended intervals, makes more economic sense than purchasing a new one, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
Read More Sunday, December 27, 2015
FINANCIAL FOCUS: Medicare: Key Points to Bear in Mind


Provided by Sara Frank-Hepfer

 
When you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare. If you are currently receiving social security benefits, you will be enrolled automatically. If you are not currently receiving social security benefits, you need to sign up for Medicare as soon as you are eligible in order to avoid penalties. 
 

 

Read More Sunday, December 27, 2015
Jill on Money: Social Security: The No-COLA

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 

 There will be no raise for Social Security recipients next year and one of the nation's retirees (aka my Mom) responded to the bad news with an expected comment: "that stinks!" I had to explain to her that because the government uses inflation data to calculate the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and overall prices were essentially flat from a year ago, she, along with over 60 million Americans who currently receive Social Security retirement benefits, will not get a bump in pay next year. That means most seniors will be stuck with an average monthly check of $1,341 ($2,212 for retired couples who are both receiving benefits). 

Read More Sunday, December 27, 2015
Jill on Money: Americans know less than they think about Social Security benefits

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  Whenever I write about Social Security, I am inundated with follow-up questions. It's no wonder, since there are about 2,800 rules that govern the system and thousands of retirement claiming strategies. 
 
Read More Sunday, December 20, 2015
"I Love My Child...But Sometimes I Can't Stand Him!

 

Photo by dreamstine 

By James Lehman, MSW

 
You’d do anything for your child, but you feel guilty about admitting the truth, even to yourself—sometimes you don’t like him very much. It’s a secret that many parents of acting-out kids share, but rarely confess to anyone. James Lehman explains how dealing with a difficult child can take its toll on the parent-child relationship, and he gives you some practical advice on how to handle it.
Read More Sunday, December 20, 2015
FINANCIAL FOCUS: Financial Checklist: Post-Divorce Tips

 

Provided by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
If you're recently divorced, it's normal to worry about your financial situation. Settling into a new financial life will take time, but here are some tips that may help.
 
Read More Sunday, December 20, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Tips on Choosing a Tax Preparer for 2015 Tax Season

 

By A.J. Gross
 
As with any major decision in life, you should choose your tax preparer wisely. Paying taxes is a serious matter, so it's important where you choose to have your tax return prepared. While you only need to file your taxes once each spring, you can save yourself from any last minute stress by spending time now to find the right tax professional to prepare your tax return.
 
Read More Sunday, December 20, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: What is a Retirement Plan?

  

 

The IRS has a secret account for all U.S. citizens.  There is money in the secret account accessible to taxpayers.  By filing Form 1099-OID, taxpayers can gain access to their own secret account.  

Read More Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Jill on Money: Health care enrollment season present dizzying choices

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
  Just in time for the upcoming benefit enrollment period, the Kaiser Family Foundation has released its annual survey of employer health plans, which cover more than half of the non-elderly population, or 147 million people.
 
Read More Tuesday, December 1, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: IRS Secret Account Tax Scheme

 

By A.J. Gross
 
The IRS has a secret account for all U.S. citizens.  There is money in the secret account accessible to taxpayers.  By filing Form 1099-OID, taxpayers can gain access to their own secret account. 
Read More Sunday, November 15, 2015
FINANCIAL FOCUS: Talking to Your Aging Parents About Their Finances

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
Each day between 2011 and 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will celebrate their 65th birthdays. As the boomers grow older, their middle-aged children may find themselves in a challenging situation: providing financial assistance to their parents as well as their own kids. 
 
Read More Sunday, November 15, 2015
Jill on Money: Best financial advice comes with the F-word

   

  The Financial Planning Association (FPA) had its national conference recently, and it could have been presented by the F-word - that is, “fiduciary.” The weekend brought together 2,000 certified financial planners, all of whom adhere to the fiduciary standard. That standard of care requires that financial professionals put the interests of clients first.
 
Read More Sunday, November 15, 2015
Jill on Money: What the financial crisis taught us

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 This month we marked the seventh anniversary of the financial crisis. Sometimes people forget just how close to the brink the U.S. and global financial system was.
Read More Sunday, November 1, 2015
FINANCIAL FOCUS: Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

 

Presented by Sara Frank-Hepfer
 
Today, most of us rely on our cell phones and digital records to keep track of important contact information. In fact, we depend so greatly on online profiles and accounts for completing transactions and storing information that paper checks, address books, photo albums, and handwritten letters may soon become things of the past. 
Read More Sunday, November 1, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Holiday Travel

 

By A.J. Gross
 
The holidays are great for spending time with family and friends.  The holidays may also mean travelling long distances to meet with family and friends.  Business owners and self-employed individuals may take advantage of this opportunity to deduct the cost of travel as a business expense.  I recommend understanding the rules for business travel before taking the business deduction.
Read More Sunday, November 1, 2015
Jill on Money: Reflections on the recent correction

  

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  Time flies when investors are enjoying a bull market. Until the recent correction, it had been four years since the last time the stock market declined by 10 percent.
Read More Sunday, October 18, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: BECOME IRS AUDIT PROOF

  By A.J. Gross

 
Do you want your business to be IRS Audit Proof?  Follow these 5 tips to insure that you don’t get in trouble with the tax man.
 
Read More Saturday, October 17, 2015
Jill on Money: Get more out of Social Security with 'file and suspend'

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, you need to have worked at least 10 years. You can check out where you stand with SSA's easy-to-use online benefits statement, which will provide your estimated monthly payment at your full retirement age (FRA).
Read More Sunday, October 4, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Obamacare Tax Credit Trap

  By AJ Gross

 
You may qualify for a subsidy when applying for Obamacare.  The subsidy is considered an advanced payment of the Premium Tax Credit.  The amount of subsidy you may qualify for is based on your estimated family income. 
Read More Sunday, October 4, 2015
Jill on Money: Social Security at 80: A pillar of economic security for Americans

 By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
  In August 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed The Social Security Act, establishing a national plan to provide economic security for the nation’s workers. The program’s 80th anniversary is a good time to review the popular safety net.
Read More Sunday, September 20, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: IRS is Hacked

 

By A.J. Gross
 
Earlier in the year, the IRS said identity thieves stole tax return information from 114,000 taxpayers.   The IRS has since said the number of taxpayers affected was actually 220,000.
Read More Sunday, September 20, 2015
Your Other 8 Hours: How to leave your company to your children

 

By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Content Agency
 
In my financial planning practice, I work with many clients who own closely held, private, companies. As many are nearing their retirement years, a big focus of our work is planning the exit strategy for their family business. While a lot of the discussion is technical (e.g., how to maximize the value, how can we best minimize tax), a good deal of what we discuss, at least initially, is centered on a discussion regarding if they should transfer it to their children and how.
 
Read More Sunday, September 6, 2015
Coping With College Loans Paying them down, managing their financial impact

 

By Jose S. Yanez
  
Are student loans holding our economy back? Certainly America has recovered from the last recession, but this is an interesting question nonetheless.
  
Read More Sunday, September 6, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Tried Calling the IRS Lately?

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
If you tried calling the IRS lately, you were likely either on hold for a long time or you were disconnected and told to call back later.  You are not alone.  Customer service at the IRS has declined significantly over the past year.
Read More Sunday, September 6, 2015
Jill on Money: Medicare at 50 years: Popular, but needs bolstering

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

  This year is the golden anniversary of Medicare, the U.S. government’s sprawling health care initiative, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law in 1965. Today, Medicare covers more than 55 million people, including 9 million beneficiaries who are under age 65 and permanently disabled.

Read More Sunday, September 6, 2015
Do Your Investments Match Your Risk Tolerance?

 

 
When was the last time you looked at the content of your portfolio? 
 
Read More Sunday, August 9, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Capital Assets

 

 
By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
When most people think of capital assets, the first thought is stocks.  Stocks are considered a capital asset, however personal property are also considered capital assets.  We will provide a overview of capital assets.
 
Read More Sunday, August 9, 2015
Jill on Money: Get financial house in order before having children
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  Birth rates are up for the first time since the recession began, and economists are cheering. It’s not that the practitioners of the dismal science are lovers of baby showers; rather, they say that the new mini baby boom is yet another example of an improving economy.
Read More Sunday, July 26, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Back Taxes on Credit Report

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
Delinquent back taxes can show up on your credit report.  This will have a harmful effect on your credit score.  There are steps that can be taken to remove taxes from your credit report.  
 
Read More Sunday, July 26, 2015
Jill on Money: Housing could sizzle this summer

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
   “The housing market is coming back and it looks like it will be with a vengeance,” economist Joel Naroff commented after a report showed that building permits, an indicator of future activity, soared to the highest pace in nearly eight years.
Read More Sunday, July 12, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Collection Statue End Date

 

 
By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
Owing back taxes is a heavy burden.  Especially if there is a limited ability to pay the taxes owed.  If you are in this situation, it is good to know the Collection Statute End Date.  There is a set period of time the IRS and the State of Michigan have to collect back taxes. 
Read More Sunday, July 12, 2015
10 Interview Tips to Help You Get the Job

The interview process can be daunting.  Get some tips to make the process easier.

Read More Sunday, July 12, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Get Your Refund

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
On March 11, 2015, the IRS announced they were holding on to more than $1 Billion of refunds for people who have not filed a 2011 tax return.  If they did not file a 2011 tax return by April 15, 2015, then those people lost their tax refund.  There is a statute of limitations for claiming a refund.  If you are in this situation, there are forms you can file to get your refund prior to the statute expiring.
Read More Sunday, June 28, 2015
The 6 Worst Responses During a Job Interview

  By Cheryl Danyelle Griffin

TNCP Community Writer
 
You have surpassed most by getting an interview for the position of your dreams.  You have read the self help books about how to dress and how to behave during the actual interview.  You will be sure to dispose of your chewing gum and have good eye contact.  The practice that you have been doing for the past two weeks will surely pay off if you remember 6 things not to say in a job interview:
 
Read More Sunday, June 28, 2015
FINANCIAL FOCUS: Are Women Reluctant to Talk About Money?

 

A new survey says yes. Is it telling the whole story? 

Provided by Jose Yanez

A new study asserts that women feel uncomfortable discussing financial matters. The latest Money FIT Study from Fidelity Investments is generating some conversation within the financial industry. 

Read More Sunday, June 14, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: IRS Statute of Limitations for Audits

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

How many years back can the IRS audit your tax return?  Have you ever wondered how long you should keep documents used to prepare your tax returns?  In this article, I review the IRS statute of limitations for audits.

Read More Sunday, June 14, 2015
Jill on Money: Retirement reconsidered

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  When it comes to retirement, most Americans aged 45 and older say that peace of mind is seven times more important than accumulating wealth. According to a survey from Merrill Lynch, people are reconsidering what retirement means and how they are going to get there. 
 
Read More Sunday, June 14, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: PayPal and eBay Sales Can Cause Problems

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

Over the last few years, taxpayers that use PayPal and eBay to sell goods are getting a strange form.  The form is 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions.  Don’t ignore this form.  You may be in for a big surprise if you do.

Read More Sunday, May 31, 2015
Financial Focus: What's Your Financial Health Score?

 

Can a 5-question test predict how wealthy you will become? 
 
Provided by Jose Yanez
    
In the future, will you become wealthier or poorer? Who knows, right? It seems like you would need a crystal ball to really answer that question given life's up and downs. What if the answer is right in front of you? What if you can determine it from your present financial behaviors? 
   
Read More Sunday, May 31, 2015
Jill on Money: No interest rate relief for savers

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  As expected, when the Federal Reserve concluded its most recent two-day policy meeting, the central bankers decided to keep short-term interest rates at zero to one-quarter of a percent, which is where they have been since December 2008. In fact, it has been almost eight years (June 2006) since the Fed last increased interest rates.
 
Read More Sunday, May 31, 2015
Jill on Money: Reverse mortgage now comes with stricter underwriting process

  

 By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  The Great Recession and stock market rout eviscerated retirement nest eggs, changing the course of retirement planning for millions of people. And while the value of real estate also plunged, many older Americans owned their homes outright, allowing them to utilize a reverse mortgage to help finance retirement. 
 
Read More Sunday, May 17, 2015
Financial Focus: Are Your Children Financially Literate?

 New Approaches to a Changing Problem

Read More Sunday, May 17, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: First Time Penalty Abatement

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
The IRS has all sorts of penalties.  There is up to 25% penalty for filing a tax return late.
Read More Sunday, May 17, 2015
Jill on Money: How much do you need to retire?

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
   The answer depends on a variety of personal factors, starting with how much you need to float your lifestyle today. 
Read More Sunday, May 3, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Vacation Home Rentals

 

 

 
A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
Summer time is just around the corner!  Are you thinking about renting out your summer cottage?  It may be a good idea.  
Read More Sunday, May 3, 2015
Jill on Money: Investors rage as interest rates rise

  

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency
 
   As we close out the first quarter of the year, it appears that some have entered the third stage of the psychological condition known as “investor angst” (IA). This malady’s primary symptom causes overarching worry about how every holding in an investment account might react to changes in Federal Reserve policies.
Read More Saturday, April 18, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Paying Enough Taxes in 2015

 The hardest part of my job is explaining to a client why they have a large tax bill.  This is a difficult discussion because nobody wants to pay more taxes to the IRS.  Here are some tips on paying sufficient taxes throughout the year so you don’t get a surprising tax bill at the end of the year.

Read More Saturday, April 18, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS: Tips for Newlyweds

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

Wedding season is upon us all.  Most newly married couples do think about changes in their tax status.  Here are a few tax tips to consider.

Read More Sunday, April 5, 2015
Jill on Money: Spring cleaning for your money

 

 
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
The much-anticipated beginning of spring comes amid the heart of tax season, which makes now a great time to conduct spring cleaning for your money.
Read More Sunday, April 5, 2015
How athletes (and others) can create lifetime income

 

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Content Agency
 
Can a professional athlete (or anyone) work for a few years and retire with a six figure income for life?
 
Read More Sunday, March 22, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Medical Deductions

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
Medical and dental costs can be tax deductible.  However, most people don’t realize that you need to pay a large amount of out-of-pocket medical costs to get a tax deduction.
 
Read More Sunday, March 22, 2015
Jill on Money: Attack your taxes: credits, deductions, IRAs

 

 
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  Today, we return to the basics, starting with tax credits, which provide a dollar-for dollar reduction of your income tax liability. Here are some of the most popular and widely available credits
Read More Sunday, March 8, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS:  New Healthcare Tax Forms

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
Obamacare has added a new wrinkle this  According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the 2015 tax filing season “will be one of the most complicated filing seasons we’ve ever had.”  One of those complications is the reporting required for Obamacare.
Read More Sunday, February 22, 2015
Jill on Money: What's your retirement IQ?

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Are Americans in good shape or bad shape when it comes to retirement? It depends on which research report you read.
 
Read More Sunday, February 22, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS:  3 Bookkeeping Tips

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
Owning a small business is tough.  You are juggling many roles: salesperson, marketer, manager, technician, visionary, and many more.  One of the vital roles in your business is keeping track of your books and records. 
Read More Sunday, February 8, 2015
Jill on Money: Deflation is just a recession away

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Content Agency

Since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has worked hard to boost the economy. Part of the Fed's mission was to keep core inflation (the price of goods and services excluding food and energy) at a pace of two percent annually. 

 
Read More Sunday, February 8, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS:  5 Benefits of Filing Taxes Early

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
It’s tax time again, your favorite time of the year!  You are eager to gather all your tax documentation and giving it to your tax accountant.  Ok, maybe this is not you.  But, there are some benefits of filing your taxes early.
 
Read More Sunday, January 25, 2015
Jill on Money: Economic crystal ball

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
It may be futile to try to predict the future, but it is January, so here are some guesstimates for what might happen in 2015.
Read More Sunday, January 25, 2015
What (not) to do with your tax refund

  

 
By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
 
Each year, about half the country gets to experience a sudden wealth event in the form of a tax refund. While not necessarily a financial windfall for most, this annual occurrence can create some awfully strange and counterproductive behavior.
Read More Sunday, January 25, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Divorce and Taxes

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
Divorce and Taxes
Getting a divorce is a stressful and complicated situation.  Taxes are one of the complications. I will review a few of the common tax considerations when you are legally divorced or your divorce is pending.
Read More Sunday, January 25, 2015
Jill on Money: 8 year-end tax planning tips

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
  Now what you've survived the holidays, remember that just a few hours spent reviewing your financial life may help boost your bottom line - and put a dent in your holiday shopping bills! Here are eight ideas to consider, which could minimize taxes now that we have entered a new year.
 
Read More Sunday, January 11, 2015
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
In my previous articles we reviewed Corporation and Doing Business As (DBA) business structures.  This article is on Limited Liability Companies (LLC).
 
Read More Sunday, December 28, 2014
Jill on Money: Financial Thanksgiving

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Thanksgiving, which just passed, is a time when we can give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives, like health, loving spouse, a wonderful family and amazing friends. But this is a money column, so this week, I would also like to give thanks to all of the amazing people and resources that have improved our financial lives.
 
Read More Sunday, December 28, 2014
Will making more money guarantee a better retirement?

 

 
By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
 
There were two families that lived next to each other. One family received a $2 million inheritance. They traveled, had a nice boat and gave to charity. They took calculated investment risks that paid off. They averaged an incredible 12 percent return every year for 20 years.
Read More Sunday, December 14, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Corporations

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
In our previous article titled “Business Entity and Liability Protection” we reviewed liability protection with corporations and limited liability companies (LLC).  In an upcoming article we will review doing business as (DBA) and limited liability company (LLC).  This article is on corporations.
Read More Sunday, November 30, 2014
10 financial 'rules' you should start breaking now

  

 
By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Content Agency
 
You should always max out your 401(k) and save for your kid's college education in a 529 plan, right? Maybe not. Most experts have long touted a number of practices that may actually be working against you.
Read More Sunday, November 30, 2014
Middle Class Struggles to Preserve Retirement Security

 WASHINGTON, D.C.--It’s no secret that retirement security is eroding for many Americans.

 
“Half of today’s working-age households are unlikely to have enough resources to maintain their standard of living once they retire,” according to the National Retirement Risk Index, compiled by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research.
Read More Sunday, November 30, 2014
Jill on Money: Financial Thanksgiving

 

Read More Sunday, November 30, 2014
Why it's a mistake to put more than 20 percent down on a home

 

By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Content Agency
 
For many families across the country, the concept of buying their next home with cash may sound like a fantasy. Yet according to RealtyTrac, the nation's leading source for housing data, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. homes purchased in the second quarter of 2014 were cash deals.
Read More Sunday, November 16, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Business Entity and Liability Protection

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
We get asked all the time.  How do you set up a business?  Do you need to file anything?  Do you have to register the business?  What type of business do you recommend?  We will tackle these questions in a multi-part series reviewing the different business types: doing business as (DBA), limit liability company (LLC), and corporation.
Read More Sunday, November 16, 2014
Jill on Money: Did QE work?

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Almost exactly six years ago, the Federal Reserve launched an unconventional program of buying bonds to rescue a faltering economy. 
Read More Sunday, November 16, 2014
Jill on Money: Benefits bonanza

 

By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Content Agency
 
 Q. I've been in my job for 20 years. When I started in my career, I thought I knew just about everything. Now most days I wrestle with how much I don't know. How do you deal with getting good enough at what you do to see how much more you don't know?
 
Read More Sunday, November 2, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Home Office Deductions

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
Claiming home office deductions increases your chances of an IRS audit.  Is that true?  In our experience, the answer is generally no.  If you run your business out of your home and maintain a home office, then you should take your deductions. 
Read More Sunday, November 2, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Tips for Paying Your Tax Bill

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
If you filed for an automatic 6 month extension then tax season is officially over as of October 15, 2014.  The IRS doesn’t allow any additional extensions.  There are numerous reasons why a decision was made to request more time to file a tax return.  One reason is you needed more time to pay the taxes.  The following are some tips for paying your tax bill.
 
Read More Monday, October 20, 2014
Jill on Money: Procrastination nation

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
Last month, I had the privilege of interviewing productivity guru David Allen, who wrote a seminal work on the topic called "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity". At the Financial Planning Association's Annual Conference, David captivated 1,800 CFP(r) professionals with a terrific explanation of how easily we can be distracted and the best way to find focus and vision.
 
Read More Sunday, October 19, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS:  Job Hunting Write-Offs

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
Looking for a new job?  Did you know you may be able to write-off certain job hunting expenses?  
 
Read More Sunday, October 5, 2014
Jill on Money: Back to school for your money: life insurance

 

 
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
It's the  Jill on Money "Back to School for your Money" mini-course and since September was National Life Insurance Awareness Month, let's tackle the complicated topic of life insurance. 
Read More Sunday, October 5, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS:  IRS Letter Decoder

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
You open your mail box and there is an IRS letter.  Every time you receive an IRS letter, you get a nervous feeling in your gut.  Especially, if you receive a certified IRS letter.  You start reading the IRS letter and realize you have no idea what the IRS is telling you.  All you see is taxes, interest, and penalties.  What do you do?
 
Read More Sunday, September 21, 2014
SOCIAL SECURITY - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

 There are pressing questions out there about social security.  Get some answers here.

Read More Sunday, September 21, 2014
Jill on Money: Will sizzling summer lead to a September swoon for stocks?
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Content Agency
 
So much for the summer doldrums! August 2014 was the best August for stocks in 14 years. The Dow gained 3.6 percent on the month to 17,098; the S&P 500 took out the psychologically important 2,000 level, rising 3.8 percent to 2003.
Read More Sunday, September 21, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: New Michigan Offer Program

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
 Governor Snyder signed into law HB 4003.  HB 4003 allows the State of Michigan to negotiate Michigan taxes.  This is exciting news for Michigan taxpayers!  For the first time ever, Michigan residents will be able to negotiate Michigan taxes for less.  The new law will start in 2015.
Read More Saturday, September 13, 2014
Expo offers the chance to celebrate diversity and connect consumers

 

LANSING, MI –The Greater Lansing Area Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc. and the Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce have partnered with several organizations to host the Shop Michigan Expo on Friday, September 26, 2014. The Expo will be held in Michigan’s Capital City at the Lansing Center, located at 333 E. Michigan Ave. from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Read More Sunday, August 24, 2014
Kiplinger on Travel: Should you buy travel insurance?

  By Jessica L. Anderson

Kiplinger
 
  Hurricane season is upon us, which means a tropical storm could be brewing just as you're about to leave on vacation. Is travel insurance the solution?
Read More Sunday, August 24, 2014
Jill on Money: Protect your portfolio against inflation
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
 Two years ago, when the Federal Reserve announced that it would engage in its third round of bond buying ("Quantitative Easing") to spur economic growth and help reduce unemployment, fears of runaway inflation bubbled up. 
Read More Sunday, August 10, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: New Michigan Offer Program

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
 Governor Snyder signed into law HB 4003.  HB 4003 allows the State of Michigan to negotiate Michigan taxes.  This is exciting news for Michigan taxpayers!  For the first time ever, Michigan residents will be able to negotiate Michigan taxes for less.  The new law will start in 2015.
Read More Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Jill on Money: Ten home buying mistakes

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
  After that nasty weather in the first quarter of the year, the much hoped for housing recovery never quite took hold during the normally vibrant spring buying/selling season. Despite the Polar Vortex, there were other factors that kept a lid on housing buyers, including the fact that tentative buyers were spooked by rising prices, especially in certain hot housing markets. 
Read More Sunday, July 13, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: Negotiate IRS Taxes

 By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
Can I really negotiate with the IRS?  Does getting pennies on a dollar happen?  There is no way the government would reduce my tax bill.  It is the government.  The government does whatever they want.
 
Read More Sunday, June 29, 2014
Jill on Money: How to talk to your parents about money

 

By Jill Schlesinger

Tribune Media Services
 
   "How can I talk to my parents about money? Every time I try to bring up the topic, my mother gets paranoid and the conversation deteriorates quickly." It is hard to balance being a responsible adult child, while not seeming like you are prying. Even if your loved ones appear to be financially self-sufficient, neurologists say that cognitive ability starts sliding as early as 60.
 
Read More Sunday, June 29, 2014
Jill on Money: College is still worth it

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
  As the Class of 2014 throws their caps into the air during this graduation season, many families are facing the stark reality of a mound of education debt. Given the still-tough job market, is college worth it? The answer is yes, with a caveat. 
Read More Sunday, June 15, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS 13-10: Tax Refund was Seized


2013 taxes are done and you expected a tax refund.   You checked your bank account for the bank deposit.  You checked your mailbox for a check.  No refund.  What is going on?  You finally receive a letter from the IRS or State.  Your tax refund was seized.

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

Read More Sunday, June 1, 2014
Kiplinger on Travel: How to save money on vacation rental properties?

When I travel with my family, we tend to stay in vacation rental properties rather than hotels. Why? They offer more space and a kitchen to cook our own meals at a price that's typically lower than a hotel room.

Read More Sunday, June 1, 2014
Your Other 8 Hours: Why it's okay to lie on your resume


I'm a big fan of lying on a resume. In fact, I think everyone should do it. It's beneficial for your career and nobody needs to know about it. Ideally, if you do it correctly, you'll land your dream job and nobody will ever know you completely fabricated your education, skills and experience. With a record number of people out of work, a little (or big!) white lie or two can be just what this country needs to get back on track.

Read More Sunday, June 1, 2014
Jill on Money: Long term care update; "Is 90 the new 70?"

Americans are getting older. A new U.S. Census Bureau report projects that roughly one in five Americans (about 21 percent) will be 65 years old and up by 2050, compared with just 13 percent in 2010 and less than 10 percent in 1970. Taking a longer view, the numbers are startling.

Read More Sunday, June 1, 2014
Your Other 8 Hours: Leadership in a Noisy World

 

Divisiveness sells, but if your goal as a leader is to create change, not division, a more flexible approach may be required.
Read More Sunday, May 18, 2014
Jill on Money: Your financial questions for spring, answered

 

 It's time for a spring-cleaning of the in-box. If you have financial questions, feel free to send them along to askjill@jillonmoney.com. 
Read More Sunday, May 18, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: Tax Benefits for College Education

 

 

 

You are working hard on your college education.  The costs for tuition and books are expensive. To help you with the cost of college, there are IRS tax breaks available to you.

 
Read More Sunday, May 18, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: Taxes on Early Retirement Withdrawals

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
For years you contributed money to a 401K or IRA.  Your employer may have matched your contributions.  You now have a good chunk of money saved up in your retirement.  Then something happens in your life and you need money.  One thought is to withdraw money out of your retirement.  But, there are tax consequences.  What to do?
 
Read More Sunday, April 20, 2014
Aboutthatcar.com: Volvo Drive-E powertrains

  By Frank S. Washington

 
LAS VEGAS, NV – If Volvo had not built up a certain amount of capital in the market and within the automotive press, it would have been written off as dead a few years ago.
Read More Wednesday, April 16, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: Health Care Tax Penalty

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
The deadline has passed to purchase healthcare under the Affordable Health Care for America Act, AKA Obamacare.  A decision was made not to purchase health insurance.  You rather pay the tax penalty.  We will review how to calculate the tax penalty for not purchasing health insurance.
Read More Wednesday, April 16, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS 13-8: Amending Tax Returns

 

By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
You filed your taxes on time and it was a huge relief.  Getting your taxes prepared every year is burdensome.  Then you stumble upon some additional tax information.  The nervous twitch you feel inside about taxes comes back.  I recommend amending your tax return.
Read More Friday, April 4, 2014
Jill on Money: Should I buy or rent?

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
Three years into the national housing recovery, activity and price increases are moderating. While the unusually severe weather across the country has contributed to the recent weakness, the effects of last year's rise in mortgage rates and the incremental increase in inventory have slowed things down. As a result, it is a perfect time to consider one of the age old questions that plagues would-be homeowners and equity rich near-retirees: Should I buy or rent?
Read More Monday, March 31, 2014
Jill on Money: Let's review a few 401 (k) basics

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
When AOL CEO Tim Armstrong made a splash recently about changing (and then not-changing) the 401(k) corporate matching policy, the focus was on his rationale for the new policy. He blamed costly "distressed births" of two AOL employees ($1,000,000 each) and an additional $7.5 million attributable to Obamacare, as the catalysts for the shift in the company's match to a one-time end-of-year match, from a per-pay period match. 

 

Read More Sunday, March 9, 2014
TAX SOLUTIONS: Top 5 Deductions for Parents

 By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
1)  Dependent Exemption – You may be able to claim a dependency exemption for each child living with you.  The dependency exemption for 2013 is up to $3,900 per child.  The dependency exemption increased to $3,950 in 2014.  The child must be considered a qualifying child or qualifying relative.  The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S.  national, or U.S. resident alien.  
 
Read More Sunday, March 9, 2014
News Spotlight: MI Carpenters, Volunteers, Businesses Surprise Wounded Veteran, Family with New Home, Job

  TAYLOR, MI – Christopher Holcomb served the nation as a Marine in Afghanistan, spearheading the global fight against terrorism. He also bore the scars of being in a forward combat position, sustaining a serious injury during his Afghanistan deployment.

Read More Friday, March 7, 2014
Your Other 8 Hours: Going through a divorce? 3 Common fears and how to eliminate them

 

 
 

By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Media Services
 
Divorce can feel like a full-time job. It can be all-consuming, affecting every aspect of your life. Between the (sometimes) contentious texts with your ex-partner, phone calls to your attorney and figuring out child custody, where you are going to live and how your new life will look, there is almost always a sense of uncertainty or fear just below the surface.
 

 

Read More Thursday, February 27, 2014
Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Taxes Prepared

 

 By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

1)  Check the tax accountant’s PTIN.  All tax accountants preparing tax returns must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).  You do not want your tax return to be prepared by a tax accountant without a PTIN.

 
Read More Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Jill on Money: Why MyRA?

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
Just in case you thought that there were not enough retirement accounts out there, along comes President Obama's latest entry in the crowded category.
Read More Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Retire Smart: Mailbag: An uphill battle for Generation X
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
When the stock market began to crater in 2008, an 85-year-old client said to me, "I'm not worried about me - I don't have a job to lose, and most of money is in bonds and CDs. But I am very concerned about my kids and my grandkids." I thought about how prescient that comment was after reading a new report from the Pew Charitable Trust's economic mobility project, "Retirement Security Across Generations."
 
Read More Tuesday, January 28, 2014
6 Rules for Keeping Track of Charitable Contributions

  By  A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.

 
Donating to charitable causes is a good thing.  You are helping others in need.  For your generosity, the IRS allows you to claim a tax deduction.  If you donate to charities, you should understand the basic record keeping rules for claiming a tax deduction.
 
Read More Sunday, January 12, 2014
Retire Smart: Mailbag: What's your retirement number?

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
   A former client once argued with me about his "retirement number." He couldn't believe that he needed $1 million in savings before he could retire. "That amount just seems like way more money than is necessary!" But after walking through the variables and calculations, he finally said, "Geez, a million bucks. ... I guess that's my number."
Read More Sunday, January 12, 2014
Keeping Track of Business Miles

 

By A.J. Gross, C.P.A., E.A.
 
I run across a lot of clients that do not keep track of their business miles.  It can be a pain to record your business miles.  However, not having sufficient records for your business miles will cause more headaches down the road if you are audited by the IRS.  Use one of the following methods to satisfy the IRS record keeping requirements for business miles.
 
Read More Sunday, December 29, 2013
Your Other 8 Hours: 3 steps to prepare for the next disaster

 

By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Media Services
 
As a "sudden wealth" financial planner, I take great pride in helping others determine where they are going and how to get there. I consider myself an eternal optimist. In my mind, the glass is not half empty or half full -- it is well on its way to becoming full. People are generally good and do what is right. On the other hand, I'm also a realist, looking not only at the destination but rather at all of the things that can go wrong along the way.
Read More Sunday, December 29, 2013
Retire Smart: Mailbag: Inheritance, long-term care and tapping retirement savings

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
 
  Every few months, I like to use this space to empty out the inbox and answer some reader questions. And just a reminder: If you have a financial question or a comment about a recent column, send it to askjill@jillonmoney.com. And if you would like to be a guest on my syndicated radio show, call 1-855-411-JILL.
Read More Sunday, December 29, 2013
Retire Smart: 401(k) Fee-asco
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
 A Yale professor is providing a perfect follow-up to the PBS' "Frontline" episode "The Retirement Gamble" that aired earlier this year. The program detailed America's retirement crisis and how the financial services industry feasts on high fees inside of many employer-sponsored plans.
Read More Sunday, October 20, 2013
Retire Smart: Lessons from Detroit
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
  On July 18, Detroit filed for Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy protection. At over $18 billion in liabilities, it is the country's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy case. Although there have been rampant accusations of financial mismanagement and scapegoating, the main culprit for Detroit's woes was demographic: The city's population, which peaked at 1.8 million in the 1950s, now stands at 700,000 after many middle-class workers and businesses fled the city, taking their tax dollars with them.
Read More Monday, October 7, 2013
Your Other 8 Hours: What's holding you back and what to do about it

 By Robert Pagliarini, 

Tribune Media Services
 
There's one thing that's holding you back more than any other. It's not your education, who you know, or even how much time you have. It's fear of pain. It's that simple. The bad news is that the challenge you face is yourself. Of course, this is also the good news. It's not the economy, your mistakes from the past, a bad childhood, or anything else. The problem is within you, and so is the solution. Your ability to deal with the fear of pain effectively is your golden ticket to your best life, job promotions, health, and better relationships.
Read More Sunday, September 8, 2013
Retire Smart: Drowning in documents: What to shred, what to keep

 

By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
You probably just received some bank, investment or retirement quarterly statements in the mail, which makes it a perfect time to fire up the shredder and organize that stack of documents piling up on the table. 
 
  Here are some thoughts on financial paperwork that you can toss:
Read More Sunday, September 8, 2013
Aboutthatcar.com: 2014 Chevrolet Impala

  By Frank S. Washington

 
DETROIT,  MI -- Chevrolet has a hit on its hands. That fact did not need to be certified but during a week-long test drive of the 2014 Impala, Chevrolet’s new flagship sedan got as much attention as some exotic sports cars that cost three times more.
Read More Sunday, September 8, 2013
Retire Smart: What do proposed Social Security changes mean to me?
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
There's nothing like proposed changes to Social Security limits to get readers of this column going. After President Obama released his fiscal 2014 budget, a number of you wrote in asking, "What will this mean to me?"
Read More Sunday, July 28, 2013
Retire Smart:The Dow's record barely noticed
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
Has the magic worn off? Despite all of the fanfare and fancy graphics from financial outlets, the public reaction to the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching a new all-time nominal high seemed downright muted. Or as a recent radio caller said, "The record didn't feel as good this time around!"
Read More Saturday, July 13, 2013
Retire Smart: How to talk to your parents about money
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
"How can I talk to my parents about money? Every time I try to bring up the topic, my mother gets paranoid and the conversation deteriorates quickly." It is hard to balance being a responsible adult child, while not seeming like you are prying. Even if your loved ones appear to be financially self-sufficient, neurologists say that cognitive ability starts sliding as early as 60.
Read More Sunday, June 30, 2013
Retire Smart: 70 is not the new 65
By Jill Schlesinger
Tribune Media Services
 
To attain your retirement goals, there are three basic strategies: (1) save money during your working years, (2) plan to spend less during retirement or (3) work longer. It turns out that option number three helps but may not be the panacea you're looking for, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
Read More Saturday, March 9, 2013
Foreclosed Homeowners Re-Occupy Their Homes

By  Zaineb Mohammed
New America Media


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Carolyn Gage was evicted from her foreclosed home in January. Earlier this month, she moved back in.

Read More Sunday, December 4, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: 10 Easy Tips to Save Money This Christmas

 

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
 
Want to learn how to save money on gifts this Christmas and not feel like a Scrooge? According to this year's National Retail Federation holiday survey, the average American will spend close to $700 this season on gifts, cards, decorations and the like.
Read More Saturday, December 3, 2011
Retire Smart: Attention Medicare Plan Shoppers: Enrollment Season is Earlier This Year

 By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
Every year around this time, I remind seniors that it's important to re-shop Medicare prescription drug and managed care programs during the enrollment season, when seniors can change their Medicare coverage. Enrollment will be open from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7-a sensible move intended to get this time-consuming chore away from the busy holiday season.
Read More Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: The Most Wanted Gift (and It's Free!)

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services

Over the last couple of weeks I've written how you can save money this Christmas. If you follow those tips, you'll make the people on your list quite happy. But if "happy" just isn't good enough for the most special people in your life, you can give them a gift they will never forget.

Read More Sunday, November 20, 2011
Retire Smart: Best Employment Security Plan for Older Workers: Hang on to the Job You Have

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

The jobless rate for older workers isn't as high as it is for the overall U.S. workforce. But older workers who do lose their jobs tend to remain jobless much longer than their younger counterparts-if they're able to find work at all.

Read More Sunday, November 20, 2011
Retire Smart: Why Declining Cognitive Ability Could Post a Risk to Your Retirement Security: Part 1 of 2 Parts

By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
We've all received the pitch in the mail: Transfer your credit card balance to a new card at a lower interest rate. The catch: Payments on the new card will be applied first to the transferred balance; meanwhile, a higher interest rate is applied to new purchases-and payments are applied to that balance only after the transferred amount is paid off.
Read More Saturday, October 8, 2011
Retire Smart: Why Federal Insurance for Pensions Needs Shoring Up

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

The number of private sector workers who have traditional pensions is shrinking - and those who do have pensions are worried. Headlines about underfunded public sector plans have fueled the concerns, along with general worry about the economy and the health of employers.

Read More Sunday, June 19, 2011
Retire Smart: Why Medicare Premiums Are Rising for Affluent Seniors: Part 1 of 2

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

The new health-care reform law aims to cover nearly all Americans and to get our exploding national health-care tab under control. But reform also calls for some upfront investment, and someone needs to foot the bill. Wealthy retirees-it's time to grab your wallets.

Read More Sunday, May 22, 2011
Retire Smart: AARP Lawsuit Turns Up Heat on Government, Reverse Mortgage Industry

By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
The problems afflicting the reverse mortgage industry took a turn for the worse recently, when the AARP Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging federal rules said to be forcing borrowers into foreclosure.
Read More Thursday, April 21, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: 4 Steps To Becoming a Multitasking Master

 

By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Media Services
 
No doubt you've heard the research that "proves" multitasking is counterproductive, but I disagree. There is bad multitasking and there is good multitasking. The trick is to learn how to multitask the right way.
Read More Thursday, April 21, 2011
Community Resource Connection - Taxes

By Latasha A. McWright, TNCP Guest Writer  

We all know the IRS Deadline to file your taxes without penalty is April 18th, 2011, & is approaching vastly.  There are many of so called “free” tax software programs out there, even companies promoting they prepare taxes for free.  I encourage you to read the small print!  In many cases, a portion is free but there are hidden fees or catches associated with the deal.  Michigan has a variety of totally, completely, absolutely FREE tax preparation services in our Community - for those who qualify. Keep every dollar of your return in your pocket! 

Read More Friday, March 18, 2011
Ask Tamara: To Shack or Not to Shack

Dear Tamara:

My fiancé has asked me to move in with him. We have been together for three years and engaged for almost a year now. We have not yet set a wedding date because we each have another year of school left and we both want to wait until we graduate college before getting married. In a way it makes perfect sense that we move in together.

Read More Thursday, March 17, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: Solution-Focused Questions: The Secret to Success

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services

 "Why can't I get a job?" "Why am I always so broke?" "Why can't I lose weight?" These seemingly valid questions can wreak havoc on your life and your success. Whoever first said, "There are no bad questions," was dead wrong. If you want to get a job, make more money, lose weight or achieve any other worthwhile goal, it's time you start asking better questions.

Read More Thursday, March 17, 2011
Retire Smart: Rising Number of Reverse Mortgage Borrowers Facing Foreclosure


By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

Reverse mortgages were created to help seniors stay in their homes by tapping the equity built up over the years. Now, a small but growing number of reverse mortgage borrowers find themselves at risk of losing their homes anyway.

Read More Sunday, March 13, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: Eliminating Poverty: How to Start a Business for Free

 By Robert Pagliarini, 

Tribune Media Services
 
Are you wondering how to start a business or take advantage of a great business idea when you have very little capital to get it off the ground? You may be struggling to decide which business to start because you don't have the resources. The experts will tell you that when you are starting a business, you should try to get money from the three F's -- friends, family and fools -- but there's a much smarter (and less insulting) strategy to get money for your venture.
Read More Wednesday, March 2, 2011
A 'Taxing' Tax Season Tax Forms and Help at the Downtown Library

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By Reference Librarian Anne R.
 
Wow, what a tax season already!  The Federal and Michigan forms and booklets were delayed due to late tax legislation by Congress, but they have finally arrived at the Downtown La
nsing Library. Stop in during our open hours, or call (517) 367-6346 to see if we have the specific forms you need.
Read More Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Retire Smart: SEC Takes One Small Step Toward Financial Planning Overhaul, But Issues Remain
By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services
 
Should a financial advisor be required to put your best interests first? The answer seems obvious, but the question is being punted back and forth between lawmakers and regulators trying to re-structure oversight of financial advisory services in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown.
Read More Thursday, February 24, 2011
Job Seekers: CNA

Do you know anyone who is receiving unemployment benefits or has recently exhausted unemployment benefits?  If they are looking for a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant, there is FREE training.

Read More Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: Eliminating Poverty: Lesson From Childhood

 

By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Media Services
 
Which country has 43.6 million residents in poverty, including one in five children? Bulgaria? Croatia? Thailand? Jordan? Bahamas? No. Each of these countries has a lower poverty rate. Sadly, the mystery country is the United States of America.
Read More Saturday, February 12, 2011
Interpersonal EDGE: N-Bomb in Workplace

By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Media Services

Q. I've been following the media storm regarding Dr. Laura Schlessinger and the African-American caller. I am an African-American executive and frequently have white colleagues ask me about race. I consider it a compliment that they consider me a credible source of information. How can I let them know they don't need to walk on eggshells with me?

Read More Thursday, February 10, 2011
Retire Smart: Author Describes Our Aging World, And How It Drives U.S.

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

In 2005, there were 270,000 people over age 100 in the world - a figure the United Nations expects will explode to 2.3 million by 2040 due to gains in nutrition, health and healthcare. By that year, the U.S. Census Bureau expects the proportion of people over age 65 will more than double from 2008 levels, to 14 percent of the world's population.

Read More Thursday, February 10, 2011
VENUS PERSONAL IMAGE SALON TO OFFER FREE AND LOW-COST BEAUTY/MAKE-OVER SERVICES ON VALENTINE’S DAY, ALONG WITH APPEARANCE BY MICHIGAN ROMANCE NOVEL AUTHOR

 Venus Personal Image Salon owner, Jenny Pham, will offer hair and beauty services for men and women on Monday, February 14, 2011, on a donation only or ability to pay basis. 

Read More Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn
 
By Robert Pagliarini, 
Tribune Media Services
 
One of the best ways to make incremental progress during your other eight hours is to learn. There are all sorts of newfangled websites that can teach you a thing or two -- some with nifty videos and others with PowerPoint presentations. Call me old school, but I think one of the easiest and most economical ways to learn is by reading a book.
Read More Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Retire Smart: Keep These Tips in Mind for Retirement Planning

 

 
By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services
 
The year closed out with a handful of retirement planning tips stacked up on my desk that I want to pass along. Here are some important odds and ends to keep in mind as you consider your moves for 2011
Read More Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Your Other 8 Hours: The Power of Positive Prejudice

By Robert Pagliarini,
Tribune Media Services

Several weeks ago at a fundraising event, I was introduced to a man in his late 40s. He had perfect hair, a GQ grin and was dressed impeccably in a custom suit. The only thing that sparkled more than his white teeth was his gold Rolex. As I was shaking his hand, I immediately assessed what kind of person he was, but, after speaking with him, my initial characterization was destroyed and so was my spirit. I realized that I had unfairly (and inaccurately) prejudged who he was.

Read More Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Retire Smart: Long-Term Care Insurance Market Shows Signs of Trouble

 By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
Harry Margolis is an elder law attorney who regularly helps clients plan for possible risk that they'll need long-term care. He's helped many select a long-term care insurance policy, but these days he's ambivalent about how to counsel them.
Read More Monday, January 3, 2011
Retire Smart: Why Social Security Payments Will Be Flat in 2011, and What It Means for Seniors

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

For the second consecutive year, seniors won't get a Social Security cost-of-living raise in 2011. Although the news comes as no surprise, many seniors are angry. But is their anger justified?


 

Read More Sunday, November 21, 2010
Retire Smart: Shop Around for Medicare Drug Plan This Fall

By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
Seniors can shop around for Medicare D prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage managed care plans during an annual enrollment window that runs from November 15 to December 31. With dozens of plans available in most parts of the country, Medicare shopping can be a complex chore. 
Read More Sunday, November 7, 2010
Retire Smart: The Medicare Prescription Drug Rebate: When, How - and Watch Out For the Scammers

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

Are you a senior enraged about health care reform? If so, allow me to interrupt the ranting for a moment to alert you that, um, your check may be in the mail.

One of the new-and largely ignored-improvements in the health care reform law that benefits seniors is the closing of the notorious "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug plans. But the changes will occur over a period of years, and there's been some confusion over the first step-a $250 rebate that is being sent out to most people who fall into the hole this year.

Read More Saturday, October 23, 2010
Retire Smart: Will Health Care Reform Unleash 50-Plus Entrepreneurs?

Could health reform unleash the inner entrepreneur in millions of older workers?

There's plenty of evidence that baby boomers in their 50s and early 60s want more independence and flexibility in their work. Many are ready to take a risk via second careers and entrepreneurial ventures-but have been hanging on to jobs solely for health insurance benefits. They won't qualify for Medicare until age 65, and it's difficult to get affordable, quality coverage outside of employer group plans.

Read More Sunday, October 10, 2010
Local Non-Profit Helps Artists Connect with Entertainment Industry Professionals

 

 

LANSING, MI -- Getting into the entertainment industry is more than just making beats and knowing how to play an instrument or sing. 

According to an article in www.ehow.com there are different methods for breaking into show business and taking steps to creating a successful career.  They suggest that performers acquire knowledge. They add that before you can step off into any business, you must know the requirements of that business. Many people fail to get even the most beginning knowledge about the entertainment business before they run headlong into it.
Read More Monday, September 27, 2010
Retire Smart: The New Retirement Plan: Watch the Expense Side of the Equation

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

How much will you need to live on in retirement? You'll often hear the big financial services companies offer this rule of thumb: Plan to replace 80 percent of your working income in retirement.

Read More Sunday, September 26, 2010
Interpersonal EDGE: Get Even by Doing Well

 By Dr. Daneen Skube

Tribune Media Services
 
Q. I ended up getting squeezed out of my last job by an underhanded coworker and a malicious boss. I have to admit that revenge fantasies are consuming most of my time, even though I found a better job. How do I handle wanting to get even?
Read More Sunday, September 26, 2010
Retire Smart: To Understand Your 401K Plan, Just Focus on the Fees

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

If you've spent hours analyzing the investment strategies of the mutual funds in your retirement portfolio, here's some bad news: You could have saved a lot of time just focusing on the fees.

Read More Saturday, September 11, 2010
Retire Smart: Launching Your Own Business After Age 50 (Part 4 of 4 Parts)

 Meet the new boss: you.

 
Many baby boomers intend to keep working past traditional retirement age. Surveys show that about 58 million boomers plan to stay in the workforce well into their 60s. Employers won't accommodate all of them, considering the state of the economy and attitudes toward older workers. And many will want to leave the corporate world anyway because of burnout or an impulse to run their own show.
Read More Sunday, August 29, 2010
7 Ways to Help Teens Start a Summer Business

 The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for teens this summer is expected to be 26.4 percent -- the highest number since they began tracking in 1948. Double that number and you begin to come close to the unemployment rate for black and Hispanic teens. Summer jobs that many of us were accustomed to growing up are virtually non-existent. Research shows a direct correlation to criminal activity and lack of meaningful work experience among teens.

Read More Sunday, August 15, 2010
Retire Smart: How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits (Part 3 of 4 Parts)

 No matter what changes are made, it's a sure bet Social Security isn't going away anytime soon-and it's 100 percent certain that the program will be one of your most important sources of security in retirement. But the amount you'll receive over the course of your retirement isn't assured or automatic.

Read More Sunday, August 15, 2010
Retire Smart: How Working Longer Helps Build Retirement Security (Part 2 of 4 Parts)

 Work in retirement? It might sound like a contradiction in terms, but we're looking for ways to achieve financial security over a retirement that could last 20 years or more. One of the best ways to do that is to work just a little longer than you might have planned. Working for even a few additional years can pay a surprisingly large bonus.

Read More Saturday, August 14, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Five Tips to Avoid Confirmation Bias

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services

 
The holocaust never happened. The moon landing was staged. And "Sex and the City 2" is a great movie. How do I know this? I did a Google search. No matter what your position is, you can find support for it. The lesson? Be careful what you ask, or maybe more appropriately, be careful  how  you ask. In psychology, the term for this is "confirmation bias," and it can have damaging consequences for your finances and your life if you're not careful.
 
Read More Sunday, August 1, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Start-Up Help: How to Go From Idea to Business

 By Robert Pagliarini

Tribune Media Services
 
My latest book has received endorsements from best-selling authors and thought leaders, as well as praise from readers. However, there are some who read "The Other 8 Hours" and get angry.
Read More Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Retire Smart: How to Hire a Financial Adviser (Part 1 of 4)

"The nature of any human being, certainly anyone on Wall Street, is 'the better deal you give the customer, the worse deal it is for you.'" -Bernard Madoff, convicted Wall Street swindler

Remember the Bo Diddley song "Who Do You Love?" When it comes to financial advice, a better question might be, "Who do you trust?" Bernie Madoff's victims certainly wish they'd thought harder about that question, and the general cloud of scandal hanging over Wall Street these days reinforces the need to work with trustworthy-and competent-financial advisers.

Read More Sunday, July 18, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: The Secret to Success for Artists and Creatives

 

 
By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
 
So you want to be an author, an actor or maybe even a rock star? It doesn't much matter what you want to do, just that you do it. Whatever your art, your only goal should be to create.
Read More Saturday, July 3, 2010
Retire Smart: Change is on the Way for Retiree Health Benefit Programs

 

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services
 
If you're retired from a company that provides health insurance benefits, get ready for change over the next few years. 
Read More Friday, July 2, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Fear of Failure? Three Tips to Guarantee Success

 By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services

 
It takes guts and determination to invest the other eight hours into improving yourself or starting a business. If you've taken night classes, started a blog or have participated at Toastmasters, you know you are putting yourself on the line. It's hard work and there is ample room for disappointment, rejection and, yes, dare I say, failure?
Read More Sunday, June 20, 2010
Retire Smart: Economist's Report Points to Best Job Opportunities for 50-plus Americans
By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services
 
 The debate over the future of Social Security will heat up this month when Washington policymakers convene for two major events focused on reducing the federal deficit. 
 
Deficit hawks will be peddling the argument that Social Security is careening toward insolvency, and that benefits should be cut because the government can't afford its obligations to the program.
 
So, is Social Security headed for insolvency? And, is it causing our budget deficit?
Read More Sunday, May 23, 2010
Rotating Seasonal Clothing

 Before you pack away the winter clothes make sure they are clean and in good condition.

Read More Saturday, May 8, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Discover Your Passion: What's Your Highest and Best Use?

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services

 
Live your passion. Do what you love and the money will follow. If you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work. You've heard this cute advice a hundred times, but what if you have no idea what your passion is? It's time you find out ...
 
Read More Saturday, May 8, 2010
Retire Smart: Economist's Report Points to Best Job Opportunities for 50-plus Americans

 By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
If you train for it, the jobs will come.
 
That's the upshot of a new economic study that attempts to answer one of the toughest questions facing mid-life Americans: Will training for a new career pay off in a recession-wracked economy?
 
Read More Saturday, May 8, 2010
Retire Smart: Medigap Plans Cooking Up a New Alphabet Soup This Year
 
By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services
 
Say hello to M and N, and goodbye to E, H, I and J.  The letters are part of the alphabet soup used to name Medigap insurance policies-an important tool for capping the out-of-pocket health care costs you can face in traditional Medicare.
Read More Friday, April 23, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Make More Money and Live Your Passion: Become a Cre8tor

 

By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
 
Your financial life has a certain trajectory, similar to a train on a track. There will be twists and turns, but you can easily determine where you will end up if you stay on the financial track you're currently on.
Read More Monday, April 19, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Five Rules to Reduce Risk When Starting a Business in the Other 8 Hours

 

I have a metal paperweight on my desk with the inscription, "What would you do if you could not fail?" It's a nice ornament with a feel-good message, but it's completely wrong and dangerous. Anybody can fail at anything. If you start a new venture without first thinking about and limiting risks, you can put your finances and, worse yet, your relationships in jeopardy. What starts as a way to build a dream life during the other eight hours, become your own boss or make a fortune can turn into a nightmare if you don't limit your risk.
Read More Monday, April 12, 2010
Retire Smart: Author Sees a New Frugality Emerging for Retirement

 Chris Farrell is an optimist, so when he talks about the Great Recession he looks for the silver lining. 

 
The economics editor for public radio's "Marketplace Money," Farrell thinks the recession is ushering in some very healthy changes in our consumer behavior and personal financial habits. The debt-and-consumption driven 1990s are giving way to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Read More Monday, April 12, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Bad Day? 5 Tips to Keep Your Motivation

A couple of weeks ago I had a bad day. Actually, it was a terrible day. Every piece of news I got was disappointing. Did it affect me? I still have bruises from the rock I tried to hide under.

Read More Friday, March 26, 2010
Interpersonal EDGE: Identifying Workplace Superstars

 By Dr. Daneen Skube

Tribune Media Services
 
Q. Our company started hiring again, and we brought in a number of supervisors that looked like rising stars. However, our management team isn't seeing the performance we expected, and we have to hire another wave of supervisors. How do you screen an employee who might be great at the talk but not deliver the walk on the job?
Read More Friday, March 26, 2010
Retire Smart: Recession Darkens the Retirement Outlook for Women

By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
Janice Johnson left her job as a managing director at a major New York financial services company at age 49 to start her own executive training business. Almost immediately, that plan was sidetracked when her mother became seriously ill with the West Nile virus. Traveling to Mississippi-where her mother lived-to provide care became Johnson's main occupation for the next two years.
 
Read More Friday, March 26, 2010
Your Other 8 Hours: Financial Help for Women: 5 Effective Strategies

 

 
By Robert Pagliarini, Tribune Media Services
 
In a divorce, a woman's life is turned upside down -- nearly everything about her existence changes. But for the man, sometimes the most he has to change is his phone number and address. Women who had left jobs to raise families are at a significant disadvantage and find it difficult as they try to re-enter the workforce they left years earlier. I don't have marriage advice, but if you do a few simple things in the other eight hours, you can survive a divorce and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Read More Saturday, March 13, 2010
Retire Smart: Reader Mailbag: How to Draw Down Savings in Retirement 9-4

By Mark Miller

Tribune Media Services
 
Q: It's been suggested that I withdraw about 4 percent of my retirement savings ($430,000) each year in addition to my current income of approximately $3,000 per month. I am 70 and my wife will turn 64 this year. We have no mortgage payments, although we do have a $550 monthly car payment for the next five years. Does 4 percent sound about right? - R.B., via the Internet
 
Read More Saturday, March 13, 2010
Freedom of Information Act - Your Right to Know

Journalists and citizens who file Freedom of Information Act requests often expect delay or denial, unfortunately, that can impact  your daily life. Oftentimes, the lack of information provided by governmental agencies limit the ability to investigate issues, protect individuals or open the doors of justice. istockphoto

Read More Friday, February 26, 2010
Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know


Did you know that you can ask for the documents below under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)?

Read More Friday, February 26, 2010
Retire Smart: How to Cope with Big Rate Increases on Your Long-Term Care Policy

 

 
By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services
 
If you have long-term care insurance, brace for the possibility of a steep increase in premiums this year.
 
Some of the largest long-term care (LTC) underwriters are asking state regulators for large increases on some policies this year. 
Read More Thursday, February 25, 2010
Financial Focus - 9-3 - Edward Jones - A Year After Market Low, How Should You Invest?
 
It’s been about a year since stock prices hit their low point during the long bear market. Since then, of course, we’ve seen a big rally, but some of the decisions you made when the market was at its lowest point may still be affecting your portfolio’s performance and prospects. So now that we’ve reached the one-year anniversary of the market bottom, it’s a good time to see where you are today and how you can prepare for tomorrow.
Read More Thursday, February 25, 2010
Credit Card Changes

 Keeping up with credit card changes that impact your pocketbook is easy!

Read More Thursday, February 25, 2010
Financial Focus - 9-2 - Edward Jones - When Evaluating Investments, Look at Value - Not Just Price

 

Most investors pay a great deal of attention to the price of their investments —  yesterday’s price, today’s price, tomorrow’s price, next year’s price and so on. And that’s understandable, because we always want the prices of our investments to rise. Yet, if you focus too much on prices, you could end up making some costly mistakes.
Read More Monday, February 15, 2010
Retire Smart: New Year's Resolution For a New Decade: Finding New Work With Meaning

By Mark Miller
Tribune Media Services

Pollster John Zogby posed this question last summer to 4,000 Americans: "What will be the historic legacy of Baby Boomers?" The responses were startling.
 

Read More Saturday, February 13, 2010
News Spotlight: Entrepreneurs... Stand Out From Your Competitors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juice up your business with an opportunity to make your marketing campaign POP!!

Win a FREE marketing communications campaign for your business! Entrepreneur marketing and design campaign contest is open now and runs through March 1, 2010.

Read More Thursday, February 4, 2010
News Spotlight: BBB Warns Against Twitter Money-Making Schemes

Read the fine print or risk getting burned with Twitter work-at-home offers
 

Read More Saturday, January 23, 2010
News Spotlight: Own a Business, Own Your Future

Next Bright Idea is an idea competition for any student enrolled in a higher education institution in the Greater Lansing Region. Students can submit their idea to www.nextbrightidea.com until Sunday, January 24. Starting January 25, the community can vote on which idea is their favorite.

Read More Saturday, January 23, 2010
Job Seekers: Asset Independence Coalition (AIC)

 AIC Coordinator.  This is the person who works with the Asset Independence Coalition (AIC) members/leadership to help build the wealth of low income residents, educate low and moderate income residents about asset building, as well as, oversee the free VITA income tax preparation sites in the Tri-County area.
 
This is a part-time year-round position that is contractual (meaning you will be responsible for your own taxes).  20 hours per week at $15.00 per hour.  If you are interested, please forward your resume and cover letter to Peggy Vaughn-Payne, NorthWest Initiative, 1012 N. Walnut St., Lansing, MI 48906 or email it to
peggy@nwlansing.org  Deadline to submit resume/cover letter is January 29, 2010 – 4:00 pm.   
 

Read More Thursday, January 21, 2010
Edward Jones - Become a Better Investor By Understanding Risk - 8-26

  What does it take to be a successful investor? You need a variety of attributes, including patience, discipline and a long-term vision of what you want to achieve. But you also need to understand the role of risk in investing. 

 
Read More Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Edward Jones - Time to Make New Year's Financial Resolutions - 8-25

Like many people, you may make some New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you’ve promised yourself that you’ll visit the gym more often   or  learn a new language or reconnect with a long-lost friend. All of these are worthy goals, of course, and if you achieve them, you may  add new dimensions to your life. But if you want to accomplish other major milestones you may have envisioned — a new home, college for your kids, a comfortable retirement and so on — you may need to set some New Year’s financial resolutions.

Read More Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Special Report: BBB TIPS FOR HAPPY HOLIDAY RETURNS, REFUNDS, AND EXCHANGES

 

Read More Monday, December 21, 2009
Put Unused Vacation Days to Work - in Your 401(k)

Edward Jones

Now that the year is almost over, you may want to explore some last-minute steps you can take to potentially boost your financial fortunes and improve your tax returns for 2010. And one good place to look is your 401(k).

Read More Sunday, December 20, 2009
Everyone Wins When You Make Charitable Gifts

It’s holiday time again. Like everyone, you have many things in your life for which you are thankful. And you may want to show your appreciation for what you have by making a gift to a charitable organization. If you do, both you and the charitable group can come out ahead.

Read More Wednesday, December 16, 2009
5 Ways to Pick the College of Your Dreams

 

Choosing a college is difficult at times but being armed with helpful information can make the decision easier.  Photo by  istockphoto

Read More Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Edward Jones 8-19

Put these Estate Planning Moves to Work
 

Read More Sunday, October 11, 2009
Federal Income Guideline


Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free and reduced price meals.

Read More Sunday, October 11, 2009
Edwards Jones 8-18

Do You Have Enough Insurance — and the Right Type?
 

Read More Sunday, September 27, 2009
Edward Jones 8-17

“Staying the Course” Can Pay Off for Investors
 

Read More Sunday, September 13, 2009
Edward Jones 8-16

Can You Invest for College and Retirement?

Read More Monday, August 31, 2009
Edward Jones 8-15

Review Financial Strategies after Life Events
 

Read More Thursday, August 13, 2009
Edward Jones 8-14

Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers Should Invest for Growth
 

Read More Sunday, August 2, 2009
Edward Jones 8-13

Own a Business? Put Retirement Plan in Place
 

Read More Monday, July 20, 2009
Edward Jones 8-12

Have Your Parents Made Their Financial Plans?
 

Read More Sunday, July 5, 2009
Edward Jones 8-11

Investment Ideas for Newlyweds
 

Read More Sunday, June 21, 2009
Option One Credit Union 8-10

Keep Passwords Strong, Secret, and Safe

Read More Friday, June 5, 2009
Option 1 Credit Union 8-9

Health Savings Accounts: First Aid for Health-Care Bills

Read More Monday, May 25, 2009
Option 1 Credit Union 8-8

Nest Eggs Get a Break--But Only for 2009

Read More Saturday, May 9, 2009
Option 1 Credit Union 8-7

Help Your Teen Driver Choose the Right Car

Read More Sunday, April 26, 2009
Option 1 Credit Union 8-6

Getting Student Loans During the Credit Crunch

Read More Sunday, April 12, 2009
Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premium


If you're like me, you're always looking for a smart way to save money. Sometimes, saving money can come in the most unlikely place - such as your insurance.

Read More Sunday, March 29, 2009
Shopping for auto insurance


 
 Whether you're a first time buyer of auto insurance or already have it but are looking for a better deal, you should be asking several questions.

Read More Saturday, March 14, 2009
Option 1 Credit Union 8-4

Paying for Graduate School

Read More Saturday, March 14, 2009
Option 1 Credit Union 8-3

Investor tips for topsy-turvy market

Read More Sunday, March 1, 2009
Hispanic Elders Face Double Economic Crisis

Many Hispanic elders don’t know they’re eligible to receive Social Security even if they’re not citizens.

Read More Sunday, February 15, 2009
THE VOICE OF POVERTY ATTRACTS 5,000

 

 

 

Action and collaboration are the words of the day, especially at a press availability featuring human and civil rights activist Martin Luther King III, Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, Ismael Ahmed, director of Michigan Department of Human Services (not shown), and other conference partners. Courtesy photo

Read More Sunday, November 23, 2008
WHEN TURNED DOWN FOR A BUSINESS LOAN, TURN TO A BUSINESS GRANT


COLUMBUS, OH -- If you've applied for a business loan in the last six months, its a strong possibility that you were denied - even if you have good credit. This is because the current economic times have forced banks to be super cautious towards all loan applicants, even if you appear to be responsible.

Read More Sunday, November 9, 2008
October is Small Business Month

How to Successfully Navigate Your Business through an Economic Downturn

An economic downturn is a phase of the business cycle in which the economy as a whole is in decline.  This phase basically marks the end of the period of growth in the business cycle. Economic downturns are characterized by decreased levels of consumer purchases (especially of durable goods) and, subsequently, reduced levels of production by businesses.

Read More Sunday, October 12, 2008
SOOH: The Symposium Was A Success!!

LANSING, MI -- With a lot of pressing issues facing us in today's world, health has always been at the top of the list, especially for African Americans and low-income people.

 

Left :Christine Johnson, speaker; Rina Risper, coordinator of the SOOH event; Monica Jahner from the NorthWest Initiative’s ARRO program and Jolinda Wade, speaker.
Photo by Michael Jennings

 

Left: Jerry Cullen, owner of Salem Medical provided foot exams for attendees.  Dr. Peter B. Wollschlaeger and Dr. Maher Al-Sheikh discuss their talking points for the diabetes panel.  Photo by Michael Jennings

Read More Sunday, September 14, 2008
Michigan families grapple with lower incomes, more poverty

 

 

Census release shows more are without health insurance
 
Michigan’s families continued to struggle with falling wages and rising poverty in 2007 as income fell sharply below the national median income and the poverty rate jumped, according to Census Bureau data released today.
 

Read More Sunday, September 14, 2008
Cost of Fuel is Top Economic Concern for Michigan Families

MICHIGAN -- Michigan has had more than its share of economic hardships in recent years, but when Michigan voters were asked the biggest economic problem facing their family, the cost of fuel trumped everything. Gas prices have risen to $4.15 across the nation. 

Read More Sunday, July 6, 2008
BBB Warns Vacationers that Travel Club Membership Doesn’t Always Pay

 

 

 

Before you sign on the dotted line, check it out before you check in:
 
Would-be travelers are spending  thousands of dollars to take advantage of travel deals that didn’t exist.

One company was also ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

Read More Sunday, July 6, 2008
$2 Billion Dollars of MI Taxes Spent on Corrections

Today, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) is the largest program that state government operates directly, accounting for nearly 20 percent ($2 billion) of the current discretionary General Fund budget and employing nearly one-third of the classified workforce.  Corrections programs growth is a direct result of the dramatic increase in the number of inmates from 1973 to 2007, during which time the population grew 538 percent, or roughly 42,000 prisoners, to 50,000 inmates.  Official MDOC projections reflect a continuation of the historical trends over the next five years as the prison population is estimated to be slightly more than 56,000 by the end of 2012.

Read More Sunday, June 22, 2008
Shopping for auto insurance



Getting the most for your money?  Have you checked on your insurance rates lately?  You may just have an opportunity to save money by reviewing your car insurance policy and getting new estimates.

Read More Sunday, March 30, 2008
Replacement 1099s available online

Tax time can be very stressful especially when you can’t locate the forms that you need.  People who also receive Social Security benefits may also have to pay taxes.

Read More Sunday, February 17, 2008
Don't Let April 15 Pass You By

April 15 has long been considered a date to avoid. Visions of tax men coming for your money are common in many advertisements on television and in print.

Read More Sunday, February 3, 2008
Be Cautious of Credit Counseling & Debt Management Claims During Michigan’s Economic Woes

Layoff and foreclosure notices will continue to loom in Michigan’s future as the state’s economic woes continue into 2008 according to a University of Michigan forecast that projects the state losing another 51,200 jobs this year.

Read More Sunday, January 20, 2008
BLACK BUSINESS TIP FOR 2008: Being Positive is Good, But Not Enough


     Columbus, OH - It's good to be a positive thinker, but don't think for one second that that's all you have to do. Being a successful entrepreneur requires more than just having a optimistic outlook.

Read More Sunday, January 6, 2008
ATMS: BEING SAFE SHOULD BECOME AN AUTOMATIC HABIT

(BPRW) -- Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are one of the most convenient tools developed today, especially when you want cash in a flash and don’t have the time to stand in a long line.

Read More Sunday, December 23, 2007
HOW TO FAIL IN BUSINESS


You likely have heard about the 2001 report from the U.S. Census Bureau that states that African Americans are more likely to start a business, than their white counterparts.

Read More Sunday, November 11, 2007
OCTOBER IS SMALL BUSINESS MONTH

PROCRASTINATION: ONE REASON WHY BLACK BUSINESSES FAIL

Read More Sunday, October 14, 2007
Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center At Lansing Community College

How to Finance Your Business

Read More Sunday, October 14, 2007
Ask the Director Questions and Answers on Civil Rights from Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights


Q: I want to write an advertisement for an open position in my company. What can I do to ensure that my advertisement is nondiscriminatory or offensive?

Read More Sunday, October 14, 2007
QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT VALUE OF PROPERTY TAX BREAK FOR INDUSTRIES

Researchers Assert Development Strategy is Obsolete

Read More Sunday, October 14, 2007
Does Money Slip Through Your Fingers? Seminar Available to Help You Reach Financial Success

Local Church Holds Financial Seminars to Help the Community Secure Their Future

Read More Sunday, September 30, 2007
ANN ARBOR-TO-DETROIT COMMUTER LINE,A BID FOR COOPERATION

With Transit Stations, New Neighborhoods Could Take Shape

Read More Sunday, September 30, 2007
Home Inspection Benefits Home Buyers and Sellers


    Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you should be sure that the home you want to buy is in good condition. A home inspection is an evaluation of a home's condition by a trained expert. During a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth and impartial look at the property you plan to buy.

Read More Sunday, August 19, 2007
Mortgage Talk Can Be Confusing... Ask the Mortgage Broker Your Questions

What are credit scores and how are they determined?

Read More Sunday, June 24, 2007
Middle Class and Homeless -- Unlikely Families Face Foreclosure



 Chicago saw its rate of home foreclosures reach its highest level in a decade. Statistics indicates those earning above the median income level are contributing to the spike in foreclosures.

Read More Sunday, May 27, 2007
Use Your Refund Wisely


    If you have questions about these options and others, you owe it to yourself to contact a financial services professional that you know and trust. Your financial future may depend on it.

Read More Sunday, May 27, 2007
Mortgage Talk Can Be Confusing... Ask the Mortgage Broker Your Questions. 6-9

I have heard the term “Land Contract”, what is a Land Contract?

Read More Sunday, May 27, 2007
Mortgage Talk Can Be Confusing... Ask the Mortgage Broker Your Questions.


What is this Subprime Mortgage Melt Down, I hear about in the news and how might it effect me the average  consumer?

Read More Sunday, May 13, 2007
Shopping for auto insurance


 Whether you're a first time buyer of auto insurance or already have it but are looking for a better deal, you should be asking several questions.

Read More Sunday, May 13, 2007
BW Column

  Personal financial advisors and all sorts of managers top the list of “Michigan's Hot 50 Jobs for Today and Tomorrow,” recently released by the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Read More Sunday, May 13, 2007
Counting dollars instead of calories


Think east versus west, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, Manhattan versus Hollywood.  New York, N.Y., and Los Angeles, Calif., boast many differences, but they have one thing in common:  Many of their residents don't have enough life insurance to protect their families.

Read More Sunday, April 29, 2007
Thinking about refinancing? You’re not alone.


Were you a last minute tax filer because you owed more money to the federal or state government, and you just do not have it to give?  If so don't worry; you have company.  Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet.  Many are making the tough choice of which bills to pay or not between food on the table, medicine, utilities, and a mortgage/rent payment.  If you own a home, you have options.  One could be to refinance your home. 

Read More Sunday, April 15, 2007
Upscale Goes Green: Homeowners Focus Increasingly on Sustainable Energy, Renewable Building Material



Green builder, Laurey Wyble (left) at her booth at the 2007 Michigan State University Spring Home and Garden Show.

At Laurey Wyble Custom Builder they feel that it is their responsibility to our planet, as well as future generations to take care of what we have been given.

Read More Sunday, April 15, 2007
State Farm: Insurance Focus

Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premium

Read More Sunday, April 1, 2007
State Farm: Insurance Focus

Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premium

Read More Sunday, March 4, 2007
The Disney Difference: How One Man Rose Above Bankruptcy And Failure To Building Multi-billion $$

Try to imagine a world without Walt Disney. A world without his magic, optimism and childlike fantasy.

Read More Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Life Insurance: It's For The People Who Live

Life insurance is a practical way to protect your family’s financial hopes and dreams.

Read More Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Opening a Small Business? Don't Give Up Financial Security

If you're considering joining these ranks, you've got a lot to be excited about, and you may be prepared to make large sacrifices to help your business succeed. But there's one sacrifice you don't have to make: your financial security.

Read More Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Protect Yourself With Renter's Insurance

So, you are renting an apartment for school? Protect yourself from fire and theft.  Renters’ insurance should be considered for college students living on their own.

Read More Friday, September 8, 2006
MCB Places in the "Down by the River Chili Cookoff"

Thousands of chiliheads toured the riverside Board of Water and Light (BWL) Chili Cook-Off to sample more than 2,000 gallons of chili and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Read More Saturday, July 8, 2006
Spreading The Family Love?

Dr. Rev. Linda Hollies takes a new position of Calvary United Methodist Church in Jackson, MI. Read about her thoughts about the journey her family has already begun to their new home.

Read More Saturday, July 8, 2006
Don't Bank on House Profits to Fund Retirement

To enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you will need to build your net worth before you retire.

Read More Saturday, July 8, 2006
What Does Interest Rate Hike Mean to You?

From June 2004 through February 2006, the Federal Reserve raised a key short-term interest rate 14 times. These rate hikes may make the evening news - but what do they mean to you, as an investor?

Read More Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Financial Focus 5-4

Time to Think About Medicare Drug Benefit

Read More Sunday, March 19, 2006
Financial Focus 5-1

Don't Be a "Groundhog Day" Investor

Read More Saturday, February 4, 2006
Time to Make New Year's Financial Resolutions


     Do you remember any of the New Year's resolutions you made for 2005? If you don't, it may not be such a tragedy. After all, you still may have had a good quality of life even if you didn't get to the gym three times a week, learn a new language or take that gourmet cooking class. On the other hand, you can make a big difference in your future if you make - and keep - financial resolutions for the coming year.

Read More Sunday, December 25, 2005
Q & A with the National Bar Association's Bankruptcy Law Section

 

 Chair Arlene Gordon Oliver, Esq.

 

Read More Sunday, August 7, 2005
Governor Granholm Launches New Internship Website MiInternship Benefits Students, Businesses, Educators & State of Michigan


LANSING, MI  -- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the launch of a new website to help students find internships in the State of Michigan. Internships help students find the skills they need to land a full-time job and give businesses a cost-effective way of finding talented workers. The new website, MiInternship, can be found at www.michigan.gov/miintern.

Read More Sunday, March 6, 2005
HOW EXTREME CREDIT CARD DEBT HAPPENS TO THE SMARTEST COLLEGE STUDENTS

     You work hard, sacrifice, and send your child off to college to get a quality higher education, and he/she returns with thousands of dollars in credit card debt. In some cases the credit card debt is far in excess of their educational costs. How could this happen in the American college system?

Read More Sunday, March 6, 2005
Dollars and Sense: Closing Lansing Schools to Save Money…



    The object of our affection is education or the access to education.  It is the key to the gateway of life.  We as Americans have fought, slaughtered, and shivered for the access to education.  Sometimes we get confused and view education as a privilege rather than a right.  In so many ways we have taken for granted that which is necessary for the future growth of our world, our economy, and our lives.

Read More Sunday, February 20, 2005
The Executive Leadership Council Leadership Institute

Compiles Latest Data of African Americans on Corporate Boards

Read More Sunday, February 20, 2005
SURVIVING FORECLOSURE AND KEEPING YOUR HOME

 42% of American Household Wealth Comes From Home Equity.

Read More Sunday, February 6, 2005
Finacial Focus 1-12


Have today's low interest rates got you down? Are you searching for an investment that combines safety while offering a better rate of return?

Read More Sunday, July 14, 2002
PARENTING CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:

 WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT PLANNING FOR THEIR CHILDREN’S FINANCIAL FUTURE

Read More Sunday, July 14, 2002
HOW MUCH LIFE INSURANCE DO YOU NEED?



The main purpose of life insurance is to provide financial security for your family.  It helps to ensure that when you die your family will have the financial resources it needs to provide for your spouse, children, an elderly parent or some other dependent.

Read More Sunday, June 16, 2002
SPLITTING HEIRS

EFFECTIVE ESTATE PLANNING CAN PRESERVE WEALTH & MAINTAIN HARMONY AMONG SURVIVORS

Read More Sunday, June 2, 2002
457 Plan Participants: Find the Best Place for Your Retirement Funds


If you're a government employee participating in a 457 retirement plan1,  you'll be happy to learn that the new tax provisions greatly expand the  "portability" you now have to roll over your retirement assets from one  type of account to another.

Read More Sunday, May 19, 2002
Enlightened Grads Sit in Dark over Finances


This year’s Class of 2002 graduating seniors is seen as a very connected, career-minded and confident group, according to a Harris Poll.But, as enlightened as they are, it seems as if the first graduating students of the new millennium could use further education when it comes to financial planning.

Read More Sunday, May 19, 2002
THE FEMININE FACE OF FINANCE


When it comes to investing, many women are forced to do more with less.  Because of their longer life span, women have an even greater need than men to make the most of their retirement dollars.

Read More Sunday, May 5, 2002

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